Did You Really Just Call Me Strict & Uptight?
Nearly five years ago, I walked into a conversation where I heard my then 19 year old son’s girlfriend of three months call our parenting “strict and uptight.” Ouch!
Am I a strict Mom? Am I an uptight Mom?
I suppose it depends on who you are and what your definition of what a strict mom or an uptight mom is.
Might I remind you, there are 14 years between my oldest (#1) and my youngest (#3). What’s acceptable for #1 is sometimes (lots of times) different than what is acceptable for #3. So….
IS This What makes me strict & uptight?
If by strict and uptight she meant I’m not okay with her spending the night here – she was right! I’m strict and uptight!
If she was referring to the fact that we wouldn’t just hand over money to #1 for his car – she was right, I’m strict and uptight!
If she was talking about my expectations that my kids clean up after themselves – again, strict and uptight!
Maybe she was referring to the fact that I don’t like swear words to be used around our five year old. Right again, strict and uptight!
Funny, five years later, none of that has changed. Maybe she was right. Maybe I am a strict mom, maybe I am uptight.
But here’s the thing, I’m okay with it. Because what she saw as strict and uptight, I see as just being a good mom.
Why I’m OKAY with being Strict & Uptight
Parenting is a balancing act, a constant struggle between right and wrong, fair and unfair, and reasoning with the unreasonable. And a lot of times, our kids just don’t understand where we’re coming from. Clearly #1 and his girlfriend didn’t.
I’m no prude. I’m not terribly old fashioned, but I don’t think it’s appropriate for #1 to have female guests sharing his bed in my house. First of all – eeeeewww! But more importantly, he has two younger brothers and I don’t think it sets a good example. I get it, he’s a young guy with a hard on, but I don’t want his sex life in my house! Period.
And the money for the car? See here’s the thing, at some point I expect my kids to grow up. #1 was lucky enough to have been given a car when he got his driver’s license. And he chose to trade it in for something he liked better, plow into the back end of another car, replace the second car, modify it and basically fuck it up. Not my problem! If he chose to spend his money souping it up, he can spend his money fixing it. These are the things that grown ups do.
As for the cleaning up…don’t get me started. Again, this is what grown ups do. I have an obligation to the younger two to provide them food and shelter, not the oldest. Regardless, anyone who lives in my house is expected to contribute – it’s part of being family. And it’s one of the rules in my house. You don’t have to like them, but you do have to follow them. Funny…that’s how life works. I don’t love all of the rules at work, but I’m expected to follow them. Same goes for my kids at home or at other’s people’s homes…it’s what polite, civilized people do.
And then there’s the cursing. I’m not asking anyone not to curse, lord knows I love a well placed f-bomb or two. But I don’t curse in front of #3 and I expect the same from others. I know crap, shut up, damn and shit don’t seem all that bad, but coming from the mouth of a kindergartner…it’s not so cute. I don’t think I’m being all that unreasonable asking anyone to watch themselves around him.
Listen, I’m no perfect mom but I am doing what feels right to me on this journey. And if that makes me a strict mom so be it. Because when it comes down to it, these are my kids and I’m the one that has to live with my parenting decisions, right, wrong or indifferent. Not only do I have to live with the decisions, I have to live with these kids. And you know what, my kids are great.
And I’ll wear the strict mom title with pride.