The ones who put the mom in sweet and savage mom. My Irish twins Cami, 9 and Cael, 8.
“Motherhood is equal parts sweet and savage; with a whole lot of not knowing what the hell you are doing.”
–Sweet and Savage Mom
You can be a sweet and savage mom:
Let me be the first to say it is socially acceptable to love your children to your core and still think they are the biggest a** holes. But remember, those a** holes are your spawn. You and who ever helped you make them are the only ones to blame. But really, kids are born selfish, demanding, and completely ignorant to your needs. They are the ultimate inconvenience. Don’t get me wrong I love being a mother and I love my little a** holes. But there are times I just throw up my hands and say,
“I quit, you want to act like a crazy person go ahead, tell me how that works out for you.”
I do not have time to be a helicopter mom. My husband may have jumped out of them for a living, but this mom takes a more hands off approach. I will not micromanage my kids. The world will not do it, and I will not enable them to do it in my house or on my time. But, I will correct them and be completely savage if they act like a fool and forget their manners. (see savage mom) I did not raise while animals.
For example: If my son acts like a complete baby because I took his game away, I will get in his face and let him know that behavior is not acceptable, EVER! I try not to yell (I said try), so I get right in is ear or right in his face so he knows I am not messing around. I demand their complete attention. If he wants to act like a baby then a baby he shall be treated like. It usually works. Sometimes I feel like an a** hole myself, but they need to know in this family it is not a democracy. I am their dictator until they prove to me they can be responsible and practice what I preach.
To be completely honest my husband is much better at discipline than I am, but when he is not around, which is a lot due to military life, it is up to me to be consistent. It is exhausting. But, I know I am not alone.
This is by far the hardest part of parenting. Can I get an AMEN, hell yes, eye roll, dear lord for this one? It is exhausting being consistent in discipline. Like, the worst part of parenting!!! I love my kids and would give nothing more than to be the cool and fun mom 24/7, but that is not how you raise children. I am not their friend. I am the person charged with raising them so they don’t grow up to be serial killers, tide pod eating teens. Instead they will be manner using, full functioning, high morals, contributing to society people. If it kills me, and somedays it almost does.
Working in the sweetness:
A wise woman told me you have to have equal parts tenderness and toughness to be a mom. She could not be more right. Being a mom means knowing when to forgo punishment because they actually need the sweet mom for a change. This is never more true when it comes to raising my daughter. She is much more sensitive than I ever was growing up. So many times I have to remind myself to turn down the savage side and be what she needs in the moment.
Example: Cami does not like when people say shut up to her. If I even tell her to shut her mouth, she will lose it. Very sensitive that one is. One day a friend told her to shut up (probably because she doesn’t stop talking, see past post for more deatils) but it was a close friend and that really hurt her feelings. Instead of being savage and pointing out how much she talks and that she could have possibly deserved it or telling her she should find better friends, I knew she needed a sweet mom. For me this is not easy. I am more of a get over it and try not to be so sensitive kinda girl. You know the whole take it with a grain of salt. But, I knew better and told her it was not nice for her friend to say that, no matter the circumstances. She felt better and I got to pat myself on the back. Mom win! I don’t get too many so when I do I bask in my mothering greatness until a few minutes or seconds later when I become crazy savage mom again. Like the scene where Cruella de Vil is driving like a mad woman and she looks all cracked out. Yep, that is my usual MO.
Finding the balance:
So, how do we find the balance? How do we know when to be sweet and when to be savage, or when to combine the two? I don’t know! I told you at the beginning parenting is not knowing what the hell you are doing. Don’t take parenting advice from me. My kids are not old enough to tell if they will be completely screwed up. But seriously, start by listening to your kids. Talk to them. Take a second before you react. What works for us is send them to their room to sit on the bed until we dish out punishment. It gives us time to collect ourself and them time to think and reflect on the situation. if it is a sibling fight, we love to make them hold hands, look at each other in the eyes and ask for forgiveness. Then they have to hug it out and tell each other they love them (in a nice voice).
Most importantly for me, choose your battles and follow through on punishment. Savage mom is not needed most the time. You can be the fun cool mom/dad, but set your own boundaries. What are you willing to put up with and what are you not. Consistency is key. Surround yourself with others who parent the same. They can help you and you can help them. You can even share a glass of wine, beer, or tequila and laugh at what big a** holes your kids are. Even better, you won’t feel bad when you discipline your kid because they will not hesitate to back you up.
If you have ever seen “This is 40” calling your kids a bitch quietly or to your parent friends or significant other actually helps you feel better when your kid has gone completely insane. I suggest you try it. My husband and I will sometimes laugh and say “those little bitches” when they have done somethings just completely stupid, silly, or have reached the point where their mere presences is exhausting.
For all you parents out there reading this, please for the love of God do not be a helicopter parent! No one appreciates that. I promise your kids will resent you for it. I resent you for it.
Thanks again for making it though the post. I hope it made you laugh and made you feel better about not having it all together. As always, be a savage with a sprinkle for sweetness along the way.