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Friday, December 11, 2020

Listen to Your Mother




Listen to your mother!

Listen to your mother.

Those are 4 simple words, but they hold so much power to them.


I was watching a tv show with my husband the other day. We were watching Last Man Standing. This particular episode begins when everyone comes home and we see that Great-Grandpa Bud is babysitting Boyd and he tells everyone else that Boyd did very well, except the one time when he spanked Boyd for not listening, but Boyd recovered and they had a great time.

Mom and dad are upset because they both agreed to never spank their son. Then the room bursts in to discussion about how the situation should have been handled, then everyone goes home.

A little later Kristen (mom) ends up swatting Boyd after he runs out in front of a car in the parking lot. It was an instant reaction and she's devastated afterwards. She tries to cover it up by bribing him with sweets, trying to hide it from Ryan (dad), but it all comes out at grandma's and grandpa's. Ryan starts to get mad at Kristen as Boyd watches the argument. Kristen tells Boyd to go upstairs, but he doesn't listen. Instead he starts to get mouthy with her, then suddenly, Mike (grandpa) says with his authoritative voice, "Listen to your mother!" Boyd hightails it upstairs and then real talking began.


The moment that Mike says those words, I started ugly crying. As a mom, I think that kids tend to misbehave for their moms more than anyone. Part of it can be because we don't always follow through with our threats, "If you do this, then..." "Don't do this, or...". It's not that we don't want to follow through, but we get exhausted, especially if the kids haven't listened to us all day. 

But do you ever notice that when dad says something, they listen better? 

My youngest and I have been doing school in the attic. There have been days when he just doesn't want to listen to me or to the helpers/teachers in his specials. Should I be surprised that it's the women he doesn't listen too? I can ask him all day to do something, but if he doesn't want to listen to me, he won't. However, when I'm on my last nerve, I'll message my husband and just his foot steps on the stairs snap my youngest back into action. 


My husband doesn't have to spank him or even say anything to him, but my child still sits straighter, picks up his pencil or whiteboard and marker, and does what he needs to do. For some reason, my rather gentle husband has more authority with his presence, than I do. 


Without intention, especially during this pandemic, my husband has been promoted to head leader of the house, when we used to share the position. Perhaps it seemed I had more authority when I'd watch the kids while my husband was at work. The shift becomes very noticeable after a while and it goes through cycles.

The thing that my kids really respond to, is when my husband tells them, "Listen to your mother."

It puts us back onto equal footing. It reinforces that dad is in charge and SO is mom. It tells them to listen to me the first time. Not the second, not the third, but the first. It tells them that dad values me and that we're a team. 


I get it. I'm the comfort they seek; kind of like a cushion, if you will. You don't expect the thing that comforts you to inconvenience you, too. And that's really what our directives are when we ask them to do something that they don't want to do. They'd rather feel cushy than inconvenienced so they push back. But we aren't cushions. We're moms and it's our shared responsibility to make sure our kids are raised to be respectful of others and that respect starts with us.


Conclusion

Dads... It's really important to institute that, too. It starts with you. Are you listening to your wife/partner? When she asks you something, do you respond right away or does she have to ask you to do it again? Answer her questions, communicate with her, show your kids that she's important and what she has to say is meaningful. 

However, with great power comes great responsibility, so moms, make sure that you're not asking too much, either. I want us to be listened to and respected, but I do know that some people, when given an inch, they take a mile. Make sure that you're not being unreasonable in your requests.

Dads, your wife/partner isn't your mom/slave, either. Yes, you may work long days, but so has she. It may not be the same type of work, we're not comparing here, but act like an adult and not another son. Pick up after yourself because little eyes are watching you. 


Most importantly, share the mental load. Make sure the kids are respecting both of you. Come up with a parenting agreement that works out for both of you. Don't belittle or degrade the other; show each other respect. Reinforce that both of you are in charge and see the balance come back into your lives. 

If you want to watch that episode, it's on Hulu. Season 3, episode 10.


What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments.


 



2 comments:

  1. Good read, Brittany. It is sad that fathers don't have to work at earning that respect. With that being said... it is absolutely imperative that he demands that respect be given to mom.

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Hello! My name is Brittany and I'm a writer, obviously. As a stay-at-home mom, there are many things that I have to figure out in order to run a house that appears to be more sane than insane. It's not easy to be a parent and I hope that this blog is able to encourage other moms out there to live life happily and to understand that there can be mishaps along the way, but those mishaps don't define you and anything can be overcome with perseverance and will.

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