Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Suck It Up, Buttercup

One of the perils of being a stay at home mom is that I feel like I have to be a master at this self-imposed title. The perfect parent, with a home of happy, thriving children – well worth the 100% time I devote to the effort.

This is a problem. It seems I have spent too much time equating great kids with kids that are happy most of the time. Oops. I run around after them, picking up their things, finding lost precious objects, buying the objects in the first place for no reason except their happiness. They get meals largely to their liking, even if they are different from the meal I make for myself. They watch too much TV and do too little to help around the house. They are spoiled. I am exhausted.spoiled chick

So this morning, I have had enough. Laura came in at 6:00 am, wanting to do a sewing project right then and burst into tears as soon as I refused. Owen was obsessively grumpy that I had taken back the book from the library that he had for months and that none of the other hundred books in his room would do for his immediate gratification. There is much whining in our castle. I suck, apparently.

Well, I have snapped. Suck it up, buttercup. Time to stop raising spoiled children. This is not what I want for my offspring and I have done an amazing job of enabling them to be a little prince and princess with me as their servant. This has to stop. I don’t want to have young adults incapable of taking care of themselves and expecting the world to be delivered to them. They deserve a life where they can live up to their full potential. How will they ever know what that is if I keep sugar-coating all they know?

It is time to toughen up. I am sacrificing my supermom status, starting today. They are going to make more decisions for themselves. They are going to help out more to the best of their ability and be a bigger part of the functioning of this house. It will be tough for me to make this work, to not slide back into my accommodating ways. But they are worth it. And so am I.


  1. Well now, this is a project I can get behind. I have exactly the same problem, and now that our oldest is 8, it's becoming more and more apparent. I cannot handle the crazy whining that happens when I ask them to do the smallest thing around here, or when I can't get them their thing this VERY second. UGH.

    I realize things need to change but I'm finding it really hard to break out of old habits. How are things going for you? Anything you've found that really works, in terms of changing your attitude/schedule/habits?

  2. It is so true. I did the same thing recently. My 9yo is now in charge of emptying the dishwasher every time it is clean. I have had to relax a bit about placement of dishes in the cupboard (I have been known to go in and 'fix' them after he is in bed). They both help with tidying more (although not enough). And my next task is to get them doing their own laundry. Why not right :) Maybe I will start with putting away their own laundry. Once they have mastered that, we can move to doing it too... Baby steps. :)

  3. Hi. My name is Julie. And I am a spoiler (the name Smothermother was not just a catching blog title!).

    Can we start a support group, or list-serve or something? I need help weening myself from my kid. I know a lot of it has to do with having an only childn, but I want him to be a useful member of society, and the way things are at the moment, that isn't going to happen, unless I am there telling him how to do it.

  4. OH yeah. And I'm the worst for being such a control freak that I just do it all myself because I know them doing it wrong will make me crazy. Not good for me or them. Good for you, though -- let me know how it goes (inappropriate giggle).

  5. Yes, yes, yes, and yes. With baby #4 on the way, I just can't keep this up. My husband is always after me to make them clean up after themselves more... but usually I just don't want to deal with the fall out. It's easier to do it myself... or at least it was went I could actually bend over!

    What I really need to do is make a chart of all the things that are expected of them. Spell it out. I know (for my boys at least) it would help. I just need to get it done and up somewhere visible.

  6. You go, girl!! I could use some of that juice you're drinking!

    I was "called on" my lax attitude today by a stay at home DAD. He comes to my house to walk my six year old to school with his daughter most days. My son had a (minor, in my opinion, but anyway...) meltdown while that dad was here. And you know... I was just too tired to take it on. It wasn't crazy, and I had stuff to do (like get said daughter out to school). Well, Super Dad took me up on it, explaining what he would do, how the little guy doesn't show respect when he behaves that way.

    All probably truisms, I know, I know. And so I was obligated to give a time out. That was fun, I'll tell ya, with an audience, too. Whatever you learn and share, Pam, I'll be listening!