Care to Join Me?

It has recently come to my attention--through the observations of my own family (mostly the children to whom I imparted life and breath) and various conversations with and about other moms----that I am a terrible mother. I can assure you that I never set out in life to become a bad mom but, somehow, over the past almost-17 (gulp!) years, I have morphed into one of the baddest. (Yes, I know it's not a word. Thank you very much.)

I'm quite certain that I cannot be the ONLY bad mom in the blogosphere, so I thought it would be fun to share those things that have gained me this notoriety and would love to hear if your family would call you a "Bad Mom" as well.

Strangely enough, I am MORE than proud to be a "Bad Mom"--and, just for clarification, I don't mean "bad" in the Michael Jackson "I'm bad, I'm bad" sense. I mean "bad" in the Daniel Webster "of poor or inferior quality" sense. But, I can assure you, I am completely okay with my badness. I'm just lonely over here and wondered if anyone cared to join me? I was thinking we might be able to start a club, maybe "The BMs" (Bad Moms)---oh no, that's probably not a great acrostic. Ahem........... Well, I'll keep working on that. In the meantime, I have formulated the following checklist/quiz, call it whatever makes you happy, based solely on actions/behaviors from my own almost-17 years of motherhood. Give yourself a point for each "yes" and let me know if you are a "Bad Mom" like me! Here goes.............
  • Upon bringing each of my children home from the hospital, not one of them spent a single night in my bedroom (much less my bed, but that's another post!) They all survived.
  • Brooke was a horrible napper. I nursed her on demand (even in public occasionally)and quickly learned that "on demand" simply meant when Brooke said "jump", I had to ask "How high"? That got old real fast, and the next three were on strict schedules. They adapted to my life. I did not adapt to theirs. They all slept like champs (12 hours a night by 9 weeks of age), and they didn't starve!
  • The above schedule required waking sleeping babies and allowing crabby, overtired babies to cry themselves to sleep. They all survived.
  • My children all slept in their own beds--not in my bed, not in the swing, not in the car seat. They all survived.
  • I hated pacifiers and took the boys' pacifiers away when they were 3 months (Payton) and 6 months (Sawyer) old. Yes, they screamed for a few hours. They seem to have recovered.
  • My kids have to ask for snacks--still. When they are home, they have snacks at 10 a.m., 3 p.m., and a healthy snack before bed. They are not allowed to help themselves to whatever they want, whenever they want it.
  • Our children address adults as Mr. and Mrs. It doesn't matter to us if you don't mind being called by your first name or even if you prefer it. Our kids will call you Mr. and Mrs. It's a matter of respect.
  • Our children each have daily and weekly chores. They do not receive allowances. They live in a lovely home, sleep in warm, comfortable beds, and eat quite well.
  • Our children have three birthday parties each--when they are 5, 10, and 16. They do not get parties every year. They have all survived.
  • I was not put on the earth to entertain my children. I am their mom, not their best friend. They have survived.
  • Our children have been spanked (in the place intended for such things). They have been grounded. They have run laps around the house. They have written essays about improving their behavior. They have all survived.
  • Boys who want to take out/date our daughter(s) must call and ask Jeff's permission and answer quite a few pointed questions. Yes, it's tough. But those boys who really care about Brooke have been more than willing to subject themselves to this. And they have all survived.
  • When our boys want to take out/date a girl, they will call and ask her father's permission. And they will survive as well.
  • My children have never been to Disneyworld. In fact, in all of our almost-17 years of parenthood, we have only taken two vacations that involved somewhere other than seeing family. Our budget doesn't allow for fancy vacations and our children have survived. Actually, Jeff and I have never been to Disneyworld either. We have survived and actually, I really don't care about going.
  • My children have never finger painted in our home, and I can count the times they had Play-doh (an invention straight from the Devil himself) on one hand. They have survived.
  • My kids have never had Easy-Bake ovens, those battery-powered cars, and televisions in their bedrooms. They have also managed quite nicely without karate lessons, dance classes, gymnastics, and private tutors.
So how many "points" did you get? Are you going to join me in "Bad Mommyland"?

