Give Yourself a High Five If Your Kid Says This…

boy yellingThere is one sentence I believe every mother should own and wear as a badge of honor. In fact, maybe we need actual badges with the sentence printed on it, maybe bedazzled on, or in big bold letters… whatever works for you. When you hear that sentence, I think every mom should wear it with pride.

I heard it for the first time when Ben was 4 years old. I remember the day well. I’d just picked him up from preschool, and he wasn’t getting in the car as I’d asked him to do. After what felt like the 100th time  telling him to get in the car, I finally said, “I guess we’re doing this the hard way.” That’s when I picked him up and put him in the car myself. At 4 years old this was not okay with Ben. He always wanted to get himself into the car, so when I took that privilege away from him, my sweet, blond haired, blue eyed angel looked me in the eye and with all the loathing a 4 year old can muster he said, “I wish you weren’t my mommy.” There it was. Four years of parenting and I finally got hit with that zinger.

When I told my girlfriends about it, every single one of them said the same thing: “I’m so sorry” and “ I’m glad I haven’t had to hear that yet.”

As much as I appreciated the kind words, there is no need to feel bad for me. Here’s why: I believe that little sentence means I’m doing my job as a mom.

I wear that sentence as a badge of honor. That’s right, a badge of honor.

To me that sentence is simple: it means I’m the mommy and I’m doing what a mommy is supposed to be doing. I’m setting boundaries for your 4 year old self, and I’m sure I’m going to be hearing it when you’re 14 when I’m setting boundaries for your teenage self (God help me when that time comes.)

I don’t feel bad he said it, because I said it too. I said it to my mom when I was little. I always said it when I didn’t get what I wanted, or she said no, or she didn’t do something I wanted her to do. Basically I said that one sentence when my mom was putting boundaries up, or when she was teaching me life lessons. Life lessons that at 5 years old I didn’t much appreciate. Okay, okay, I said that one sentence A LOT as a teenager, and I didn’t much appreciate what she was trying to teach me then either.

I know why I said those words: to hurt her, to make her feel bad, to make her think there were better mommies out there.

I know that’s why Ben said it too. So I looked him in the eye and said, “I know you do.” That’s all the acknowledgement I gave that sentence.

What I really wanted to do was raise my arm in the air and high five myself because that sentence acknowledged that in some small way I’m not totally screwing up this parenting thing. Every once in a while, I’m getting it right, and at the end of the day, that’s all I can ask for.

Guess what? Three years have passed since Ben first said those words… Joey turns four this week and I haven’t heard the same sentence, but I think it’s a different version of the exact same sentiment: “Mommy sometimes I don’t love you.”

That’s another badge for me.

Reposted from www.boisenewsmom.com with permission.

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