A note to my children

As your mom there are some things I want you to know.

  • I will teach you good manners and require you to use them.
  • Don’t be surprised when I take away anything with a plug—that is a privilege, not a right.
  • School is your JOB.  Treat it as such. 
  • The punishment will fit the crime and I reserve the right to be creative.  Writing 3 paragraphs on the attributes of being a good big brother is an example.
  • Don’t know how to spell a word, look it up.  In a book.  A dictionary.  Not an I(anything).
  • Get it out-pick it up.
  • Fair is a bad word in our house.
  • Passwords are banned.  If you post it, tweet it, text it or look at it I will read it, look at it and review it.  If I don’t like it we WILL talk about it.
  • I am your mom, not your friend.  I will always love you but I don’t always like your actions.  You won’t always like mine. 
  • We are a family.  We will support one another.  We will work together-we will play together.  We will discuss things and we will disagree on things.  At no age are you excluded from any of this.
  • I will cheer for you.  Loudly.  Very loudly.  Wearing team colors.  With props.  I will be your biggest cheerleader.  I love you, I am proud of you and I will show it.  If that embarrasses you then don’t play sports. Your job is to work hard, learn and give 100%.  My job is to cheer you on every step of the way.
  • I expect you to respect everyone you meet and to show that respect. 
  • I will hug you.  I will also yell at you, ground you, punish you and prompt you.  All are out of love.
  • I will ask.  You will answer.  There is no limit to my choice of conversation.  Not answering is not an option.
  • Sometimes ‘do as I say and not as I do’ is the answer.  Don’t argue that one.
  • I am human-I will be wrong, I will be grumpy, I will be terse (look it up) and I will make mistakes.  You will do the same. 
  • I am pro-teacher. 
  • School is not required to be:  FUN, enjoyable or entertaining.  It is however, required.
  • I am obligated to care for you, taxi you, feed you, clothe you, protect you and love you.  I am not obligated to spoil you, wait hand-and-foot on you, blindly believe you nor provide to your every wish and whim. 
  • You will not get some of the things you want.  Know that.  Understand that.
  • I want to give you life experiences and will work hard to do so.  If you don’t get a chuck-e-cheese party or a skating birthday event it is okay by me.  You will get to see and do and experience things.  I think that is a better, longer lasting gift.
  • I am tough and stern but you have the ability to make me laugh, make me cry, to make me doubt and to make me proud.  Use those abilities wisely.
  • Eye rolling, slamming doors, huffing, puffing and sighing DO COUNT as backtalk and will be treated and responded to as such.
  • Tone matters.
  • Your room is in OUR house that we pay for with OUR jobs.  Careful when laying claim.
  • I expect you to act the same in front of me as you do when I am not around.
  • At any event I expect you to respectfully greet the adults before running off to play with the children.
  • Being creative is a gift.  I will try and teach you that.
  • You should never be bored.  If you are bored I will always be able to find something for you to do.
  • I shouldn’t always have to ask you to do things.  As you get older you will be able and expected to pitch in.
  • ‘Doing the dishwasher’ ALWAYS means loading and unloading. ALWAYS.
  • When in doubt, do it my way.
  • Anything following the phrase ‘everyone else…’ will automatically be disregarded.  You are not everyone else.  I am not everyone else’s parent. 
  • I will treat you in small, little ways.  Acknowledge those.  Appreciate those moments.  You will get more of them by doing so.
  • Moms have bad days.  Hugs can help fix that.
  • I will hold you accountable.
  • I will tear up and cry at award banquets, homeruns, swim meets, school functions and softball games. 
  • Hearing you say, “love you” or offering a hug to me in front of your friends makes me feel good—no it makes me feel GREAT.
  • I will try and teach you to be kind, generous, mindful, respectful, grateful and appreciative. 
  • When I use your full name you are in trouble.
  • I can yell for you, you can’t yell for me. If you need me, find me.  
  • A shrug is not an answer.
  • Follow the rules.  You don’t have to agree with them.
  • Always do your best.  In everything.
  • Understand me.  Every freedom you get takes you a step away from me and that is hard.  Very hard.
  • Freedom is earned.  Freedom can and will be taken away.
  • You will disappoint me.  I will disappoint you.  Let’s try not to do that too often.
  • I have high expectations.  I want you to have high expectations of yourself.
  • I will listen.  I might not agree but I will listen IF you speak with respect, with calmness and at the right time.   
  • I will explain—sometimes-not always.
  • Picking up after yourself will make your life easier.  Trust me.
  • I won’t always have the answer.
  • Seeing you at the end of a day makes me happy. 
  • I consider giving you chores as part of my Mom-job.  One day you’ll thank me.
  • You won’t believe that last statement until much, much later.

 

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