Bullying Today — Mommy Style

“You’re a strict mom!”

Is what I hear when I am putting my kids in line at the grocery store. When I am forcing them to respect personal boundaries, not to grab everything in sight, and overall behave like a human in public.

“Kids these days…”

Is what I hear from little old ladies when I am putting my kids in line at the grocery store. When I am forcing them to respect personal boundaries, not to grab everything in sight, and overall behave like a human in public.

So where are these people when I’m doing it right? I was once told in a corporate training seminar that…’a satisfied customer may tell one person, but a dissatisfied customer will tell seven….’ This shows what kind of a society we live in, where the negative will always hold stronger weight than the positive. And that’s….sad. And it sucks.

As moms, we are constantly striving to do the right thing; to balance out the mean and the nice, to find a happy medium wherein, at the end of the day, we can have a glass of wine (or beer, in my case) and say, “I think I did a pretty good job today.” And by that I mean, no one died, or went to the hospital. Everyone ate something of substance, got fresh air, and is relatively clean.  I also didn’t  bash or judge any other moms for doing their f***ing job.

Lewis Black, the comedian, said it best, “We are all, like snowflakes. Each of us is full of s*** in our own special way. We are all s***ty little snowflakes dancing in the universe.”

Lew speaks the truth. We are all different. Just trying to live life the best we can, and while we are all different, we are all after the same goal, no? Raising decent humans who will run the world someday. Whether they be educators, electricians, business owners, moms, dads, or even presidents, we all just want our kids to be happy in the choices they make, so they can not only be successful, but find happiness in what they choose.

We all judge people. We know that. It’s a sport sometimes. Sitting at a party, where you know no one, in a corner drinking your boones farm and wondering if the hairstyle she has somehow reflects her sub par parenting skills. Why? It makes you feel better. That maybe her hair do makes her a worse mom than you. Some people are just brave enough to outwardly express what they are feeling. But when has it become regular practice to tell moms they are not doing their jobs? Bullies are everywhere. Not just in middle school anymore, Im sad to say. As we get older, we just get craftier about it, we learn to avoid the principal’s office. We learn how to judge on social media, behind their back, and silently, behind closed doors.

As for me, I make mistakes. All day, all the time. I told my kid to shut up once out of pure, unfiltered anger. Was that the right wording? Probably not. But let me tell you, he was telling me what a crap day he had, after an afternoon of swimming and a lunch date to Applebees. Needless to say, I felt it was my place to show how ungrateful he was being. Let me tell you, he never said it again. Did I feel guilty? Yes. Of course. But that’s what parenting is about.

Am I strict? Yes. But that’s me. That’s how I chose to parent. I am not their friend. I am their mom. I don’t need to know the ins and outs of being a kid these days. They do. And while we desperately sometimes try and understand each other, that may not always happen.

After all, we are separated by 30 years. Three decades of music, television, technology, climate change, presidents and economy. They live in a different world than ours. They are reacting to life as it is NOW, not THEN, and it’s our job to set boundaries, keep them in check with what’s real in life. Not to mention, to learn to love our fellow s****y snowflakes.

So you can judge me now, because I cursed in an article, told my kid to shut up and told them I wasn’t their friend. That’s okay. I’m okay with my choices. But while you’re judging me, others are most certainly judging you. It’s a vicious circle. And it needs to end.

Do you know why kids bully? Yeah. Me too. And I’m not dumb enough to think, at one point, my kids will stoop low and hurt others. They will make bad choices. And one day they will learn that those choices are not ones they wants to continue, that hurting others only makes you feel horrible inside.

Thirty years is a large generation gap, and sometimes things can be hard to overcome. But judging others has no gap. It has no time line, it has no end.

So, I’ll make a deal with you ladies. I won’t judge you for doing yoga and having your house Feng schwa, (I’m only jealous, because my body won’t bend that way and the book I read on Feng schwa made me cry), and you don’t judge me for feeding my kids cake for breakfast and drinking alone in the bathroom.

Let’s just be friends. After all, our kids are the future.

Cheers,

Mandy

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