My 4 year old attends preschool 3 afternoons a week and while sitting in the parking lot today waiting for her to finish, I saw this bumper sticker on another Mom’s car: “Well behaved women rarely make history.”
At first, it caused a huge smile to spread across my face. Then I quickly stopped and looked around. Why? Because I may have been a bit ashamed at the thoughts that were going through my head.
See, when you become a “Mom”, you are no longer supposed to behave badly (really, lets leave that up to the ill mannered children, right?) So the picture I had conjured up in my head of a recent girls trip to Mexico (the night the tequila made me believe I was in Coyote Ugly and had some serious dance moves to show off up there on the bar)…. well,
MOMS JUST DON’T DO THAT KIND OF THING!! Do they??….. Hmmmmmmmm.
I’m inclined to think the incidents are fewer and farther between than they used to be in our younger years, but hell yeah, they happen! We just get better at justifying our bad behaviour! (” Red wine affects me so strangely… I should know better than to drink it”. ”Yes, 2 bottles of it would likely do that anyone!” Or my all-time favourite, “Someone must have drugged my drink!” “No, you idiot, your alcohol tolerance just sucks.”
And let’s not just define bad behaviour as the occasional booze binge. Foul language, bribery (if Josh makes the All Star team, we are inclined to make a large donation to the league, wink, wink), name calling, road rage…. most of us have exhibited one or several bad behaviours in the years since we became Moms (at least the truthful ones who are reading this have).
So my point here is, we are all bound to behave badly on occasion. And although we may try to mask our bad behaviour from our kids the majority of the time, there may come a day when it’s pertinent to share a certain story
with them. I know I had much more respect for my Dad talking to me about all the times he smoked pot in Vietnam (as opposed to my friends parents who “never touched the stuff”) and hearing about my parents mistakes and bad behaviours made me realize that it was all a part of growing up.
So vixen mom, here are my Rules on Behaving Badly (cause it’s bound to happen!):
1. Don’t do any permanent damage (to yourself or others)
2. Keep your ethics and self respect in check at all times
3. If you are busted by your kids, admit it, own it and tell them the lesson you learned and finally
4. We all behave badly from time to time or we lose our human status. So lay off the mommy guilt. No-one’s perfect.
On the car ride home after preschool, my 7 year old son asked how my day was. I told him not so great and when he asked “why”, rather than rehash the ugly incident I had just encountered with a local landscaper, I just told him someone had been a real asshole to me (and that was being kind). I don’t swear often in front of my kids, but sometimes there is a time and place. I know my son won’t repeat my choice word and he’s known for being one of the most respectful kids in his class, but today I showed him Mom was capable of behaving badly in the course of voicing a strong opinion. Let’s just hope I’m raising him right and he takes away the right message.
I would love to hear your “behaving badly” story if you have one you will bravely share!