II Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"M" is for Mom, NOT Maid!!!

What is it about having a sleepover that somehow makes me the maid or the kid-slave? My 9 year old daughter suddenly starts ordering me around saying "make this" and "get us that" and "we need this" when she has friends over.
After having stayed up half the night, I had hoped that they would sleep in a bit this morning so that I could get my work for the doctors office early completed before the "real day" began. But no such luck. I forget that other peoples kids don't sleep till nearly-noon like my kids do. So...when we have company, oftentimes they are up at the crack of dawn before I can even begin my work. Right now it is 7:47 and they have been up for almost an hour. And I'm actually sitting at my desk trying to work..but what prompted this post was this comment/question that was just SHOUTED AT me from my daughter: "MOM! WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE BREAKFAST? WE ARE HUNGRY!! WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT THAT???"

Excuse me?!...seriously? Maybe other mothers wait on their children for every little wish and whim? I don't know...but I honestly think that is doing them a disservice. It ain't gonna happen like that in the real world baby. And furthermore, I have overcome the desire or the need to be "better than or as good as all the other moms". Brooklyn has one friend who she stays the night with sometimes whose mother always makes them this AMAZING GOURMET breakfast. I'm talking from scratch pancakes, eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, sausage ....anything they want, she just whips it right up. (and no, it's none of you who read this blog :o) I think that is awesome and wonderful that she can do that for them....who wouldn't love that? BUT..I am not her. I have several part time jobs to do each day and that doesn't always give me the opportunity to be Betty Crocker. Does that make me mean or un-caring? My daughter thinks so.

Entitlement. I hate it. It's never a good attitude or personality to have. A person who thinks they are entitled to everything is full of PRIDE and lacking humility. I will not tolerate it in my children either. So even if I get the "mean mom" title for this, my children are going to learn that it takes WORK to get your needs met. I personally think that the only thing parents need to do for their kids all the time is things that they cannot physically or mentally do. If my child is capable of picking up their room, putting away their laundry, brushing their teeth, making their bed, setting the table, feeding the dogs, fixing their hair, putting in a movie, etc....then they can be expected to DO IT. Not to say that I won't "baby" them from time to time...hold them and rock them and let them lay in bed while I do the work for them...of course I will...but I won't DARE allow them to think that THAT is the way it should be and is supposed to be. No, I will TEACH (TRAIN) them HOW to do it and then I will pat their little tush off on its way to complete the task themselves.

Think of the gift some young man is going to receive one day when he asks for my daughters hand in marriage and she is completely capable of running a home beautifully!? By the time she is of age to be married, I expect her to be able to balance a checkbook, develop and use a budget, pay bills online, cook healthy and delicious dinners, wash clothes, mow the lawn, organize drawers/closets, etc. If I love her, I will set her up for success in marriage and life. Also (and some of you may want to close your eyes for this part) but I GUARAN-DANG-TEE ya I will not let her get married before she understands her body and how it works and what sex is all about. I know too many girls ( and I was one) who get married with NO EARTHLY IDEA what they are supposed to do or feel. It took seven very long and hard, frustrating and tear-filled years of marriage before I finally was given a book by my dear friend Amy, that actually described in detail a woman's body and what things were/where they were and why they were there. Believe me when I say....that discovery changed my LIFE. God intended sex to be an important part of marriage and it's just IGNORANT to send your child (esp. a girl) into a marriage where she's just suddenly supposed to figure it all out. It may happen for some...but just like breastfeeding...even though it's "natural" it doesn't always COME natural. There are things that are better off taught at the beginning so you can skip gobs of "lost time" trying to figure it out. My marriage nearly ENDED because of this.
Whew...Sorry! I got off on a little bunny trail there...but I am SO passionate about that subject. It pretty much ruined my marriage for many years and I refuse to let my children go through that. I love my parents and I think the world of them, but I seriously grew up thinking sex was dirty and bad and gross and nasty and something girls just have to "endure". I especially thought (and this was one of the biggest hurdles for me to overcome) that if you were a woman who LIKED sex...well, then, Ahh! you must be a slut. How nasty that you might LIKE it!
WOW....was I ever WRONG! If liking it makes you a slut, then go ahead and call me one with a capital "S".. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!! :-)
Okay...I'm blushing so maybe I better move on with this conversation.
I was just going to add that this stuff also applies to my son. While I won't be the one teaching him much about sex...his daddy can explain that to him...I will expect him to be capable of doing all those things I will expect his sister to know too. What a PRIZE some girl who is just like his mama is going to get one day when she takes his last name and becomes his wife! :o)
Imagine that ladies...a man who does dishes, cooks, cleans, mows, budgets, organizes and plans dates for his bride! Yessiree....that's what I'm talkin' about!

