By: Mia L. Hazlett
If there is a mean mother, could you please raise your hand or stand. I stand with pride. After ten years of parenting, you have to come at me with more than “mean.” Again the name of this blog, Mommy Not Friend. I really don’t care if my kids like me. I will make rules and stick to them. If they don’t like them, I don’t care. And I do mean that from the bottom of my heart. I will be mean mom and have little children talk about me to each other.
I had a friend tell me one time, “your kids only get one childhood, they’re going to be adults for the rest of their lives.” I took that to heart. I personally feel kids these days (I sound so old writing that) are given parental passes to grow up too fast. If they want, they get. This instant satisfaction has created manic children that have no sense of patience and enjoying the moment. So my oldest asked me the other night, “why did I have to wait until I was ten to get my ears pierced?” My response, “Pierced ears take a level of responsibility, upkeep, and a slight weekly, monthly, or annual fee depending on how often you want to get new earrings. I’m not doing that for you. I needed to know you would be old enough to know how to clean your ears, take care of the earrings you receive, and buy your own. I determined ten to be that age.”
On her tenth birthday last September, we went to the store, she picked out her earrings, and then got her ears pierced. Since she was at least five, she had been looking forward to that tenth birthday. When she turns 14, she can wear colored lip gloss and mascara. If she can prove to me in that year she can come home and not “look like some huzzy who should be standing in the combat zone,” (apparently that’s what my mother thought I looked like with my make-up attempt), she will be able to graduate to a full make-up face by 15 or 16. I have allowed her to wear nail polish. That’s easily removable and I just don’t have a problem with it. I guess the most important thing to mention here, she didn’t die because I made her wait. She is very much alive, and I fulfilled my promise. Over the years there was significant begging at points, but I had a bargaining chip that she finally comprehended by the time she turned seven, “ask me one more time and we can move it to eleven.” Maybe a few attempts to persuade after that, but no begging.
When it comes to the boyfriend thing, that’s a we’ll see thing. I have to wait and see when that interest begins to form. At that point I will determine what is an appropriate age. To set an age right now, would be irresponsible on my part. And that milestone will come with its own set of stages. Talking on the phone, coming over or going over houses, and unchaperoned dates, will be determined by me. They have to meet me and her sister and I have to meet his parents. I’m sure at some point we’ll review again, how she can become pregnant. And I’m a tough love mom, I’ll find some family member or friend that has an infant she will have to solely take care of for a weekend.
Now don’t get me wrong, when it comes to the boy thing, I’m not naive or dumb. I have no doubts that my daughters could come home pregnant one day as teenagers. I’m well aware they can sneak around and do whatever. But my kids know I’m pop-up mom. I’ve left work early and done daycare and home pop-ups. “Wow, Mommy what are you doing home so early?” They are happy to see me now, but I’m sure my pop-up surprises will one day be unpopular. Plus we have the technology today that my parents never had, camera phones. My BFF made me hip to the, “take a picture of who you’re with and where you’re at and send it to me now.” If they come home pregnant, it’s not because I didn’t try to raise them the best I could.
There is the whole cell phone thing. Nope. At 10 and 5, my kids aren’t allowed anywhere where there are not responsible adults I trust with my children’s care. Whether school events or friend’s houses, those are pick-up drop-off occasions. Where I drop you off, is where I’m gonna pick you up. Oh yeah, I don’t need to tell you when I’m picking you up, just be here. There is a land-line in the house. Anyone they want to talk to on the phone can call the land-line or my cell phone. But at 10 and 5, why would I even think of incurring a bill? Once again, nope.
The thing is, I’ve seen many parents throw up their hands and say stupid things like, “well they’re going to do it anyways.” I’m very careful when it comes to labeling kids “bad.” I’m much more free when labeling parents as LAZY. Kids need guidance, discipline, and rules. The one thing I’ve instilled in my daughters, there’s a difference between being in trouble and facing consequences. Being in trouble means, you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, but basically you weren’t doing anything bad. That’s my definition of being in trouble. Facing consequences is when you know you did wrong and are now dealing with the set punishment. I enforce the rules. My daughter was on her way to waiting until eleven before the ear-piercing. So, in the words of my friend, “your kids only get one childhood, they’re going to be adults for the rest of their lives.” What’s the rush to make them join a population that wishes they could be kids again?