So, when Landry was a baby I had a very short series of blog posts that I called, "Mommy Moment Mondays." I found that there were several things...as part of being a new mom...that had changed in my life and I decided to poke fun at them as opposed to letting them drive me crazy. Now, I know that today is not Monday...and it has been a few years since I have done one...but today CALLED for one.
That's right, you read it...it CALLED for one...so enjoy!
One of the many things that I learned VERY quickly as a new mom was that everyone had some sort of advise, tip, way of doing it better, and crazy idea to pass on to you. Sometimes these things were actually helpful. Sometimes I was left standing in shock at what a stranger had just told me.
And sometimes I just wanted to tell people to "butt out!"
One of my biggest surprises was the "Mommy Competition." You don't know of the "Mommy Competition?" Well...where do you live because I would LOVE to join you! The "Mommy Competition" is this secret society of mommies...probably ranging in age from late 20s to early 40s...that like to pretend that their children are perfect. Their house is always clean. They only feed their children the best foods...as opposed to others of us that in times of weakness...or near mental breakdown...shove a bag full of M&Ms at our child and PRAY he will just be quiet for 4.6 seconds. Their child is always perfectly behaved...in matching outfits...that are spotless...and name brand. They have scheduled days filled with trips to the library, parks, volunteer hours, and all kinds of stimulating things...as opposed to others of us that will turn on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and once again PRAY that our child will sit quietly and watch it so that we MIGHT be able to get the laundry put away, dishes done...or I don't know...shower without an audience. Or maybe it is because...once again...we are on the verge of a mental breakdown...and we just need our child to leave us alone...before we lose it.
If you're in the "Mommy Competition" you don't know what losing it means so you are probably really confused right now...because you would NEVER lose it with your perfectly fed, perfect behaving children in your perfect house.
**If you think I am losing it...I might be. :) No, not really...this is just my sarcastic side...but I know many of you reading this can probably relate. I should also add...I love being a mommy...most of the time. :)**
Back to the competition...I think that one of the biggest players in the "Mommy Competition" is social media...and one of my dearest friends...Pinterest. I know, I hate to talk bad about it...but let's be real...Pinterest has created a whole new kind of crazy in our lives. I mean from meals that look like animals or tropical islands, to crazy elves on shelves, leprechauns that are now part of our life, an Easter Bunny that does way more than just leave a basket of candy, and the list goes on. And I know...I can be just as guilty as the next mom...especially with birthday parties...in wanting to create all of these "magical" moments for our kids. Of course, once we have created them...we want to share them with the entire world. To sum it up, the "Mommy Competition" is a group of women that like to make others feel that they are better at this job we call motherhood. Basically they have all of their s**t together and the rest of us are kind of pathetic.
Here is where I HOPE I am different...I am not afraid to admit it when my child is being a brat, when I don't feed him the most nutritional meal, when my house is a wreck...which is 98% of the time...when my child is wearing the same clothes...for the second or even third day in a row. And...I am certainly not afraid to tell my kid, "No" just because I said so.
That gasp you are hearing is from all of the mommies in the "Mommy Competition." :)
Now...I am getting to the point of my blog post...mommy moment...life lesson...for today. Cut me some slack...I had to fill you in on the "back story" first. :)
Many of you know the sweet-faced, strawberry blonde, quiet, mellow, cautious, child that we call Landry. Thankfully...many of you do not know the stubborn, smart-mouthed, argumentative, fit throwing, brat, that Chad and I call, "YOUR son"...as in, he doesn't belong to me...he belongs to you. :) Yes, we love him with all of our heart...but...just like every other child...there are times when he is...a brat!
Many of you also know that he is our one and only. He is also the only grand child...and the only nephew. So...there are times when he is definitely spoiled and needs to be reminded that everything is not just handed to you. Yes, he is only four...but I would rather teach him now, that you have to work for things in life, than trying to teach him later on life...like when he has no job, car, or money because he doesn't think he has to work for what he wants.
