I think I’m generally a pretty laid-back in my parenting style, and I also think that my husband wishes I was a little less laid-back when it comes to discipline or giving Chris things. I was sure I was going to be a super stern mom with a laser-like evil eye even badder than the one my mom used. I didn’t account for my kid’s voodoo, though.
He totally has a spell on me. When he wants something, I want him to have it. When he cries, I want him to feel better. It’s a constant war inside myself trying to determine what’s good for him in the long run versus what’s he wants. And sometimes I think where I draw the line is totally arbitrary and based more on my mood and energy level than on anything concrete.
Interestingly, I always thought my mom saying no was arbitrary and unfair. It’s a relief to know I was probably right about that, but not such a huge one since I am exactly the same way.
There are the basic guidelines of course: No to anything dangerous or destructive or to anything that could be repeated and frowned upon at daycare: bad words, drawing on oneself, peeing in the yard, etc. Yes to reading books, invitations to play, offers to help cook or clean, requests to snuggle (always).
Then there’s everything else, all stuck in the middle somewhere.
And I have to face it, sometimes it just feels good to say yes. A popsicle for breakfast? Why not? They are the 100% juice ones, right? (like that matters, it’s just pure sugar but I grasp at anything I can to be OK with my decision.)
Sometimes Chris will ask for something and if I turn him down he says, “Baybe tomorrow??” In a wistful way that breaks my heart. Have I brushed him off so often that he’s living in the future? (With a much nicer, more accommodating Mommy?) Then I hear the hundreds of mom voices in my head, “Cherish this time you have, it goes by so fast.” And, sobbing, I give him anything he wants. I can be the weird, crying hero mom of the moment and let the future me deal with the potentially spoiled little jerk I am creating.