What My Mother Taught Me

bad-moms-trailer_article_story_largeNo, don’t get too excited moms. This isn’t a “share this if you love your mom” type of post. I’m angry. I’m angry about what my mother taught me. Quite frankly the things she taught were quite ridiculous and I cannot imagine why anyone would want to teach their children these things. She is not a good example. I can say that now, at the age of 22 I know everything there is to know about being a parent. Legit. Like, I’m really an expert. She was so wrong. So here is the list.

My mother never bought me things I wanted to have just because

This is a horrible thing to do to your child. They should be allowed to have whatever the new trend is be it the Bass Pro hats, $70.00 eyeliner from Sephora, those segway things you stand on and that catch on fire. I remember in elementary school tamagoutches were this really big deal. And you know what??? They were. EVERY kid in Westmount Charter owned one. Everyone…except for me. They were these toys that had characters on them and you had to feed them and look after them. They made blurting noises and could die if you weren’t glued to them 24/7. You could connect them with others and “visit” each others houses. They were totally the newest social fad especially considering iPhones hadn’t been invented yet. It was horrible. She should have bought me one. Because…for a total of 24 hours I was so disgusted by her choice. For 24 hours I was so unhappy-and that, my friends is simply not okay.

I had to write cards by hand

Whenever I got anything, whether it be a gift, a nice card, a tissue (okay…slight exaggeration), I had to write a “Thank You” card. Not an email, not a text message. Sometimes there was even an accompanying phone call. I groaned and complained about it as I should. Receiving something shouldn’t be so complicated. Children should just receive things and show the bare minimum amount of gratitude with a quick, rehearsed or forced “What do you say?” “Thank you” prior to hastily taking hold of said item and forgetting the amount of effort it might’ve taken to get it. Because, after all, children should stay young forever and have the willy-nilly that childhood brings. For this, I will never forgive her. Writing thank you cards took away my childhood.

My mother invested in experiences I could experience by myself

How awful it is to send an 11-year old on a plane to BC by herself, to be greeted by her cousins at the airport. Terrible! She should’ve accompanied me onto the airplane first and then met me in BC for the hand-off to the cousins. Or even better, she should’ve flown with me. A scared 11-year old in an airport is a horrible experience and it scarred me for life. In fact, it scarred me so much that I learned how much I liked being independent and felt confident in myself because I had just accomplished a very rare, big thing. Any parent knows…independence is only allowed if controlled and manipulated so this is a big no-no. I knew my mother was in the wrong.

What else did she do horribly wrong? I went on my first regatta away from home, with my team and coaches…at the age of 12. A 9 hour road trip away! She should have jumbled her work schedule, planned and organized a family vacation during the regatta at the same location and driven up with me. She shouldn’t have given me my own money to buy groceries, no way. I was too irresponsible and should have had it handed to one of the older athletes to do the shopping for me. Knowing how to buy my own food for a competition was too huge of a risk. What if I had bought something unhealthy? I surely would have thrown up all over the race course and my chances of being the next 12-year old Olympian would have so gone down the drain!

I was scared of my mother

Okay mom, don’t freak out at this one because I couldn’t really think of a catchier headline. The thing is, if I was going to get in trouble I was absolutely terrified. My mother and I had so many differences that we argued a lot. We still do. This shouldn’t be allowed. Daughters and sons should feel like their mother is their best friend who they can go take selfies with and buy bathing suits with. God forbid they want to save their bra shopping for their friends, or share their experiences with people outside the mom zone. Trusting other adults in their lives shouldn’t be allowed because Mom is God. Mom should never get mad at children or be angry with them. They are there to be icons of love and endless laundry folding.

My mother forced me to talk about my problems 

This meant she literally left me alone in the doctor’s office and I had to explain what was wrong with me or why I wasn’t feeling good. In the hospital I had to be the one who talked about my symptoms. It was terrible. I actually had to know what I was talking about. Children shouldn’t have to carry this weight on their shoulders, this pain they feel is already too much and definitely the parent can totally relay what their kid is feeling. I don’t know why my mother put me through that because all that really ended up coming about that was I learned not to fake injuries or illness and I knew about what was normal for my body and what wasn’t.

She went to my concerts and activities but I still had to be the one doing all the talking

I had to introduce her to my coaches and teachers. I had to email or phone my coaches or teachers if I was having trouble. This is so embarrassing. A parent’s responsibility is to pave the way for their children, not turn them into the machines. I didn’t correct a division test once because I got a really bad mark on it and you know what she made me do? Go to the teacher the next morning and explain myself. ALL BY MYSELF. It was the teacher’s fault I didn’t learn it properly, therefore my mother should have barked at the teacher herself. The nerve of her! What she should have done is gone in and wasted 15 minutes of my teacher’s time talking about how I don’t like to underachieve and this mark doesn’t reflect what she thinks I should get. This is so much better because a child who is actually failing or struggling should definitely have their interview time pushed back because I am not happy with how my teacher grades. But noooo…she just had to tell me that I need to work harder. I was working harder!!! You know what this does to a kid? It teaches them that no matter how hard you work you can still fail in the eyes of others but work hard anyways. I think the term is perseverance…and that is definitely a big no-no in this modern parenting age.

I was never allowed to be late for things but could stay later

We had a rule, if you’re not 20 minutes early you’re late. It drove me crazy because especially at parties I was always the first one there. I hated it. I hated having to entertain myself for those 20 minutes. I don’t know why mother would make me be early considering nearly all my friends showed up on time or late. This was a terrible routine because even now in adulthood, I always show up to stuff early. It makes me look too keen and too much like I care about what I’m doing. I don’t like it. Now, she always let me stay later…whether to help out or just because she valued the fact that not everything needs to run on schedule. Good lord, imagine that? Not everything has to run on schedule!

My mother encouraged me to go above and beyond

Okay, so I wasn’t allowed tamagoutches but I was allowed to bake cakes for people’s birthdays and spent hours doing fondant designs for them. If I wanted to run a booth for elephant rescue she always bought me the stuff I needed for that. This is a great example of spoiling a child. Children who express interest in passions that go beyond their own world should simply not be allowed to do something about it. It will make the family look eccentric and progressive. Not to mention bring shame to the family’s name. However, if a child wants to go shopping for her 6th wardrobe she should definitely be allowed because what she wears is a reflection on the family.

Even as a toddler I had to do chores

This one I think everyone can agree with. Children should not do chores, especially toddlers. My mother forced me to carry my bag pack that had my diapers in it. THEN she forced me to put dishes in the dishwasher. THEN as I got older I had to my own laundry. THEN I had to pay for my cellphone bill at 14 years old. THEN I had to make decisions about school.  This is cruelty. Because of this I moved away after graduating and got a job. This is not a good thing. Children should be living with their parents until they feel ready to take on the world.

My mother and I don’t see eye-to-eye most of the time. There are rare moments that we have where we actually do get along really well but most of the time we like what we like. As someone who works with kids in professional and recreational settings, I can tell you that my mother set me up for failure because I now have expectations of kids that hardly any of them are equipped to meet. This is terrible. Rather than dumbing down the material or meeting them at their lowest, I, by instinct, expect a lot from them and push them really hard. This isn’t just academics but character too. If I give something to a kid and they don’t say “thank you” back, I take it away from them. If they don’t answer me in a full sentence I repeat my question. It’s amazing what happens…the kids struggle and struggle and then eventually rise because the bar does not lower. Clearly I’m doing something wrong because I see more and more parents who get upset by this mentality. Ironically, some things never change because it’s usually the parents who are upset beyond 24 hours and as well all know, kids shouldn’t be allowed to be upset.








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