February 7, 2007

Top Ten Reasons Not To Be My Kid

Okay I have had lots of encouragement from friends to open up and share some of the side I don’t talk about to break the illusion of "supermom" that my blog can create. My friend recently posted on her own blog a similar list, so I thought I need to jump in and just do it. This is hard for me to write about not because it is hard to be self-critical but because of the whole privacy angle of it. It is easy to share all the good stuff - not so easy to open up a door for the world to see the negatives. But in a moment of disclosure here you go, some reasons you would not want to be my kid...

1. I don’t scrapbook. Period. I truly have no desire to do so either. We also don't have professional pictures done for the kids, Rhia is 7 now and she has had her photos done a total of 3 times and twice because grandma brought her! I figured we would have a few kids and knowing I would get worse with each one I did not even bother that way dear Sirah can't say I loved her less because I did less. At least that is my excuse, the reality is I simply don't enjoy it or have the time. I write this blog and keep journals for them and take lots of digital pictures (that I never printout by the way). I am more of a written person and not really a sentimentalist, I rented my wedding dress if that tells you anything about me.

2. I HATE glue, sparkles, paint, etc. Big problem for a homeschool mom. I don't like arts and crafts supplies. Not because it bothers me to make a mess in my home but because it makes a huge mess all over them and it is lots of work to clean up and then I have more "projects" I have to find homes for. Sirah told her homeschool cooperative teachers last week "My mom FINALLY will let me use this!" when they pulled out glitter glue. The emphasis was hers and two different people stopped to tell me this so she must have made an impression. Can you tell I deprive her of arts and crafts supplies?

3. I don't like playing on the floor with my kids. While I enjoy playing board games and reading to my kids I am not good at imaginary play with them. I was never one to like sitting on the floor and playing trains, cars, dolls, blocks or whatever else they are into at the time. I foster this with supplies, encouragement, other friends, requiring siblings to play, and when I have to sitting down and initiating play but I can't stick with it too long. I have at times made myself set a timer for 15 minutes or so in order to not fool myself into believing I had played with them for 2 hours when indeed it was just 10 minutes.

4. I am a field trip mom. At first blush this doesn't sound like a bad thing, but then again you are not my kid. I really love "activities" and planning and going places with my kids. I love giving them experiences sometimes ones people think they are too young for. We always have some place to go or something to do. I can over schedule our lives and have someplace or something for us to do all the time and can over look the signs of just needing to stay home and snuggle from my kids.

5. I dislike the cold and the snow. For some this is not an issue for a homeschool mom in Minnesota it sure it. I don't like playing in the snow, sledding, skiing, building snowmen, snowball fights or really any of it. I do however like shoveling, go figure! I am not the lets go play in the snow mom - I am however the "You go play in the snow" mom. Hypocrite I know! Even worse in the summer we spend more time outside then they may like, including me making them take long nature hikes and bike rides. They can't win

6. I am really impatient at bedtime. By the end of the day I am ready to be done and my patience is really low. I want them to go right to sleep and I get impatient when they don't. We read bedtime stories and have our normal routines but I have little tolerance for the "milking" it that is inevitable with young children. By the end of the day I simply want the time for me, so I am selfish and impatient at night.

7. I like to sleep in. I am not a morning person at all. I really like to stay up late and sleep in the morning. This is not a successful habit for any person, least of all a mom of small children who like to get up early in the morning. We even placed the cereal and bowls on a low shelf so they can get themselves cereal in the morning if they want. Try as I might to get my kids to sleep in (even when I let them stay up late) I can't - especially Ciaran. Though I have thankfully at least convinced him that 7am is better than 6am.

8. I read all the time. Now an initial impression is how can this be a bad thing for my kids? Well I will admit I do it to a fault. I would rather read aloud or quietly with a child then do anything else. It is the first thing I suggest we do and sometimes the only thing I will do with my kids. I also make them listen to older books then their age. We started reading Narnia to them when they were 2 and 4. We have already read The Hobbit, and many classics to them before Ciaran was 5 and Rhia was 6. I do read lots of picture books but ones I choose - I have little tolerance for TV in a book. So not only do I make them listen to me read A LOT but I choose the books.

