The crappy side of motherhood – Saying no!

This last week Emilie was invited to a sleepover. Very spur of the moment. Literally Wednesday she came home from school and said “Mom, my friend “so and so” is having a sleepover on Friday..” she lets her voice trail off while she is figuring out exactly how to ask me questions she already knows the answer to. I was very calm as the easy answer to this would be “no”.

Me: Ok (Waiting for her to figure out what exactly she wants to ask me)

Emilie: Uhm, do you think I can go?

Me: Are you asking if I think you can go? Or if you can go? (Yep, I’m the mom that isn’t going to make this any easier on you.)

Emilie: Can I go?

Me: What are our rules with regards to sleepovers?

Emilie: Uhm, I forgot I’m not allowed to sleepover. Never mind.

I could have just left this here. But as “bad” as I am, in terms of just saying no. I also still have a teeny bit of single mom syndrome. So I said in justification of myself (warning moms – justification is the beginning of all doubt in yourself). “Is there an invitation? Children don’t plan things by themselves.” And then it started. What could have been a very easy open and closed discussion turned into a debate. A debate with myself. The worst kind!

I ended up not allowing the sleepover and just taking her to the party. I met the mom, which I insisted on. And she too wasn’t too comfortable with sleepovers which made things a little easier. She was also lovely. But I only just met her – I told myself. I did however allow Emma to stay at the party until 19:45 which I wasn’t really comfortable with, because compromise. Because its better than a sleepover. And because I’m an idiot. Fail! Not because you shouldn’t allow your kids to stay out late – but because I wasn’t comfortable.

Self doubt is one of those parts of motherhood, people really don’t warn you about. Saying no sucks, because you are seen as this terrible mom, who doesn’t understand. I also know because I often told myself about how my own mother doesn’t understand. And honestly who wants to be that mom! Okay, put your hands down! (I don’t mind being that mom – sometimes) But sometimes, I just want to be the cool mom. The mom who understands, the mom who explains her fears and have a kid who is like oh yes, I understand. I have that kid. The kid who understands. Who understands so well that you want to just give them the world because they aren’t giving you a hard time about not being able to afford a hockey stick right now.

Being an uncool mom sucks when you have a great understanding kid.

Having said this – my child also had to write a dialogue for homework during this time and her interpretation went like this:

This knocked my socks off, and she explained that she made it up. And that it had nothing to do with what happened. But yes, I am a monster mom.

I guess what I’m getting at is, – trust yourself. It’s not always easy. Because the world is the world. And everyone else has a better way of doing it. A better explanation for why they do things differently. But I believe that you know your children the best, and you are built with a sixth sense for your child.

Emilie came home and had a ball of a time, of course. I called her three times and she shunted me off. And when we collected her she was the first to leave which in itself left her feeling done in by her uncool parents. But she slept in her bed, and her mother slept knowing all her chicks are asleep in their dens.

In the meantime – are you cooler than me? What have you done in the name of safety and fear that made you unpopular? Do you doubt yourself too?

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