Maybe Mom Wasn’t That Crazy…

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I know that there are a lot of women in the world who grow up, have a kid, and all of the sudden, they understand all of the insanity of their own mothers. My own mom even told me that when she was a new mom she called her mother one day to apologize and tell her that she now understood all of the crazy things she did and said and that they really weren’t all that crazy.

                I feel like I was lucky in a way because my dad told me his reasoning for all of the things he did as a parent and translated my mom’s reasoning as well because my mom was notorious for the “because I said so” mom line.

Everything was really put into perspective for me at a young age and I was given this sort of advantage in a way. Since my dad really laid everything out for me, I didn’t really feel like I needed to ask ‘why’ anymore and this saved my parents and me so much stress.

                Being called home from a party or sleepover a little early is the absolute worst when you’re having fun. But when you get home and slam your bedroom door and mutter all the nastiness you can think of under your breath, you’re safe. You’re at home and not on the road at the same time as the guy who had one too many drinks and then drove home. You’re not the girl at the party throwing back whatever drink you can find and passing out God knows where. You’re no longer out doing who knows what with who knows who and now your parents can sleep knowing you’re at home and not in any possible danger. This was a talk my dad gave me when I contested his strict curfew policy. I was nineteen and engaged to be married and I still had to be home at 10pm on weeknights and 11pm on weekends. But when he told me that he doesn’t go to sleep until he knows I’m home, I never questioned it again.

                Chores as a kid are really not originally intended to take any burden off your parents. I know that my brother and I hated our chores with a passion. Of course, I had way more and way bigger chores than he did, but regardless, everybody hates chores. One time a girl at school asked me, “why do you have to clean your mom’s house? It’s her house, so why should you clean it?” I told my dad what the girl had said, my dad’s response was eye opening. Some may disagree, but I never questioned again why I had to do things around their house. He told me that I don’t just live there for free. That girl was right that it is their house, not mine. Therefore, they allow me to live there. Meaning I don’t get any monetary allowance because my “allowance” is being allowed to live in their house, allowed to eat their food and allowed to wear the clothes that they buy for me with their money. In my dad’s words, I didn’t just live there for free. I worked for what I got. Meaning I cleaned the house to “earn my keep” so to speak. Why should he and mom go to work all day long to pay for all this stuff and then have to come home and do all the work in the house. That’s not fair. My outlook on it is that, regardless of earning one’s keep or whatever, chores teach kids responsibility and prepare them for real life. If my dad had never taught me how to sweep a floor as a kid, I’d have one nasty house. Leaving my brother and I with regular chores that had to be done every single day taught us to have responsibility to take care of the things we need and to take initiative when something needed to be done. No one should have to tell you to clean the kitchen if you know for a fact that you must do it every day. No has to tell you to go to work when you know that you go to work every day from 9 to 5. You just get up off your rear end and go to work because you know that is your responsibility.

                There are a lot of things that people may disagree with their parents about, but in the end, it can only be for your good. Do you know any reason for your parents to tell you to do something that’s going to get you hurt or put you in any bad situation? I can say that there are certain ways to go about different things and that, while an explanation is not always entirely necessary for everything you do, it would certainly help. My mom would tell me that she didn’t have to explain herself, that she was the mom and I was to do whatever she said just because she said so. My dad was really good at explaining his reasoning and points, making me a lot more respectful of what he said. There was always good reason behind it, even if I didn’t know what the reason was for everything, it didn’t matter to me because, based on all the times he did give a reason, it made perfect sense to me, so I trusted him and didn’t question him nearly as much. I feel like communication is the biggest thing in any relationship, even parent/child relationships. My dad and I communicated about everything within reason and my dad is my absolute best friend.

 

                Not all moms are crazy and not all moms are our best friends, but I’m sure all moms have made their kids mad at them in some way at some point. But the only thing to remember is that whatever she did or said to make her kids mad, probably had a good reason behind it. So now that you look back on your own childhood, maybe mom wasn’t that crazy… And maybe now you can learn from her and yourself as a child, to see if there’s anything you’d like to change about your relationship with your own kids or if there’s anything you’d like to try with your future children.

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