Whew...I got a bit carried away there with this whole post...but there you have it--me spilling my un-edited, un-thought-out guts for you in a matter of minutes. I hope I didn't offend anyone....but if I did, e-mail me and I'll explain myself more.

Now...for breakfast...hope they like cereal and pop tarts! :o)


Rock Chef said...

I am a firm believer that children should have a sound sex education. For one it prevents bad experiences like you had and second it seems to remove a lot of the curiousity aspect that leads to them doing stuff too young.

And yes, M is not for Maid! Stand your ground, teach them right - ordering people around should have severe consequences...

*Ashley Lou* said...

Is this what you thought MY opinion would be valuable one?? Me?? The one with no children (except the one that may-or may not- be born halfway around the world) haha!!

I love your honesty! Not the first time you have blushed talking about sex on here though, I might add!! I will start with your first issue.

1. I head an interesting theory about this whole "entitlement epidemic" recently that suggested that two generations ago, children were a burden on their families (pre birth control, etc)..and even though they were a great joy to their parents? They are also another mouth to feel. Another body to clothe...and thus? They were expected to carry their weight in supporting the family needs. IN the 60's however, there was the great transformation. Birth control, women in the workforce, and the term "family planning" was coined. That's when couples started "planning" and saving for children and suddenly, children weren't the burden they once were....we bought them stuff, worked for them, encouraged them to forsake responsibility until they were older....hence, entitlement was birthed!

In your particular case...haha, as if I know?!?!... I would talk to her as "grown-up" as possible. She's nine. She 'gets' it. Explain what can and can not be expected of you ever but especially when friends are over and what types of behaviors will result in NO MORE friends coming over...She's old enough to understand consequences for her actions so I say put the ball in her court..Of course, that means, you have stick to your guns, even if that means, taking a friend HOME from a sleepover because you became MAID instead of MOM =)

2. Ahhh...the infamous sex education...Oh, I know so little about this!! (compared to my wealth of parenting wisdom LOL!) but I am certain that if they don't learn it from you--they will learn it from someone else AND that if they don't learn about how sex was designed to be glorifying to God, that they will probably use it to glorify themselves.. I believe that there really is no such thing as a slut or a whore. Honestly, I ache for girls who fall into that path because somebody, someday in their lives failed them. Somebody forgot to tell them how much they deserved. How beautiful and special they were and how God intended for all those feelings to be felt and all that love to be given...and that sex without marriage can't ever produce it in God's perfect way.... I think the "what sex IS" talk has to happen before their friends can tell them about it and the "what sex feels like" happens MUCH. MUCH. later haha!!! I would be curious about that "book" you got! Might be a good resource for a daughter getting married someday!!!

It's a great point, and such an honest approach! Obviously, the path of avoidance that generations before took was NOT working!

Amy said...

Oh, Jen. I love you! I love this post and everything in it. You and I have much the same style of parenting and I know I'm gonna be going down this road with my little ones some day.

One thing has struck me recently and has stayed with me about how we are truly setting an example for our kids...one night Jason was doing the dishes and I was feeding the kids. I casually said to Jason "Thanks for doing that. I really appreciate it!" I didn't really think much of it and continued with whatever I was doing. A few minutes later Easton piped up and said "Daddy tanks doing dat!" Well of course I thought it was just about the cutest thing I had ever heard but then I really just couldn't quit thinking about it. Not only was Easton seeing his Daddy doing dishes but he was hearing me tell him just how much I appreciated it. Hopefully he'll grow up to be the one helping out by doing dishes and will find a wife who will appreciate it just as much as I do.

My point with that whole long story is that you and Matt are doing a fine job. You are both wonderful examples for your children to learn from and I know your amazing kids will turn out to be even more amazing grownups because of you.

And as for that book, I'm glad it helped. As soon as I saw it I thought of you and hoped it would be able to tell you the things that I was too embarrassed to put into words. (Although why I can't talk more openly about sex with one of my best friends is just kinda silly.) For someone who didn't get a very thorough sex education by my parents I don't know how I sorta managed to figure it out on my own. Most of my sex ed came from school (ugh!), Seventeen magazine and whatever I happened to pick up along the way. I definitely don't want my kids going through that because what if they DON'T figure it out. They sure would be missing out on a beautiful and wonderful thing. Glad to know it helped you! :) Love you girl!

SugarberrySensations said...

You truly are!

Wow, what an AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME post my friend!!!!

So much food for thought!!!



Rene' said...

great post. by the way I'm sure it was my daughter who woke everyone up first-ha ha. great points and ideas on sex ed too. wisely worded.
The entitlement observation is so true! That is what bothers me the most about 'bad behavior' from my daughter, it seems she just EXPECTS it and when she doesn't get it she pouts and complains. Drives me nuts. Thanks for the post.