Realistic Parenting Styles


Like many who came before me, my theoretical parenting style (“Understanding Mom” with a touch of “I-Work-And-Don’t-Have-Time-For-This-Shit”) differs greatly from the style I’ve finally adopted (a cross between “Everything’s on Fire!” and “I-Made-This-Shit-With-My-Own-Two-Motherfucking-Hands”).

As I’ve grown older, I’ve become more comfortable being myself. I’ve found parents more like me and tossed the inauthentic, insufferable bitches in the discard pile.

About a year ago, a little asshole kid from down the block (he might be a totally normal, loving child but once you cross my kid – you’re an asshole to me) was riding by our house with Lola and I outside. He made some disparaging remark about my daughter and I lost my shit. Sure, I probably should have stopped him and had some loving mom conversation about being nice to our friends. I probably should have asked him to empathize, reminding him that he probably wouldn’t be too happy if someone talked badly about him, especially in earshot. I maybe should’ve said something to his mom. I probably should have let it go but after a particularly trying day – I just couldn’t. And sure, he was probably only about nine. But instead of all of the things I should’ve done, full of rage, I screamed “FUCK YOU! Go play by your own house!!” as he rode away.

[Sidenote: I don’t think the apple falls far from the tree. When I was in third or fourth grade my mom was taken to small claims court for giving the finger to some girl my age down the block for saying something nasty about me. I don’t remember if she actually gave her the finger or not. I do remember that she was lucky that all she got was a hand gesture.]

Then a few weeks ago I met the Sunday morning sunrise with a raging hangover. Vodka does it every time. Like a “Am-I-Hungover-or-Still-Drunk?” hangover. Like a “Why-Is-the-World-Spinning-So-Fast-Am-I-In-Another-Dimension” hangover. Like a “Surely-I’m-Close-to-Death” hangover. It happens to the best of us.

My eight-year-old comes wandering into my room with sleepy eyes and a blanket over her head inquiring as to whether we were going out to pick up breakfast. I responded as if I were giving her my last wishes from a flat lying position complete with raspy “Patty and Thelma” voice.

“Mommy’s hungover; make yourself some waffles. Please bring me a water every hour and make sure I’m alive.”

And you know, before becoming a parent these were not situations I ever visualized myself living. This isn’t in the pamphlets that Babies”R”Us distributes to expectant moms. You don’t read this shit on the BabyCenter boards. But you can’t let it box you in. I still hand make her Valentine’s cards. I’m still a full-fucking-time rockin’ Dance Mom on the weekends when we spend 48-hours at competition, fighting with the kid over hair and make-up decisions. I still throw the most bangin’ birthday parties a late-thirties mom could possibly throw.

And most importantly – I’ll still fight an nine-year-old like a bear if I’m pushed.

What’s your parenting style? Comment and let me know how outrageously you run shit.


Comments 3

  1. This will be fun. I don’t know if I have a “style” because I am not always too sure I am, in effect, parenting. My 2 oldest rarely leave their grandparents, and my youngest is wild. Ran-into-the-street-at-open-house-in-front-of-a-principal-and-cop Wild.

    I don’t care too much about things I think a lot of parents do. For the girl, she is free to express herself in any way with hair, makeup, clothes, music etc. I think it has worked out. She is happy with her appearance and expressing herself. Her friends,like mine, are all over the place. There isn’t a group she is solely a part of, she is tolerant of all lifestyles, religions, races etc. She loves music and books. When you see her, she isn’t doing homework, she is reading and listening to her favorite 90’s hip hop. She reads for fun. She reads non-fiction books for fun. And she is choir geek! I have always been unforgiving honest with her about EVERYTHING.

    The boys run my life. It is weird. I have 2 little guys that basically run the house, I am allowed to stay and pay for things. They have always been lovers of the outdoors (yuck!) so I have made sure they always have plenty of outdoor activities and toys at their disposal. Right now my backyard looks like a carnival and we are clearing an area for a pool. They don’t care too much for reading, but they love to spell and count. We love to sing together and they love to dance. I have no rhythm but they haven’t figured it out YET. I am honest with them and use adult words and language. Sometimes they slip up, but they know what they can and cant say overall. Though, I care so little about profanity, it doesn’t shock me or offend me at all.

    So bottom line, who knows. The pediatrician keeps giving them stellar reports.Kanye Shrug

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