I confess that most of you would probably think I'm a s****y parent. . . *EDIT* *AND AGAIN*
. . . because I don't treat my children like the sun shines out of their asses. Because it *doesn't*. (And it doesn't shine out of your kids' asses, either.)
I am now almost 26 years old (in August) and I have had custody of my 3 nieces for over 3 years now. They are 14, 13 & 11. I saved them from a much worse fate of an extremely broken, unstable, abusive home OR the state.
I love them. I love them more than anything else on earth and I have provided and cared for them to the best of my ability for these past 3 years. They have everything they need, lots of things they want, and they are not abused nor neglected.
That being said, I don't worship the ground they walk on & praise their every waking moment. First of all, that's not my nature considering I'm an introverted and repressed human being. Secondly, that's not preparing them for real life.
The real world doesn't think you're special for getting out of bed in the morning, brushing your teeth, eating breakfast, going to school, etc. Everybody has to do this. This is the daily grind.
I also don't wait on them hand and foot and wipe their asses for them. They have daily chores & are usually responsible for their breakfast & lunch during the summer when they are out of school. That's right--I usually only cook dinner. How blasphemous! Are you going to cook, do laundry, clean, organize, etc. for your child for the rest of their life? If the answer is yes and you are fine with that, please feel free. If not--if you want your child to be able to live their own life and provide for themselves, TEACH THEM HOW. That is your responsiblity! Your responsiblity is not to raise a man-or-woman-child that will be mooching off of you until the day that you die. Your responsibility is to raise an *adult* that can be self-sufficient when that time comes--and it WILL come. So please do the right thing for both of you and start doing *less* and teaching more.
I see so many parents (usually women) putting pressure on other parents (also usually women) to do *more and more* for their kids. You are considered a shitty parent by the standards of many if you aren't a do-it-all super mom. I don't cave to this kind of pressure. I've always been comfortable with who I am, what I'm doing, and where I am in life. There are so many parents out there that are not that fortunate & always doubting themselves. STOP!!
"If you don't keep your house immaculate, cook 3 multiple-course meals a day, bake your own fucking bread, take your kids to extra-curricular activities, and look like a rock-star doing it all, you are doing it WRONG."
This is not okay. This is adding stress & anxiety onto the stress & anxiety of just being a parent to begin with. As a parent, you are still a person with needs & desires. I fulfill mine. My children are provided for and taken care of. I don't have to "neglect" them to do so. I enjoy my alone time. They are not off foraging through dumpsters while I'm having it. They are fine.
So many people need to start living in the real world with me.
Moms, give yourselves a break, and be sure that break also extends to others.
I just wanted to clarify for those of you saying that I don't understand because I didn't raise them from when they were little. I did.
I started at 15 when they were born. I changed diapers, made bottles, burped, held, rocked, dressed, cleaned up after, etc. I had to quit school to do it because I knew that nobody else was going to and nobody cared enough to make me stay in school. Then, at 18, I moved out of that awful situation knowing that I had to get my shit together and get them out, too. It took me a long time, but I did it.
Obviously I am not expecting your 9 month old to pop a frozen pizza into the toaster oven. I am not that dense.
It's completely understandable to do these things when they can't do them for themselves. However, when they can, it's time to start teaching them.
By the way, I hear you all and I'm loving all the different opinions coming in and the support. I hope I keep reading tons more!
Also, I gotta say, I'm new here and I didn't expect this many trolls on a mommy board. I play MMO's (if anybody even knows what those are), and they are absolutely full of them. I think it's just women--we hate each other and don't even know why. I hate that. Like I already said, we should be more supportive of each other.
I want to be able to respond to everybody, but holy shit, this thread blew UP. lol
I've seen quite a few "Of course it's easy because you are taking care of grown (grown? still don't know why people keep saying 14, 13 & 11 are grown. they still have a lot to learn) children that already know how to get themselves up in the morning, make their own food, dress themselves, etc."
NEWSFLASH: they didn't when I first got them. I know that not everybody here comes from a broken/ abusive/neglected home. And I'm happy for them. I don't wish that upon them. But unless you come from a place like that, you will never never never NEVER be able to understand the effect that it has on you, and you will never *KNOW* what these kids can and can't do for themselves. I responded to one of these women, but it got lost in all of the other replies, so I'm posting it here because I feel like it's an important detail that so many of you are overlooking and misjudging.
When I got these girls, they didn't know how to do these things. In their original environment, they *did* raise themselves. They were not parented. They were literally left to run around the house and do whatever the hell they wanted on a 24/7/365 basis. They did not bathe nor brush their teeth. They did not know how to dress themselves. And even if they did, they rarely had weather appropriate, matching or fitting clothes. They didn't have manners, responsibilities, morals, social traits, and most other basic functions. *IF* they ate, it was processed or junk food. They rarely had a bed to even sleep on and would end up just passing out on the floor, couch, or wherever they ended up. Sometimes they didn't even get to school because nobody cared enough to get up and make sure they got there. This list goes on and on. I couldn't even begin to cover it.
Not to mention the turmoil of losing the "parents" that were raising them for several years. Yes, I am the better alternative. Yes, they were mistreated. But that doesn't mean they weren't attached to them and didn't love them and don't miss them every single day.
Just because you turn 10 one day doesn't mean that you are automatically on par and act like an average 10 year old. You need to be taught things. And what in the hell makes people think that if they came from a negative environment like the one I described that they would know how to do all of this and implement it?
It has been a rough 3 years to say the least (for all of us), but I have made miles & miles of progress with them and at this point you would probably never know that they aren't just normal kids by looking at them.
Pull your heads out of your asses, ladies. There are people in this world that came from fucked up places. Just because you were lucky enough not to, doesn't mean everybody was so fortunate.
Also, I know I already said this, but thank you to all of you ladies that have been so supportive. It is truly appreciated!! Bless you all and your precious families!
It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.
Also, a little video games never hurt.