9. I am lazy. Plain and simple there is the truth. I know that may come as a surprise to regular readers but I really am - it is a character flaw and I know it. I don't like housework, yardwork, really any work that requires me to move around a lot. I don't enjoy it and I will try to avoid it. I enjoy sedentary work, blogging, writing, researching, teaching, communicating - etc. I am lazy on the day to day things I need to do and interested in all the extras which I somehow manage to find time for.

10. I use the computer WAY too much. When it comes time to fast or give something up I know without a doubt my computer is what it should be for me. I check it compulsively to the point that there is no new news or email since the last time I checked! I can also think I am on for 5 minutes and it has really been a half hour. I really enjoy the computer, blogging, IMing Serona, checking news, email, etc. It is my adult interaction for the day. My kids know I use it too much and they ask me why. What am I setting myself up for with them, as I try to impose "screen time" limits on them. Hypocrite again I know.

One More That Happens Every Day...

Just One More Minute Which is never a minute. I am always putting my kids on hold while I finish one more thing. One more conversation, one more email, one more thing. My kids are going to grow up with a crazy sense of time because 10 more minutes nearly always means 30 more minutes at a playdate and one more minute means atleast 10 on phone call. Bad mom and frustrated kid.
There you go a glimpse into the other side. This once again is not a definitive list just some that jumped out at me tonight while writing this. Remember when you look at someone else, you are only seeing a "glimpse" into the moment or into the part of their life they are showing you at the time. We catch one another on good days and bad days, in good moments and bad moments but we are all more than we see and we show. Thanks to all my friends who love me warts and all! And thanks to my kids and Serona who put up with me on a day to day basis!

Anyone else want to share their dark side... don't leave me here alone.


  1. Anonymous10:02 PM

    :) are you my twin!!!!!!!!! love the real post and the real you
    thanks for sharing
    all except the arts and crafts - i do get into the glitter!!


  2. Tenn! Have you been spying at my house? If Tigger's your twin, I'm the long-lost triplet!!! Every item, I found myself nodding and thinking "That's me!" Except the field trip one. I'm not so hot at that either. I always think of great places to go, but we never seem to actually get to any of them!

  3. By the end of the day I simply want the time for me, so I am selfish and impatient at night.

    YES! So, it's not just me who feels this way. I'm with my kids from 7:30am until 8pm. I NEED a few hours of NO KIDS each night.

    I have to be real careful, though, that they don't think I'm just hurrying them along to get rid of them. But, like you, I just don't have the patience for more chats and games and reading... We've had 12 hours of that. Enough already!

  4. Good job, Tenn! I can relate to a lot of this, but you still sound like a pretty good "bad" mom! :-)

  5. I'd still love to be your kid!!!

  6. So many of your bad habits were also passed on from previous generations. Mom and I both have contributed to different sections of the list. However when all is said and done I know my grandchildren are in the best of hands and will grow up with a balanced life full of love and caring. They will always know right from wrong and will become young adults that many people will be fortunate to call friends.

    Family Forever

  7. I've enjoyed reading your blog for the last several months but this post brought me out of lurkdom because I was amazed by how many things on your list sounded just like me, especially the impatience at bedtime and the excess computer time.

  8. Alice5:21 AM

    I've been reading your blog for awhile and have found it so encouraging as I consider homeschooling my now 3 yr old (also have a 3 month old). I love your honesty and your great ideas.

    I also think I'm your twin (or triplet or quadruplet from earlier comments) living in Virginia. I laughed at every single "negative" thing and thought, oh how true. On the reading all the time, I find myself trying to read my own books (at lunch, etc) and then realizing I'm ignoring my son's repeated requests to read to him. Ouch. I love "field trips", although we call them "adventures". There are days where my son will request to stay home and I have to try and honor that need of his although I'm really wanting to get out and do something.

    If you ever want to visit Virginia outside of Washington DC, look us up, we can go on a lot of adventures. :) And although the weather here is extremely cold right now for us, it's only in the 20-30's.

  9. Wow people come out of the woodwork! Nice to know I have many kindred spirits out there!

  10. Thought you might to look at my blog. www.amomlikeyou.blogspot.com

  11. I love it!!
    As difficult as it was, I'm so glad you posted this. I was giggling the whole time. I think I'm your Canadian cousin or something.
    Cheers, Sarah