Like most parents, I frequently get on my kids for all kinds of typical kid behavior. It’s kind of my job as a mom, you know?
But recently I came to a sobering realization. Most of those things I chastise them for, I’m totally guilty of doing myself — like, totally. I’m such an enormous hypocrite, it’s not even funny.
Check it out:
1. Not Going to Bed
My kids are masters at pushing back bedtime. We had one good year when our two oldest went to bed at 7 p.m. and were asleep within a half hour. That was a long time ago. My youngest two kids somehow manage to stay awake a good hour past their bedtime on a regular basis. Even if they’re in bed, they stay awake.
I really can’t talk though. Every morning, I tell myself I’m going to get to bed earlier. Every night, when 9:30 rolls around, I think, “I’m tired, I really should go to bed…” And then nothing happens. I push myself until 11:00 or later every blessed night, even though I know I’d feel better if I actually went to sleep when I first get tired. My self-discipline around bedtime is about as strong as my self-discipline around chocolate. So basically, zilch.
2. Dessert Before Dinner
Speaking of chocolate, I tell the kids, “No, you can’t have those cookies. It’s almost dinnertime!”
Then I sneak into the kitchen and shovel back chocolate chips from the freezer by the handful. I’m the queen of dessert before dinner. And lunch. Sometimes even breakfast.
I’m a grown-up. I do what I want.
3. Losing Shoes
I always joke about how long it takes for my kids to find and put on their shoes. How hard can this be, right?
Sadly, I am constantly misplacing my shoes as well. Sometimes I take them off right when I come in the house. Sometimes I forget and take them off in the bedroom. Occasionally I kick them off in the living room and one gets shoved under the couch. Seriously, I’m as bad as my kids.
The one thing I don’t do is stand in one place and cry because I can’t find something. So, maybe I’m a little better.
4. Keeping Track of Paperwork
It’s the quintessential joke, right? The kid pulling a crumpled form from the bottom of his backpack that has to be filled out, signed, and turned in that day?
I can’t talk. Somehow, every form I have to fill out and send in gets wrinkled or gets food on it before it makes it into the envelope. And that’s if I even remember that it needs to be done and if I can find it in one of my multiple stacks.
5. Whining About Housework
It makes me crazy when my kids whine about something they have to do around the house that they don’t want to do.
“Why do I haaaaave to clean my room?”
“I alwaaaays have to unload the dishwasher.”
“It’s not myyyyy turn to scoop the cat’s litter box.”
Life is tough, kids! Suck it up.
At the same time, you’re gonna have to do as I say and not as I do, because I love to complain about housework.
“How do we possibly have this much laundry? Do I reeeeally have to put it all away?”
“Is it time to dust agaaain?”
“Where did allllll these dishes come from?”
Yep, housework definitely brings out the whiner in me.
6. Screen Time
Holy crapoley, I am the worst when it comes to screen time.
In my defense, I do work on the computer. And I have to check email for work on my phone. I even have to use Facebook for my work. But still, I’d be lying if I said I never got distracted by vemes or Pinterest or viral videos of Mike Rowe’s mother’s emails.
I’m forever limiting my kids’ time on the iPad and computers, while at the same time, binging on screen time of my own.
Since the apples appear to have fallen fairly close to the tree here, maybe I should be a little more forbearing with my kids when it comes to these things.
I keep playing in my mind that anti-drug PSA from the ’80s: “I learned it by watching you, okay? I learned it by watching you!” I can totally see my kids saying that.
And they’d probably be right. Dang it.