Today I failed as a mother. Good thing I gave up Mother Of The Year 11 months ago because it would have been pretty rotten to get this far and then blow it the way I did. One of the first lessons in Parenting 101 is “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” Today my no was yes and my yes was maybe and then no and then yes and then no and then fine and then, well, you get the idea.
You may have heard that we have some bad weather going on right now. It started this afternoon as a light snow and has progressively gotten harder, though I’m not so sure we have the blizzard conditions they said we were going to get. Then again, I haven’t been out since this morning so I don’t really know.
My parenting faux pas came in the form of first telling Katie she couldn’t go to a friend’s house because of the storm, but then relenting and telling her she could go with another friend whose parents were going to drive, and then telling her I wasn’t comfortable with it and then saying okay, fine, and then finally just saying no. It was no reflection on the friends (they’re seriously two of my favorite girls) or on their parents (again, some of my favorite people). But as I looked out at the road and the blowing snow it just made me nervous. Especially because by this time it had turned dark. I knew most likely they would make the short drive just fine, but I still had that twisty feeling in the gut you get as a parent and I finally realized it wasn’t worth it. It was just a sleep over, something there will be many, many more of. She wasn’t very happy with me, but as soon as I said absolutely no I felt so much better.
Still, it would have gone much smoother today if I had just let my no be no to begin with. You’d think after 18+ years of parenting I’d have this simple skill down. Maybe I’ll figure it out in the next 18 years.