Inside: Why being a mom is not the same thing as being your kid’s best friend. It’s hard to say “no” to our kids, but sometimes doing what’s best for them means making hard calls.
No one ever said that being a mom would be easy.
In fact, when you’re expecting your first child, many people will go out of their way to warn you…
…that it will be years before you’ll get a full night’s sleep again.
…that kids will make you broke.
…you’ll never “get your body back.”
…and so on…
But what “they” don’t warn you about are there are times when you have to be the “bad guy.”
When you’ll have to say “NO” to something your kids want. Or watch them cry. Or deal with them being angry at you. Heaven forbid, you might even hear the dreaded words, “I hate you!” (Though that phrase is a big no-no in our house!)
That’s because you are a mom, not their best friend.
From the moment I first laid eyes on their sweet little faces, all I wanted to do was protect my girls and give them the best life possible.
There is this almost animal-like instinct that I feel deep inside to keep them safe. I call it my “mama bear” instinct.
Do you feel that way too?
However, sometimes keeping kids safe and keeping them happy are two different things.
What kids want is not always what’s best for them.
And even though they might not believe it, we moms are always trying to do what’s best for our kids. More than anyone else on this planet, mothers are hard-wired to protect their young.
No matter how awesome your best friend is, they’ll never care more about you then your mother.
Best Friends Don’t Always Know What’s Best
Think about when you were a kid or a teenager. Did your best friend ever try to get you to do things that weren’t in your best interest?
Like sneaking out of the house…
Or drinking at a party…
As a mom, would you let your kids do those things if they asked?
And that’s why we can’t be our kid’s best friend.
It just doesn’t work.
Deep down we know that, and that’s why we moms do what we do. Why we sometimes make decisions that make our kids mad. Or sad.
We know deep down that sometimes doing what’s right and what’s good for our family can mean that our kids don’t get what they want in that exact moment.
But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
As a parent, you have to make tough calls because you know they are the right calls.
It’s not fun (even if our kids think we get some weird joy out of saying “no” to them).
It doesn’t win you cool mom points. In fact, saying “no” probably gets you negative cool mom points!
By now, I’ve accepted that I’m not necessarily going to be the “cool mom” — and I’m ok with that.
That’s because being “uncool” means that my kids stay alive and learn how to be independent adults. It means that I’ve done my job.
“But I hate seeing my kids cry!”
Me too mama, me too.
It goes against everything in my being to see my kids upset. It hurts my soul.
You see, hurting my kids’ feelings is definitely not my goal. I know that’s not what you want either.
But if kids want to do something dangerous, or ask me to buy them something we can’t afford, or stay up past their bedtime (which makes them turn into crazy little people), or eat a bunch of sugar that’s going to make them feel sick, or skip homework…
As Simon Cowell would say…
It’s a ‘NO’ from me.
And you know what?
Some day — because I’ve done my job, my kids will go out into the world and start families of their own.
And it will be their turn to be the “bad guy.” (Yea…sorry mom…I get it now!)
Here’s the real catch though…
When my kids have kids, I’ll finally get to be cool and fun all the time…
Because I’ll be Grandma!!
But until then…
I’m Mom — a parent, not a best friend.
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