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.
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!