Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Why I'm a Bad Mom

I had my first child in 1998, right at the dawn of the internets (okay, maybe the morning coffee of the internets, but still, pretty early). And one of the things I learned fairly early on, as I scoured the web for info on how to be a kick-awesome mom, is that everything I would do as a parent is wrong. Every choice I have made or will make regarding how to raise my kids is the wrong one according to at least someone out there. Breast, bottle, cloth, disposable, co-sleep, cry it out, public school, private school, home school, pierced ears, long hair, make-up, boyfriends, television, music -- every choice is wrong.

Figuring out that someone opposes everything I will ever do as a parent has actually been incredibly freeing to me. I absolutely love embracing my bad mom status. Here are a few reasons why I'm a bad mom.
  1. I never cried when any of my kids started school. When Deborah went to Kindergarten, her principal tried to make me cry, but I resisted. Every time the next one started, I was sure this would be the time I'd dissolve in tears at my wee ones growing up, but nope. I've cried every. single. time that I've read Charlotte's Web. But my kids' first days of school? Not a chance, buster.
  2. I bought my daughter cute bras. I've seen Christian discussion boards with pages and pages about just how cute a bra is allowed to be on a young girl. Now I'm all about modesty, but yes, I let my pre-teen daughter pick out her own bras and she picked ones that weren't "little girl" bras. And I bought them. Oh noes. (Part B of this point is that I'm a bad mom for talking about my daughter wearing bras at all!)
  3. I don't always pre-read what my kids are reading. I tried to read Twilight, I really did. But Oh. My. Bob. That book just made me want to rip my eyes out and run screaming from the room. I got about 15 pages in and just couldn't stand it any more and put it away. But my daughter has read the whole series. I know being a good mom requires that I read everything controversial that my kids might get their hands on, but I dropped the ball on this one. My need for good reading trumped my need to be a good mom. Fortunately, none of the boys Deborah has shown interest in seem to glitter or have redonkulous abs, so we're probably okay.
  4. I've pushed my kids to be skeptics. Okay, this is definitely both of us, but ever since my online friend Ellie pointed me to snopes.com years and years ago, there's very little that I don't run up against a fact checking source of some kind. And the kids have totally picked this up as well. I love that they don't just assume that something is true because it's from an authority. On the other hand, it makes it way tougher to use the "because I'm your mom and I said so!" statement. Suckish.
  5. I use words like "suckish" and "whatev" and "coral" to annoy my ultra-hip kids who think it's an embarrassment to have a parent who uses their language.
  6. I have a blog that looks like it's going to be about my kids, but is really just about me. If I could go back in time five years ago and pick a different name for my blog, I totally would, because this is not the blog that it looks like it's going to be. But I didn't really know what I was doing back then (blogs have evolved so much since this one started) and now I'm just too lazy to start something else. So I have a blog that looks like a Mommy blog, but is mostly just a mish-mash of stuff that doesn't really have much to do with parenting at all.
  7. If I beat the kids at a Wii game, I totally rub their faces in it. Granted, this doesn't happen very often. Usually they crush me at whatever we play. But on the rare occasions that I actually manage to take them down, I'm the worst winner ever.
Are you a parent? What do you do that makes you a bad parent (silliness only people -- I'm not looking for folks to beat up on themselves)? If you're not a parent, where would you buck the norms and be labeled "bad"?
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I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
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