“BUT, I didn’t do it!” and, “That’s not mine!” is the new black.
I lost it on Sunday. Like, really lost it and not in the cute way where I turn a moment of weak parenting into a joke on social media or, make a great meme or, in the million other small ways that do nothing but advance the stereotype of the wine-fueled “Momster” that has been my bread and butter for so long. For too long.
I lost it and had this out-of-body “I SEE YOUR BULLSHIT!” moment about everything in my life. My kids were jerks. So was I. Just a globe of jerkiness being flooded by a tsunami of selfishness.
I’d had enough.
I’ve had enough of bullshit stories about how we’re ruining our children when we expect too much of them. So now, we expect nothing. In kind, they give nothing and then we’re supposed to take that nothing and make happiness out of it by overdoing every holiday, birthday and Arbor Day with crafts. Bullshit.
I’ve had enough of spoiled children who want for nothing but still want everything. Nothing is enough. Because they have everything. And we’re supposed to give everything because NOTHING is more important than their happiness. Bullshit.
You know what’s more important? Global citizenship. And a whole host of things bigger than worrying about the zinc in your diaper cream.
I asked them to clean their rooms and they started a very well known diatribe about whose toys were on the floor and a very succinct, Atticus Finch-like defense of why they shouldn’t have to clean anything they didn’t physically place on the ground.
And, I lost it.
Because, enough. ENOUGH. ENOUGH.
I’ve had enough of how we’re all too comfortable imposing responsibility on everyone else. I impose my aggravation and quick temper on my kids. They impose their laziness on me and we get stuck; as we pour our worst qualities all over each other. Then when we feel guilty, we let internet heroes tell us how we’re doing it wrong.
It’s not about who left the decapitated Barbie on the floor; it’s about global citizenship and Little House on the Prairie.
LOOK! Everyone gathers wood for the fire.
We’re so bored that we can’t even figure out how to help one another without praise. So we buy stickers and charts and give everyone rewards for being a global citizen in a world that will fall to dust unless everyone stops getting stickers for being a good person.
Just pick up the damn Barbie.
My 10-year-old is examining her conscience; what makes her feel like she’s participating fully and what makes her feel like she’s stuck in moral quicksand.
And, I’m sitting well beyond her preteen brain explosion wondering the same thing…what am I doing?
What am I truly doing wrong? Am I doing anything right?
As with any moment of clarity, you have to get out of your own bullshit’s way to own it.
Yes, I am responsible for the decapitated Barbie.
- My kids drive me crazy but, that’s not why I drink more than I should. I do it because I have an addictive personality and I’m more socially awkward than I let on. Drinking helps.
- I yell. A lot. I yell because they’re turds. Also, because my parents yelled at me. Also, because yelling works. I get results when I yell. I like results more than I dislike yelling. Yelling helps.
- When I’m mad and my kids hug me, I sometimes recoil. I do this because I’m incredibly bad at being angry. I’m the suckiest, meanest angry person ever. I’m a bad human when I’m angry.
- Sometimes, I leave all of the dishes in the sink because I can be a passive-aggressive. OR, I do it because I’m tired. OR, I do it because instead of just saying, “Hey, can you do the dishes?”, I like to put people through silent tests of character.
I’m owning my bullshit. For the good of global citizenship and because I’m tired of saying that the mess spread all over the floor of my life isn’t mine.
And that’s where family comes in. We’re in this together. The Barbies and the dishes and the taking care of each other. Expecting more from each other. We have to start expecting much, much more from each other.
Their room was clean in 10 minutes. We’re not allowed to say, “I didn’t make that mess!” anymore. Life is always going to be messy.
We all help make it. We all help clean it up.