"You're the Worst Mom Ever" and Other Compliments from My Child
Son, remember yesterday when you called me, "the worst mom ever!"? I wanted to thank you for that. Look, I know you were upset that I was making you do yard work... alongside me. I know that I was taking you away from video games. I know you were grumpy for not getting your own way, but baby, that's life. My job is to teach you about life and if that makes me the worst mom ever, I'll take it.
As much as I want you to like me, it's more important for you to respect me. It's more important for you to know boundaries. You need to know the world does not revolve around you. I don't let you win at board games (usually), because there will be times when you'll lose for real and you need to handle disappointment like a champ. I know, I'm mean and you don't want to play with me anymore. Well no one will want to play with you if you're a sore loser. Get over it, my love.
You think I'm picking on you when I ask you to do work around the house. Yes, I know some of it's hard. But you won't live with me forever and you need to have skills that will allow you to not just survive, but thrive. Believe me, girls love a man who cleans his own bathroom. We are a family unit and we all have to work together. The sooner you learn cooperation, the better your life will be.
I know you can't see it now, but there will be a time when you'll thank me for taking TV away because homework came first. You'll thank me because I made you eat carrots and not candy for lunch. You'll thank me because I was always in your business. You'll thank me, not because I was super cool, or permissive or laid back, but because I cared. Because I cared enough to discipline you, and to teach you right from wrong.
Honestly, the names I hear you mutter under your breath sometimes hurt (and sometimes make me giggle: Stinky? Really? Come on, honey). You'll call me much worse as you get older, but you've called me "Mom" since the beginning and that name comes with a whole lot of responsibility.
My child, I love you. I love you too much to let you go off in the world unprepared. I love you enough to let you learn lessons even when they hurt. And I love you so much that I'm grounding you for lying to me...twice in one hour.