I had a weird childhood. I mean, it wasn’t weird, like “one thing” weird… it was weird in the way that I grew up in what I later found out to be a religious cult. We weren’t allowed to cut our hair or wear pants, those were things that boys did. We weren’t allowed to ‘paint our faces’, that’s what whores did (ok, not in so many words, but just about). If we said the words, damn, god, or hell… we would be instantaneously sent straight to hell or struck by lightning. I was always curious as to how some of my friends were still standing.
We weren’t allowed to watch tv, unless it was a PBS documentary and the occasional Disney movie. We weren’t allowed to listen to music unless it was gospel or classical. And we went to church every Sunday and Wednesday… and sometimes more often. It was practically a full time job.
We also weren’t allowed to eat sugary things, candy was forbidden. We ate only real, natural ingredients in gourmet like meals every night. Our mom made amazing french bread, and when we watched Boston Pops on Friday nights, we ate fresh made popcorn from a HUGE pot with fresh melted butter that was also crunchy from the oven baking. mmmm. But I’m getting off topic.
One day my mother decided she needed a change… So POOF! Out with Dad, out with the church, on went the makeup (a LOT of it), in with hair cutting, tight pants wearing and fast food all around. It was like over night, everything we were told was now gone. Suddenly music wasn’t evil, we were able to watch sitcoms at night, we even bought our first bathing suit and got swim lessons. So, basically, for me, life started at age 10. By age 12, I realized my mom was a psychopath. Possibly due to some of her short stories about her life that we were forced to read…
The point here is I have NEVER had a mother that I wanted to be like. (except for the cooking.) My mom was and still is BAT SHIT crazy! I may have left a lot of that evidence out here, but out of 4 daughters… not one has any desire to speak to her, and coincidentally, she’s ok with it, and makes no attempt to have a relationship with us either. So, how do I raise my amazing kids? I raise them based on the lessons I’ve learned from other moms. Not just one in particular, but a combination of mothers.
Well, we all know that there is no such thing as a perfect family. If you think there is… well, that’s a reality kick you’ll get another day. But for me, my ‘perfection’ was to raise my family in a better environment than my mom did. (not hard) But being sheltered didn’t exactly give me the opportunity to see what ‘real’ moms did.
Some of the best moms I have met along the way have plenty of their own mistakes and short comings. But they usually have at least a few parenting techniques that, in the end, produced pretty amazing people. Some of which I know and remain friends with to this day.
Disclaimer: I am BY FAR a perfect mom. I have no patience, most of the time. I expect more than most from my kids. Lazy, is a parenting skill I posses, which works for and against me. Some of my childhood was so tainted by my upbringing, I just don’t relate to this awkward middle stage of my kids life… worst downfall yet. And I doesn’t help that my natural expression scream ‘go to hell’. Bitchy resting face makes things difficult as a parent.
All this being said, my kids prove that I have done something right. Some of it was just luck (or laziness) and some things were purposeful, and learned from watching other moms.
So, thank you… All you moms out there, doing it right and doing it wrong. As long as you’re doing it… you’re a better mom than mine and you’re kids are lucky for that.