So...after some brainstorming...and trying to figure out a way to get Landry to understand that he needs to work for things he wants, be appreciative for what he has, he needs to listen to us the first time, not argue, be helpful, and most importantly be respectful...I came up with the "Yogurt Fund."
On the first week of vacation Landry and I went to the bank and I got a roll of quarters. When we came home I put some of the quarters in a glass votive holder. I labeled the other one, "Landry's Yogurt Fund." Then I told him that he could earn a quarter for a variety of things...such as: good behavior at the dinner table, cleaning up his messes without being asked, helping Chad or I do something, getting dressed without whining, getting ready for bed without whining, taking a nap without whining, and so on. Do you see the pattern of "not whining?" I also told him that if he argued, threw a fit about something, was rude, and so on...he would have to take a quarter out and give it back. Once he had enough quarters to buy frozen yogurt...which was the reward he chose...we would go. But...he couldn't have frozen yogurt until he had enough money.
It started off great! He was an absolute gem...being polite, not whining, stopping himself before he started to argue...and I was feeling like a genius! :) Then we hit a slump...a big slump. At one point he actually turned to me and told me, "I don't even want to get a quarter. I don't even want frozen yogurt. I will just have a different treat...on a different day." Not gonna lie...he almost died that day. :) But...I stuck with it...and guess what...by the next day we were back on.
Now, it wasn't always easy. He definitely had to give some quarters back and earn them again...but he worked for it. And he was sooooooo proud this morning when he earned his last quarter. He was also a bit surprised when I bagged up his quarters and put a new batch of quarters in the empty votive holder. "I have to work for frozen yogurt again? This is going to take me FOREVER!!!!" I quickly reminded him that with an attitude like that, yes, it will take you forever...but if you are a good listener, respectful, and help...we will be getting more yogurt in no time. :)
Here he is with them...in the parking lot of the frozen yogurt place this afternoon...
We were getting our yogurt, he added his toppings, he was so excited, and he was paying for it all on his own...when I just about lost it! His total came to $2.65 so I told him that he needed to count out 11 quarters and give it to the girl at the counter. Again, he was so excited to be counting them out, when I turned to see two moms...with their small children...sitting at a table...and one of the moms says,
"Look at her. I cannot believe she is making him pay for his yogurt with his own money. She has a Coach purse for God's sake...but she can't even buy her kid a frozen yogurt?"
I should be given an award for not going totally CRAZY on this mother!!!!!!!!!
I was literally shaking with anger!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Welcome to the "Mommy Competition."
I managed to keep myself composed, focused on Landry...who was beaming with pride that he was giving the clerk the money...and shook my head at the ignorance of the two moms. When I got home, a friend had shared a link, to a great blog-post, that I soooooooo wish I would have had with me...because I would have simply handed them a copy of it...and walked away. Here is a link to the post...
I am sure you can tell that I am still so angry with this mother. But...you know what...I am a firm believer in karma...and I have a feeling she will get her's. And another thing...she can think that I am the WORST mother on the planet for not buying his yogurt for him. As the author of the other blog post...who is Kristen...clearly an awesome name...writes...and I am paraphrasing...kids need to know that they have to work for what they want in life. Life isn't going to give them everything they want. So, to the other moms in the yogurt shop...I wish them the best of luck!
I know that I love to throw a birthday party, filled with fun details...but I also know that I am a firm believer in my child earning what he has and being grateful for it...or he will lose it. Ask him about his lamp...yup...it got taken away.
I also hope that my blog posts, Facebook posts, Instagram pictures, so on...never give anyone the feeling that I am a perfect mom and our life is all dandy. Trust me...I so do not have everything together...and I am so not perfect...and not afraid to show it. Why can't all of us moms just be real with each other and laugh at each other when it is our turn to have the child that is screaming bloody murder in the Chinese food restaurant because you didn't buy him a soda, announcing to stangers that he is a tooting machine, or sharing with the entire dressing room that he can see your butt jiggle.
Admit it...you have all been "that" mom...or dad. :)
I almost forgot...here is MY sweet boy...enjoying his hard earned frozen yogurt!