Most of the time, I'm what most would call a "laid back" mom. I try to treat my kids like people and show them respect. I also try not to engage in epic battles over things like clothes or cleaning their plate at dinnertime, because it's just not worth it. Plus, I'm tired AF. That said, there are definitely moments when I refuse to be the "nice" mom. Why? Well, because as much as I want my kids to like me, I won't put my kids' safety or wellbeing on the line to make it happen.
The way I see it, my job is to love my kids unconditionally, to keep them alive and healthy, and to gently draw boundaries when they need to be drawn in order to make those things happen. That means being "mean" every once in a while. One of the hardest transitions in parenting, for me, was getting over the idea that my kids wouldn't always like me. Honestly, I'm not really over it, I've just had to accept it, because my kids definitely hate me at least once a day. The worst part? They tell me they hate me, too.
"You are the worst mom in the whole world," my 8 year old screamed. What was it this time? That I made her do her homework? Demanded she brush her teeth? Insisted she help clean up the mess she made all over the living room floor before she could have screen time? It could be any of those, or several, all at the same time. It's so freaking hard, you guys. When my kids were toddlers they loved me. I mean it. They were so attached to me they needed an hour of snuggling with me to fall asleep at night, still made their way to our bed at some point during the night, and wanted hugs and kisses as soon as they woke up in the morning. Then, some time around age 3 for my daughter and age 4 for my son, things changed. They started testing boundaries, throwing tantrums, and saying, "no." Gone are my sweet babies and gone is their "nice mom," at least some of the time.