When I first became a mom, I was engulfed in naivety and adopted an unrealistic idea of the way parenting would be. With my firstborn I made homemade baby food, followed strict rules about tummy time and always bought expensive diapers and diaper cream. While pregnant with my second my mother passed away. So, as I grieved the loss of my mother and best friend, I redefined my role as a mother. I remember thinking, "I've got to be there for them wholeheartedly, because I know what it's like for my mother to no longer be with me". At some point along the way I became a martyr, for lack of a better word. Fast forward a few years and another child; now I am looking the big ugly monster in the face. This is a monster that I've created: entitlement.
While I've never felt that my kids were spoiled, the responses, reactions and downright disassociation from any responsibility (stated or implied) clearly suggests that they feel entitled to do things their own way. Because I'm old school and my parents were just plain old, I cannot wrap my brain around it, but I'm going to get to the bottom of it.
For starters, they MUST gain more responsibility. Of course they're going to revolt, but I've got to stick to my guns and follow through. JB washed dishes yesterday and though the entire floor was soaking wet, I didn't stop and take over. They both did their own laundry as well. I am hoping the additional responsibilities give them a sense of ownership and make them more aware of how they are taking care of (or not) our home. I'm also reconsidering their summer line up. I realized that having 10 consecutive weeks of child centered activities is good for entertainment and my nerves, but bad for ending a narcissistic phase. In the coming weeks I'll be searching the area for community service projects.
This is all very ambitious, but necessary. Now that I"m literally breastfeeding again, I can no longer figuratively breastfeed the rest of my family. In my best Major Payne (Damon Wayans) impersonation, "Maybe what he need is for you to pop your titty out his mouth and let the boy grow up."….." I didn't stutter, I said pop-your-titty-out-his-mouth AND STOP BABYING HIM. "
Sir, yes sir! I plan to do JUST that!