i don't get it. (a parenting rant)
Some days, in what seems to be a very bizarre world, I question why I was ever chosen to be a parent. I read articles about "dropping everything and just playing" and I cringe, I can't relate. I listen to moms say things like "the laundry can wait" and I think "for who?". I don't get this mentality. This mentality that begs us to create a world where our kids are the center of the universe, putting off all responsibility and dropping what we are doing in the spirit of being the fun parent. Do people not see how this is setting us up for disaster? Is this not how Justin Bieber was created?!
I don't get what is so wrong about telling your kids to "go play" or saying "sorry, I can't drop everything for you right now, I have to wash the dishes". I've seen kids whose parents turn their days upside down trying to please their kids and fill their time for them...and I've seen their houses, sometimes neither (or both) is pleasant. And if that is how you choose to live, that is all well and good. I'm happy for you, pleased that you have found what works for you, I'm sure you will like having them live in your basement when they are forty (I kid!). But don't think for a second that my family will buy into it, or follow that recipe.
My kids will have chores. They will hear the word "no". They will be told to find something to do and sometimes getting the house clean WILL come before them. They will hear "we have work to do" or "I'm working now so we can play later". No is not a dirty word. It's a character building word!
Is it because I don't want them to feel valued? Or I want them to think that chores are more worth my time? No way! I want them to know the value of working hard and EARNING time to play! I want them to know the satisfaction and the happy tired feeling you get after a hard days work, earning your keep and doing your share. I want them to be able to entertain themselves with Lego's and books. I want them to know what it's like to have to play or be alone, and be OK with that! I want them to know that the universe does NOT revolve around them! (shocking, I know). I want them to have their priorities right (especially as kids, since teaching this concept at a later age would be all that more difficult). I want them to know that FIRST you do what you have to and THEN you do what you want to and that sometimes you don't get your way. I want them to know that you have to take care of the blessings you were given. The end.
My all time best example of the mom to be is the proverbs 31 woman. She rises early and works hard all day. She makes the most of her time and does not waste a moment. She does not have a sign on her wall that says "good moms have sticky floors and dirty ovens". She doesn't put off work for play, she works first so she can play later (I assume this one just based on her character). It doesn't say anything about putting off things for tomorrow or not getting the job done or making sure she does whatever her kids want to do (and yet they still honor and respect her!).
All of this to say, I don't feel like I fit in at all with this modern day parenting. And I honestly don't want to, I'm ok with the path we have taken. We have kids that (most) people like, who are polite and kind and are able to find something to do with their time when there is work to do that they can't contribute to. They know how to do the laundry and empty the dishwasher. They can vacuum and clean a bathroom. They can make a few meals for themselves. And I'd like to think that all that work makes our fun times sweeter, since they are earned and looked forward to and not just doled out at the whim of boredom.
And if all of that makes me a radical parent (not the 80's kind), I am good with that. I'll also be good with a basement empty of forty year olds.