A few days ago, a friend started asking us for the things we say that make us feel like “moms” – you know, like “Shut the front door, you weren’t raised in a barn!”
I started thinking about all of the things that have shocked me as they came out of my mouth. You know those surreal moments when you say something and think to yourself, “Did I really just say that?” Motherhood is full of surprises, I tell ya!
1. “Because I said so.”
There have been times when my daughter didn’t like an answer I gave her and for some reason or another, I couldn’t give her an explanation. This could be because I was planning a surprise, I knew something that she didn’t, etc.
Daughter: Can I go to my friend’s house?
Me: No. (because I knew that said friend’s father grew pot plans in his closet and didn’t want her in their house)
Me: Because I said so.
When I was in elementary school, I wanted to spend the night at a friend’s house so badly! She lived in our apartment complex and I just couldn’t understand why my parents refused to let me go, since she lived so close. I thought they were just being mean. Years later, I found out that my friend’s father was very abusive and that my parents were protecting me from being in that environment. There are times when parents just can’t tell their children the reasons, and no just has to be good enough!
2. “People only have sex when they are trying to have a baby because it’s so gross.”
We held out on the birds and the bees talk for a long time because honestly, it just never came up. Until one day when my daughter saw a male dog attached to a female dog…and wanted to know what the hell was going on. She was 10. I told her what sex was, how it happened, and then that look of realization came into her eyes, and she asked me, “Do you and daddy have sex?”
I lied. I just flat out lied. Of all of the things I swore I’d never do, lying was the big one. But let’s get real – who wants their 10 year old wondering that they’re having sex every time they close the bedroom door?
Mom & Dad: I take back what I said about you being horrible parents for lying to me (for my own good) when I was growing up!
3. “Because I am the adult and you are the child.”
When I was a teenager and disagreed with something my parents said, I never understood why my opinion didn’t matter as much as theirs. It just didn’t make sense to me! I vowed that I would always listen and give my future children a chance to have their say…but as I’ve dealt with some of those same situations, I find myself telling my daughter the same thing my parents told me: “Because I am the adult.”
My daughter doesn’t like this answer any more than I liked receiving it from my parents twenty years ago, but it now makes sense to me – after you’ve completed school, worked hard at a job to support your family and maintain a household, you have a right to make decisions on behalf of someone who’s only responsibility in life is to have fun.
I tell my daughter that after she gets a job and starts being responsible for cooking, cleaning, raising children and supporting herself, then her opinion will matter as much as mine.
What are some of the things that you say, as a parent, that you thought you’d never say?