Anyone who claims complete obedience in their children is one of three things: lucky, a tyrant, or a liar. Kids are little "no" machines, and sometimes it feels like they run on crackers and the collective tears of questioned mothers everywhere. Why. Won't. They. Just. Listen?! Fortunately there is someone who will always know exactly what I'm going through when my children refuse to listen to a word I have to say: my mom. My mother was a stay at home parent from 1982 to 2009. She also just gets me, so I send her the very texts that every woman sends her mom when her kids say "no," when mine are unapologetically defiant to (what has to be) a pathological degree.
I have an incredibly close relationship with my mother. I know not everyone has a "Rory and Lorelai Gilmore" relationship with the maternal figure in their life, but for those of us who continue to rely on their mamas to get them through the toughest of days, I'm going to go ahead and guess that a lot of those relationships look pretty similar. (What is it Tolstoy said about happy families?) When your child is being particularly defiant, or if their obnoxious behavior is just the poop frosting on your crap-cake of a day, sometimes you just need to talk to someone who knows exactly what you're going through and can completely understand your current, undone mental state. Which is why every woman sends her mother the following 11 text messages when her kids are all about the word "no."
It's A Cycle
My son inherited my mother's vivid imagination; my daughter, her infectious smile. When either of these little darlings shoot me an angry and defiant, "No!" I see my mother's strength and passion. Which is why I'd also like to imagine they've inherited her "warrior spirit." This not only makes whatever they're doing look predetermined (and clearly something I have no control over), it also shifts blame in a neutral or even flattering way to my mom. Win-win.
Finally Owning Up
Because most of my life my mom said, "When you're a parent you'll get it," and now I finally do. Sorry, mom.
Woe Is Me
Because sometimes you just need someone to listen to you whine about nothing and everything all at once*. Throwing a pity party is no fun if you don't have any guests, and who better to invite than your mom, who's been attending your pity parties for your entire life? When my mother lets me indulge and doesn't remind me that I'm probably reaping what I sowed, I instantly start to feel better.
*you're welcome, fellow 90s moms.
Mom Hugs Make Everything Better
There's just something about a mother's embrace that recharges your mental and emotional batteries in a way nothing else can. Even if it's a texted, "Aww! Hugs baby!" you'll swear you can feel your long-lost energy returning.
Comparing Strategy Notes
I mean, she's likely the person you take many if not most of your parenting notes from, one way or the other. It makes sense to go back to her for advice on how to handle this latest mutiny.
Ready For The Hard Truths
Because you've avoided asking this question for years. Now, as you sit staring into the darkest depths of your child's obstinate insubordination, wondering how one tiny human could be so annoying to another human being, you are ready to know if that darkness is inside of you, too. Plus, you're a pretty well-adjusted adult, so just because your kid loves questioning authority figures, doesn't mean they won't end up being a pretty fantastic adult.
Desperately Trying To Assign Blame
You know you're grasping at straws here, but you just need to explain this behavior and make sense of your current predicament. Mom (and her tendency to give your children all the sugar and all the toys) is an easy (and forgiving) target.
The Bait And Switch
Because, eventually enough is enough. Sometimes you just want these adorable little monsters out of your hair. When you attempt this play, you don't tell your mom about the frustrating attitudes that are seemingly endless. This is a cold open and, chances are, she will fall for it.
Because what is actually going on? No, really, what is this nonsense? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!
Every mom pronounces this prophecy, right? Or just about every mom? And sometimes, when things are going really poorly for her, you have to concede victory to the old girl. At least one of you can laugh right now.
Continuing The Cycle
Like I said: this prophecy is for every mom. Including you.