I've recently been accused of being a hypocrite....right here on my very own blog...by a very bold and courageous anonymous commenter Thanks for really putting yourself out there, anonymous blog commenter. But you see, I already know that I am a hypocrite. After all, I am the mother of not one, but two teenage children (with another closing in on 13 in overly rapid fashion), and everyone knows that teenagers are the great hypocrisy spotters in our culture. And they aren't kind about it either with their vicious eye rolls and mutterings of garbled verbal abuse.
So I was already quite aware of my own hypocrisy well before you attempted to do your civic duty. But in an effort to be more honest and transparent, I've decided to plow headlong into my greatest confessions of motherhood hypocrisy.
#1 I expect my children to keep up with their own things. I mean they aren't babies any more. They should take a little personal responsibility. But at least ten times a day one of them will ask me, "Have you seen my shoes?" or "Do you know where I can find some clean socks?" or "What happened to the book I was just reading? I left it right here!" or "Did anyone ever take my karate uniform out of the dryer?" And I always respond with "It is not my responsibility to keep up with your crap!" (Just hold my Mom of the Year Award for me)
And yet I can't keep up with my own stuff to save my life. Especially my car keys. I never know where they are. EVER. In a recent rush to get out of the house because we were all inevitably late for something or other, I desperately asked the kids if they had seen the car keys...I mean I've looked EVERYWHERE. I'm pretty sure I heard my teenage son mumble, "It is not my responsibility to keep up with your crap." ....So I rolled my eyes at him. He understands that.
#2 I preach portion control. If the back of the Oreo's package says a serving size is only three cookies, then they can only have three cookies. I realize this might make me the meanest mom in the universe, but if I didn't institute this rule we would never have any cookies (or cereal or crackers or yogurt or popcorn or pretty much any food of any kind) because there would be a mad eating binge of kids cramming food into their mouths with reckless abandon...and I would spend a fortune on snack foods.
Oh, and I'm trying to foster healthy eating habits...yeah, that's what I meant. Everything in moderation!
And then I catch myself polishing off my third glass of wine late at night after the kids have gone to bed. It doesn't count as hypocrisy if I'm not caught...right?
#3 I tell my children how essential it is to be polite to everyone. Manners are important, and we should try to be civil and courteous even when it's hard. It's one of the things that separates us from the animals. You don't hear dogs and bears and coyotes saying "Thank you" or holding doors for the person behind them.
And then I shout obscenities at the driver of the BMW that just pulled out in front of me. ("Stupid Asshole!")
#4 I stress to the children how important it is to put away their things. In a family of 6, if everyone just left their stuff lying around, what kind of condition would this house be in? It would be horrible. It would be utter chaos. No one wants to live with that kind of disorder. So make sure you pick up your dirty laundry off the floor and put away your toys and books and craft supplies when you're done with them.
Meanwhile, my dirty socks are laying on the floor next to the computer desk...from two days ago. Oh, and the clean laundry is unfolded...laying in piles...all over the house.
#5 I don't want the children spending long hours in front of the television. "There are much better things to do with your time," I tell them. "Go outside. Get some fresh air. Read a book." I try to convince them that they don't need to waste time in such a mindless form of entertainment. Seriously, have you seen some of the kids' programming? It's just a bunch of silly people making stupid jokes.
But I've checked Facebook 6 times today...and it's only 2:30. But I sure do love a good Grumpy Cat meme.
#6 And speaking of Facebook, I've lectured to my teens about the importance of being super careful of everything they post on social media. That stuff stays out there forever. Once you send it out, you can't get it back. In fact you should keep most things to yourself. You don't want too much personal information out there. It's just not safe.
And I write a mom blog.
Motherhood has slapped a bunch of labels on me...Mommy, cook, teacher, chauffeur, maid, kisser of boo-boos, cage fight referee...but I certainly wasn't expecting hypocrite to be one of them. But it's the one that keeps me the most humble. And god knows (and most of cyberspace, too) that I could use a good dose of humility.