Thursday, March 13, 2008

Good Mom/Bad Mom

I know that throughout the years that I've been a mother, I've often questioned how good of a mom I really am. One thing I have learned is that it is very difficult to be a mom and a friend to my children. There are days that I don't want to cook. I want to sit and read and not get out of bed. I want to be able to watch TV and order Pizza and not get out of my pajamas.

The weird thing about that is that even when I'm sick, running a fever, body aches and all the wonderful stuff that comes with having the flu, I feel guilty. I worry about the kids not eating the "right" things. What if they don't have the sense to brush their teeth and wash their hands because I'm not right there to tell them? Never mind that my teenage type offspring is already 17 years old and my 9 yr old princess can at the very least pop a Hot Pocket in the microwave to keep herself from starving. We have a pantry full of what I call lazy food. Ramen noodles, canned soup, crackers, cereal, ChefBoyardee, etc. A freezer that is overflowing with frozen dinners for quick, if unhealthy, eating. They couldn't possibly starve!

Why do I have to worry about the bathrooms being clean and the dishes being washed when I don't feel good? The laundry can wait so what is the big deal? What was built into our genetic makeup that makes me feel like I am a bad mother if I skip cooking a meal for my family? On the other hand, if my husband gets sick, I wait on him. If I get sick, he gets take-out for dinner. The clothes remain unwashed, the bathrooms uncleaned, the dishes pile up. He sits and watches TV or plays games on the computer because he doesn't mind living in a messy house.

If I go out to run errands or shopping or to go pray for a family and I'm gone for more than a couple hours, I call home (is that disgusting or what) to make sure the kids have eaten. Can I pick something up for them? Did they brush their teeth? Feed the cats, bird, etc. Why does the laundry being dirty while I'm out taking care of business stress me out?

I can't be a good mom and a good friend to them. Good friends don't make them brush their teeth, clean their rooms, do their chores, etc. Good friends would let them eat donuts for dinner with a glass of soda. Good friends don't care if they have chips for breakfast. Cookies for lunch. Heck, good friends wouldn't even make them take a bath!

I, however, am a bad mom for getting on to them about everything. I cook homemade lasagna only to have them choose Ramen noodles over a dish made from scratch that took me 3 hours to prepare. My chicken enchiladas go uneaten by them because well, who knows what kind of "healthy" ingredient I might have slipped in there. Lobster will go to waste, except for what my husband and I will eat because it smells "fishy". The teenager type will eat grilled cheese sandwiches over anything else.

One day, when they are grown and on their own, they're going to miss me. I just know it and then I will get my revenge. I will go to their respective homes and walk in with muddy shoes and wipe my greasy fingers on their new couches. I will go to the bathroom and pee all over the toilet and not clean it. I will balk at their meal offerings and complain about everything. I will tease their pets until they scream in desperation. Not the pets, the kids. I will leave the balled up paper around their house and not care. I will leave the lights on in every room of their humble abodes. I will invite them over for a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner and serve them all Ramen Noodle soup. I will, I promise, you watch me.

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