From the time I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a mommy. I studied moms and how they mothered their children. I thought about how wonderful it would be to care for and nurture those sweet, chubby faced little cherubs. What’s not to love? And I was pretty sure MY kids would love and appreciate me…pretty much ALL the time.
Cue in screaming baby, uncooperative toddler, indifferent grade schooler, defiant teenager. It doesn’t seem to matter what phase of child raising we are in, if we are doing our job well, we are doomed to the role of the “bad lady”.
The “bad lady” doles out consequences as needed in order to allow her children to learn valuable lessons that prepare them for real life. Sometimes that requires action, sometimes it requires doing nothing and letting natural consequences teach the lesson. She has rules and boundaries and does not take kindly to the crossing of those. She knows that it’s better in the long run for her child to learn these things early on rather than being smacked down harder by them as an adult. She also knows that as much as she wants to be her children’s best friend, it’s far more important for her to be their mother. I don’t care how you dice it, parenting is hard. We love our kids, we want what’s best for them and unfortunately, that often means we have to make decisions that are not appreciated.
No one likes to be the “bad lady”. It’s not fun. Not even close. In fact it really rots sometimes. Somehow we feel like we are the only ones who are feeling this way, but I guarantee you that there are plenty of other moms out there who feel like the “bad lady” more often than not. You are not alone.
Just the other day, I reminded our 14 year old (and myself) that I am not his peer (so he was not allowed to speak to me like one), I am not even necessarily his friend. I am his mom. Before you criticize this saying they do not have to be mutually exclusive, I agree – sort of. There is an age where the relationships turns into that of friends, but a friend doesn’t have authority over another and when I’m raising my children, I do. I can be a mom who listens and encourages and entertains, but at the end of the day, I’m still a mom.
I’ve had eight children. Two are married with babies of their own. One is in college. And you know what? They are my biggest supporters now when it comes to not letting up on the younger five who are still at home. So believe me when I tell you it’s worth it. Our kids will be adults far longer than they will be children, so seize the moment and wear the badge of the “bad lady” proudly! They probably won’t appreciate it now, but they’ll thank you later!