Finally, before I close and before you start leaving comments about screaming babies, spankings, and our severe lack of artistic supplies, let me say this: this is the parenting style that Jeff and I have chosen for OUR family. It's fine with me if you have chosen differently and it's fine with me if you disagree with what we've done. We are the first to admit that we haven't done everything right and that our kids are far from perfect. Really, we aren't even hoping for perfection. We are just hoping and praying they will love and live for Jesus in this sinful world. And, if they grow up to be amazing play-doh artists for the Kingdom, then maybe we did get just a few things right!


Valerie said...

Right there with you! I love being a "Bad Mom"! We should start a club.

Steph said...

I'm with ya on most of those jen, as you know! you don't allow play doh but I do believe you once allowed the evil MOON SAND into your home!
I'll add a few ...
my kids have never had Hamburger Helper, Instant Mashed Potatoes, and up until this past week (which involved circumstances beyond my control!) Cookie Crisp Cereal!

Brooke said...

Gives me hope (as our parenting philosophies are similar) that ours will also survive. Although we are contemplating a trip to the BIG D...Hmmmm.

Jen said...

oohh-good ones Steph!!! I've never done Hamburger Helper or instant mashed potatoes. I HAVE done Cookie Crisp! LOL!!

Denise Kay said...

Amen. My dd is almost 33 yrs. old and survived her bad mother. LOL!! She is even using some of those "awful" parenting skills on her two little boys.

Marzola Happenings said...

and here I thought you were an amazing mom! pshhh...what will I do now when I need advice????
p.s. dont forget to add how bad you are by not allowing them to have a hamster...haha. the boys DO have a plan by the way. ;) Evan now wants a digital camera so he can take photos of various hamsters at petco and petsmart. He will then show these photos to Sawyer so he can choose which one he might want to bribe you with! haha.

Kerry said...

Jen, Jen, Jen... your poor, neglected children... whatever will they do??? LOL
There are a couple of areas I disagree with, but on a whole - totally with you! Matter of fact - my dd and I had a discussion related to this the other day. She informed me that the kids she knows who are allowed to do what they want when they want and quit anything whenever they want are not living in the real world. This is based on our rule that if you sign up for something - lessons, sport, play - you are committing to everything required and you will see it through to the conclusion. If you don't like it - don't sign up for it again, but you will finish this one!

Anonymous said...

Jen...I was with you until the play-doh...kids need creativity. I bet Jesus would have played with play-doh quite a bit as a child :-)

- Jon Harrison (unofficial play-doh master)

Jen said...

LOL Jon!! You are right--Jesus probably WOULD have played with Play-doh. However, because he was perfect, he would NOT have made a mess and because my sweet cherubs definitely are NOT perfect, the mess is inevitable!! And, THAT'S the part that makes me crazy!!!

Marzola Happenings said...

I dont think I am a 'bad' mom. But I am most certainly a 'mean mom'!!!! I was told I am the meanest Mom on earth today. hmmm...I am sooooo proud to have been called that! LOL

Amy said...

i agree with a lot of this but don't get how play doh is from the devil. oh well. e-mail me at amysblog@pa.net if you want to enlighten me on that one or else i be left to ponder. anyways you have beautiful children and thanks for the tip about having the boys call the paretns of the girls. i never thought of making that a rule to teach them the respect they shoudl show the girls. though that si a long way off cause my two boys are only 2 months and (almost) 2 years!

Amy said...

nevermind. after reading other comments i think i just got the play doh thing. i don't care abut the mess though-that's part of the fun. also agreed with the one about the kdis not living inthe real world and quiting stuff. i wanted to quit color guard at one point and my parents made me do the rest of the season because i had already commited to it. i did and even went back the next year though they'd said i didn't have to if i didn't want to, i guess becuase i'd had fun after all. heck we even went to disney one year so really it was the band that sent me but my parents went too. and i forgot to say these all remind me of a book i just started reading called "bringing up geeks" by mary beth hicks.

jayneH said...

My kids survived and we lived by most of the same rules and they are healthy and great adults two of them with children of their own,
so yes i will join your "Bad mom club"