Being a Parent Boss doesn’t mean you’re the Boss of all parents. Because imagine that, in a world where some mums openly judge another’s decision as to what you should be doing with your baby, with your toddler, with your life. We don’t need an actual Boss to dictate how we as parents do things. Our parenting skills are undermined and questioned enough already by those who are far superior because not a grain of sugar has passed their child’s lips.
They clearly have no idea of the sugar storm that goes down at the Grandparents house otherwise they’d be boxing up their wisdom along with their judgey pants.
What I’m talking about here is being the Boss of my child. Me. I’m the Boss. I make decisions and by hell or high water we will do as I say.
This is a recent adjustment because my children are of an age where they need to be reminded regularly that I’m their Mum and I decide what’s going on. If I say they’re not having a biscuit because they didn’t eat their vegetables, then they can either eat their vegetables or whine until bedtime because the decision has been made.
And so help me God if Daddy doesn’t abide by these rules because he will regret his poor choice later in the evening when I say No.
You see, when my babies were real babies, I lived my life according to them. I was a helicopter over-the-top mum and would dance to their merry tune all day long. It was an easier life for us that way.
I know many people swear by the ‘kids come into our life not us into theirs’ mantra which means they don’t pander to their Childs every need and adjust their life massively OR they’ve just never had children. Whatever. But I think the opposite, we bring a child into our lives by choice but we’re very much stepping into their world. Because our world becomes them, doesn’t it?
As my little baby beasts have grown and become much more aware of their actions, I’ve been adjusting how much I attend to them, slowly giving them a little bit more independence as each month passes. So while my son is crying out for a cup of water as I’m sitting on the toilet, he’s going to have to wait. Sorry son but I’m not stopping mid-stream to fill your cup with water which will probably cause an accident because I’ve birthed two children. You can wait two minutes. And you can be quiet about it.
Also when you can reach something, you can get it. My children sometimes only have one trip upstairs in them for the whole day, which means I’m running up and down grabbing books, toys and abandoned socks at their beck and call. Not anymore, no sir.
Those two mystical things hanging from your body are called legs. Legs are amazing, it mean you can walk upstairs and get what you want with those things at the end of your arms, called hands. Aren’t hands amazing guys?
I’m teaching them patience and I’m also earning their respect. Because we all know respect is earned right? Holy Moses I’m working so freaking hard to show them I will not give in. They see you crack once and all your hard work goes down the toilet along with their ability to listen to what you’re saying. Suddenly they feel superior to you and will continue their damnedest to walk all over you.
They may only be two and three years old but they’re smart. They clearly took some kind of psychological lessons in the womb because while we have no clue how to get our desired behaviour from them they know exactly how to get what they want from us.
So we’ve hit a point now where my three year old needs to understand mama is not backing down. I said no, kid.
The other day my three year old decided to stop walking on the way to pre-school. He stopped dead in his tracks and asked to be carried. He’s obviously been walking with his eyes closed because otherwise he would have seen that I’m already loaded up to my eyeballs with the pushchair, a two stone child, a bag with her bits, a bag with his bits and jackets. Because I’m sure that if my sweet and thoughtful boy had actually noticed all this he’d have said “actually, don’t worry about this one mummy, I’ll use my magical legs”. But nope his feet were cemented into the mud and I was expected to add him to my load.
This is where my Parenting Boss techniques come into play. I wasn’t going to carry him because unless he could morph himself into a chimp and hang off my front, I physically couldn’t. I told him this (not about the chimp thing) and I said we’re half way there. We can either stand here all day, he can walk to nursery and play with his buddies (because he has lots now – yay) or we can walk home and he can sit in his bedroom all day doing nothing.
Funnily enough he de-cemented his feet and strolled on over to us (because we were in front – I tried doing the whole “we’re gooing” but when you’re three years old you grow wise to this lie and know that nobody is going anywhere).
When they aren’t keen on something I’ve said, I swiftly remind them I’m the parent I decide what’s going on. I’m not dancing to the tune of your tantrums any longer, we’ve got to reign this in. It’s also like I’m giving myself a little pep talk when I say “I’m your mum, I decide”, just to reassure myself that I’ve got this. It’s better to raise good children in the long-term than to break and have peace for the short-term.
That’s not to say I’m like a military officer with my kids. Sometimes we negotiate and I know you should never negotiate with toddlers but there are times that reaching common ground makes more sense than being stubborn for the sake of my motherly status.
It’s funny because when I say all this to the kids, they actually listen to me. When Darren says this to the kids they laugh in his face. He’s still working hard… on earning the right to be listened to, but he’s not going to earn it when he’d rather be seen as the fun parent. Because sure, they see him as all farts and giggles but the second he puts his serious hat on, he’s freaking hysterical.
The kids know I mean business, but once the business is over we can let our hair down and party like it’s 1999.
So while I’m Bossing it at home, he’s Bossing it at work. But how’s that paperwork helping you out now that you’re trying to get our three year old out of the car?