... like Nanny 911. Oh yes, the kids and I LOVE this show. And Wife Swap. There's just something about watching completely outrageous families and their crazy behavior that my family absolutely loves.
I came to realize after watching these shows that I'm the right amount of bitch to never have to worry about my kids being disastrous enough for Nanny 911, but not bitchy enough to make it on Wife Swap. What's up with that?
I watch these women on Nanny 911 and I see how absolutely different I was as a mother of young kids than they are. Yes, I understand these shows only get the extreme cases to keep viewership numbers high, but I sit back now and really look at how I could have probably been called a really bitchy mom when my kids were younger... or hell, even now.
For one, I love my personal space. LOVE IT. Yes, I held my children as babies, yes, I still hold my babies to this day if they want to be held. Yes, my kids have slept in the bed with me, but hell no, they did not sleep with me a lot. The kids and I watched an episode of Nanny 911 last night where the mother hadn't slept in her own bed since her son was born... and he was 5 years old. She slept with him in his bed while the family dog took up residence next to the husband in bed. Oh HELL no, I love my bed too much. And how am I supposed to get my freak on with a kid in the bed? Oh double HELL no.
Now pause for a second. I'm not speaking ill of attachment parenting in any way, shape, or form. I'm just
saying that I didn't do it. It would have driven me crazy to do it. The Ginger, to this day, has to be touching you if he's sleeping next to you. Countless times he'll fall asleep in bed watching a movie with me, or fall asleep on the couch, and it's like the kid develops octopus tentacles that shoot out in multiple directions looking for the closest limb of yours to wrap himself around. He did this as a toddler, too, and I couldn't take it. I'd get punched in the face, kicked in the stomach, and the temperature in the bed would rise to 2,397 degrees. So, I'd let him fall asleep, then put him in his own bed. Call me selfish, but I wanted to spread out, be comfortable, and not wake up with a black eye the next morning.
Heading onto the 2nd point, I'm very stubborn. A child is not going to tell me how something is going to be, or what they are and are not going to do. Not going to happen. It's as simple as that. So, to see that same 5 year old that can't sleep by himself tell his mother that she is going to get up off of the couch and go do what he wants her to do, my eyes popped out of my head. Out of principle alone, I'd sit on my ass for the rest of the day just to spite the child who tried to order me to get up. That's just how I am. I'm stubborn, and I will win against a child. It's a child for crying out loud- not an adult's equal. And yet, so many people teach their children like equals nowadays. That creates children who think they are entitled to things and who don't understand the concept of authority. We will vote on certain things as a family, and I'll ask for my kids' input on different matters, but ultimately the decision is up to Hubby and I, and the kids know this. Why? Because they know we are the parents and we are in charge.
Point #3 of how I could have been considered a bitchy mom is that I don't take too kindly to screaming. When my kids started throwing temper tantrums, I picked them up, put them in their room and shut the door. I wasn't listening to it. The Nanny 911 mom burst into tears when the nanny made her 3 year old daughter cry it out because she felt it was her job as a mother to coddle her child and keep her happy. Screw that. The little girl was being a nightmare and needed some time alone in her room. I never felt bad about refusing to listen to a temper tantrum. I never felt bad about my kids throwing a temper tantrum. If they were pissed enough to cry and scream at the top of their lungs, then they need to get that out. I usually scream into a pillow or hide in the closet with a bottle of wine, eating cheesecake when I'm that pissed, but that's probably just because it's not socially acceptable for a 32 year old woman to throw a temper tantrum. But if my kids wanted to do that for no reason, or to try and make me do what they wanted, they could cry alone in their room, without my attention. They didn't deserve it at that moment.
When I do sit down and watch these TV shows, it makes me very thankful as to how my kids turned out. I even hugged The Ginger extra tightly during the show and told him, "Thank you for not being a monster of a child." I actually learned some of the parenting techniques I used when the kids were toddlers from the British version of Nanny 911, as we were stationed in England when The Girl was 1-2 years old. The tips I learned helped tremendously.
As does being a bitchy mom. I love my kids and constantly show my kids affection, and while I have developed a friend relationship with them over the years of craziness in our lives, they know I'm still their mother, and they respect that. That doesn't mean they don't argue, and occasionally storm off (the tween temper tantrum), but they aren't dictating what our family does and they definitely aren't out of control. They are pretty damn amazing, if I do say so myself.