Some days I wonder if my role in motherhood is normal in relation to other moms I know or just the mommy masses in general. I mean, is it normal to have to tell your six-year-old, “Please do not step on your sister’s dinner?” I have said that more than once in my lifetime, but seriously who walks on another person’s meal with their feet? How does that happen? Granted this quote typically gets stated during a picnic on the floor, but one time there was a couch and TV tray incident that still leaves me baffled to the core.
I don’t want to mess up my kids, but in trying to help them I feel that I may be causing psychological damage. For instance, personal space is a big issue for me. My daughter’s preschool teachers have introduced me to the mindset of the “invisible hula hoop”. I try hard to explain to my kids that they need to give each other a hula hoop of space, but after a few gentle reminders I often hear myself stating pointedly “Get out of his/her face!” or I blame the victim. If one of my kids starts crying or tattle tailing because a sibling hit them, pushed them, licked them, etc. My first knee jerk reaction is to be mad at the crying/tattling kid because in my head I think, ”Well…you should have been giving them a hula hoop of space then it would not have happened!”.
Is that normal mom behavior?
The short answer is yes…I talked to a lot of mom friends who have these same personal space issues with their kiddos. One of my friends flips back and forth between telling her children, “Stop kissing your siblings” to “NO hitting, kicking, pushing, pinching or spitting”. Kids make parenting so hard because they send mixed messages. What starts out as a nice hug can become a wrestling match in two seconds. There is no normal protocol for this type of behavior. Here are a few more parental quotes from good friends, that let me know that I’m not alone in these trials of parenting.
- “We don’t lick other people.”
- “If you don’t stop driving me crazy I’m turning into Angry Mommy!”
Putting up with trash and the messiness of kids is another thing that toes the line of normalcy for me. I mean, kids are just gross. The wrappers, used tissues, paper plates, empty toy packages, and more that kids (and sometimes a spouse) refuse to put in the garbage can leaves me reeling with frustration. I sometimes worry that my oldest daughter is a hoarder. I have had to fish out numerous empty cereal boxes from under her bed that she keeps because they have a game or funny story on the back side. It makes no sense because we immediately dump cereal into Rubbermaid dispensers, so how does she even get a hold of these boxes? Once I find them, I typically go manic and pull out all of the loose clothes and toys into a huge pile in the middle of the room. Pretty soon all of the kids are in trouble and all are responsible for cleaning and decluttering the mess.
I am not alone in this parenting nightmare of kids and their collectible trash. See the following quotes from real, live, people:
- “I feel like my kids sometimes think the car, house and yard are just giant trash cans and they can throw their sh**/trash/clothes/shoes/candy wrappers anywhere.”
- “I’ve also been told (by my kids), ‘You love telling us to put our stuff away; that’s why we leave it out.’ That is false, I do not love it.”
My husband is probably just as guilty, as me, of losing it and going abnormally overboard regarding clutter in a child’s bedroom. Our girls want to save it all: price tags, candy wrappers that have jokes on them, old and new coloring sheets, junk mail, past birthday invites, Valentines Day Cards from years prior, and the list could continue forever and ever and ever. There are a lot of tears shed when my husband enters their closet to find a specific thing and the frustration takes hold. He is known for grabbing a garbage sack and making “tough choices” when it comes to getting rid of unnecessary items.
The Table & Eating
Nothing makes a parent feel like they and their children are not normal than the discussions that have to be had at the dinner table. I am going to just leave it at that, and share some hilarious quotes from real life parents:
- “Get your feet off of the table!”
- “’If you eat all your supper I’ll take you for ice cream’ – just negates all the good food I put in their little bodies…”
- “Don’t chew on your silverware.”
- “We don’t eat eggs with our fingers.”
I think I question my sanity and level of normalcy a lot because parenthood makes me scatterbrained and that is so against my overly organized personality. It is hard to admit, but on two different occasions I have actually been holding a child on my hip and nervously scouring a restaurant looking for that same child because I am convinced they wandered off somewhere. On one occasion my husband politely pointed out that I was holding the “missing” kid, and on the other occasion my mom and aunt looked at me like an alien. This probably isn’t quite so normal, but hold the medications for now because I have had some mommy allies explain to me that the same things happened to them a time or two. Which proves it does happen to the best of us, or I have really nice friends who are not ready to see me in a straight jacket.
The only normal thing about being a mom or a dad is that there is absolutely nothing normal about it, and here are a few ending quotes to prove it (said by real moms, I swear!)
- “It is not safe to read your book while you are walking down the stairs or riding your bike. You are going to time out if I see you doing that again!!”
- “Quit biting your toenails.”
- “Whose poop is in the toilet?”
- “Why are you outside with no clothes on?”
- “Stop eating the butter!”
- “Don’t chew on your hair.”
- “Stop touching your feet while you eat.”
Feel normal yet? Do you have any quotes to contribute? Let us know by leaving a comment or sending an email to email@example.com