Consider yourself warned!
A guide for those who think they want children.
For all you lucky childless ladies who get to have some alone time, you don’t know how lucky you are! Let me enlighten you.
Every now and again, I would like some guilt-free alone time. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Hey Sassy Girl, don’t you get alone time when the kids are sleeping, or when they’re at their father’s?” Well, the answer to that is both yes, and no. When the kids are sleeping, I’m not really alone ... they’re still in the house. And, they could wake up at any time. And it always seems that when they wake up, they must always find me to tell me good night … again. I don’t know. Maybe they’re thinking that I’m going to sneak out while they’re still sleeping. Yes, I’m along when they’re sleeping, but I’m really not.
Then, when the kids are at their father’s that should be MY time, right? Wrong! Even then, I don’t get any real alone time. You would think that their father doesn’t exist. Here’s an example. My kids were at their father’s and got on each other’s nerves. One of them called me to report to me that the other one did. After that child gave me a full detailed report along with a list of suggested punishments, as if I can’t come up with any on my own, I asked, “Where is your father?” The reply, “In the next room.” Really!!! Are you kidding me?? You disturb my nap, which I finally get to take one without worrying that you two won’t kill each other, when your father is in the next room? When I ask, “Then why are you calling me? Go tell your father.”, no one ever has a good answer. In fact, now that I think about it, I don’t think anyone has ever given me an answer. Usually, my question gets ignored and the child starts retelling me why and how the sibling should be punished. All I can do is sigh and start yelling at them both over the speaker phone. You can’t imagine how many times that has happened.
Do you know what it’s like to be at the parent/teacher conference to get a phone call from one of the kids? You look at the caller id on your cell phone and you see that it’s the house phone. You start to panic, “Is everyone ok?” Please, of course they are! Silly me, I actually thought that it would be just me, their father, and the teacher at the parent/teacher conferences! When I got the chance to call the child back, this is the question, “When are you coming home Mom?” I’m sorry, what? I thought I was the parent. Mind you, this question is not only reserved for parent/teacher conferences. It’s also when I get my nails done (on the few occasions I actually get them done), when I’m at the grocery store, when I’m at work … you get the picture. If it’s not, “When are you coming home?” it’s “Mom, on your way home, can you get …?”
When I come home from work, I would love to have a few minutes to myself to unwind. Does it happen? Not when the kids are home. Sometimes, as soon as I put the key in the door, my son will open the door for me and ask, “Hey Mom, what’s for dinner?” I can’t even tell you how annoying that is? What? Am I the short order cook and maid? Can someone ask me how my day was? Can someone offer to cook for me? (In all fairness, my kids will offer to put leftovers in the microwave for me and to put a pot of water on the stove for my tea, but they are usually doing it for themselves too).
Do you know how it feels to have someone follow you around from room to room, talking nonstop? Then, when you say you need ten minutes to yourself, they actually set the timers on their smart phones! Or, Saturday mornings, you really just want to sleep in. But you can’t because your child who is too young to cook for his or herself will wake you up to let you know that he or she is hungry. When my son was six years old, he was notorious for waking up at 6:00 am and getting in bed with me. He would sit on my bed, wake me up, and then talk to me for a good fifteen minutes before I would say, “Ok love. Just lay down here next to me. You don’t have to go to sleep, but you have to lay down.” He would want to watch tv, but I would remind him that he couldn’t watch tv until 8:00 am. So, he would lay down and when I was half asleep, I’d hear, “Mommy, its 8:00.” That damn digital clock! Who taught that kid how to tell time? He would get up, go into the living room, and turn on the tv. Miraculously, his sister, who liked to sleep in, would suddenly get out of bed and join him. Once that happened, I knew it was over and I would have to get up soon.
So you see, when you have kids, you have constant companionship (at least until they become teenagers … so I’ve been told). So, now while you have some, enjoy your alone time.
Consider yourself warned!
Today, I had it in my mind to comment on a particular subject. But then, after overhearing some teenage boys on the bus on my way home from the store today, I was compelled to change the topic.
I am on the bus, like everyone else, minding my own business. Two teenage boys, around fifteen years old, get on the bus and sit in the back near me and some other adults. One boy is on the phone, speaker phone, talking loudly to some girl. The other is sitting two seats away from him chirping in on the conversation every now and again. Of course, we can all hear the conversation. That’s not so bad. I don’t like it, but its New York. In the big scheme of things, I can live with that. Just about every third word was a curse word or the “N” word. Again, its New York! What else is new? But here’s what really bothered me. These two boys start one upping each other about the jail time they served. They were actually proud of it! All I could do was shake my head. One kid bragged, and I do mean bragged, about getting arrested the first time at twelve because he robbed a grown man of his credit card and had it on him when he was searched. Then, this same kid started talking about how ACS wanted to arrest him because of his priors and that his rap sheet was longer than he thought. His friend starts talking about how he doesn’t tell ACS anything about his mother (for those of you who don’t live in New York City, ACS is the Administration for Children’s Services). Now, I don’t blame that kid for not saying anything to ACS. I worked in Family Court for a long time. I understand why he would keep his mouth shut. But, I was bothered by the bragging that these two kids did about their alleged jail time (I say alleged because who knows whether or not it was true). They weren’t bragging about making good grades. They weren’t bragging about how well they played in their last basketball game. They were bragging about being in jail. That ain’t cute! It was sad. I was sad for them. And you know what really made me sad for them? One kid said that he told ACS that his father was dead. The other one said jokingly, “Yeah, he’s dead to you.” Parents and potential parents, if you’re going to have kids, you have to be in their lives and actively raise them.
This got me thinking. What other behavior have I seen kids get away with that’s not cute? I have been out in public places and have seen kids of all ages yelling at their parents and telling them off! The parent receiving the verbal abuse does not say anything to the child about their behavior. That always baffles me! I wish one of kids would try to do that. I’m not saying that my kids are perfect, they are far from it and everyone has a bad day every now and again. But in these instances, it appeared that this was the normal interaction between the parent and child. That ain’t cute!
I’ve been in different places where the parent will tell the kid to do something. Now mind you, I said tell, not ask. The kid will either whine, talk back, or flat our refuse to do it. Wait, what? Who’s the parent here? Sometimes the parent may say something and try to excuse the behavior and laugh it off. No, my friend. It’s not a laughing matter. That ain’t cute.
I write all of this to say this, parents and potential parents, we have got to do a better job of raising our children. We know deep down that some of the things these kids say and/or do isn’t cute. Stop acting like it is. Step up and be the parent. Teach your kids that education is cool, not jail time. Teach them that they should want to project the image of someone who is educated and going places, not of someone who is stupid and going to jail. Teach them that we have to speak and treat all people with respect. Not sometimes, but all the time. If we don’t teach our kids the fundamental, core values, this next generation will be lost, if it isn’t already. And don’t forget, one day they’ll be the ones taking care of us when we’re old! And believe you me, THAT, ain’t cute!
Consider yourself warned!
Happy New Year consideryoureselfwarned family!
Instead of the usual warning, today I just want to send you some well wishes for the New Year. So, in 2017 may you find …
A closer and deeper connection to a higher power,
Unconditional love from your family,
Friends that love you and support your dreams,
The courage to follow your dreams,
Fulfillment of all your dreams,
Employment that you enjoy,
Your true love,
Peace of mind.
And of course, may you continue reading my blog!!
I look forward to hearing from you.
SassyGirlTye lives with her two wonderful teenagers in Brooklyn, New York. No matter what she says in her posts, she truly loves her children with all her heart.