If you are raising younger kids alongside older kids you probably hear this twice a week:
“Why do you let Jonny (fill-in-the-blank)? I never got to (fill-in-the-blank) when I was his age!”
Or, “Are you going to get Jonny get away with that? If I had done that at his age, you would have whooped me good!”
Or, “Why are you letting Jonny watch (this movie)? When I was Jonny’s age, you NEVER would have let me watch (this movie)”
What is a parent with one foot in the teenager world and one foot in the elementary school world to say?
1. Yes, dear, I am slacking off. I’m older than I was when I was raising you and this discipline business is grueling on the aging body/mind. Speaking of slack, give me some, okay?
2. Yes, dear, you’re right. I didn’t let you go to many sleepovers because as a young mom I was riddled with fear. I was sure you would come home itching with lice or converted to a new religion. But once I let you all start going to sleepovers, I realized that wasn’t a real threat. Grumpiness, yes. Hari-Karishna, no.
As for movies, well it got a little weird that you were thirteen and still hadn’t seen Home Alone. I don’t want Jonny to be graduating from high school before he watches anything heavier than a Pooh video.
So, you see dear, I am slacking off, but deliberately so. Even mamas need to grow up sometimes.
Believe me, one day when you have four teenagers, a ten, and an eight-year-old, two dogs, four cats, and a series of lop-eared bunnies, you’ll understand.