Signs of the times. It seems more dangerous now with bombs exploding in concerts or shootings in school. My oldest has a ballet show this weekend, and she asked if she can still go with Martial Law implemented in our town due to the ISIS threat. The recent Ariana episode fuels the fear. Oh, mommying now indeed feels so much tougher.
Kids are tech-savvy and well-informed via social media. There’s no sugarcoating things! Plus, it is harder to supervise mobile content, so there’s a constant need for dialogue to ensure kids process and get the right information. Although a part of me wants to say no, my mouth came alive with: “Of course, naman…unless mag-curfew or may warning to stay indoors. Life goes on as usual. If we don’t live well, eh di pildi na ta (we lose) sa mga terorista.” To read more about parenting (mis)adventures in this millenium, see below. This aricle was first published in SunsStar CDO May 25…
My teen and tween finished the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series, so they wanted to see its most current movie installment. We, along with the preschooler, watched “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” over the weekend.
I thought it was one of those slapstick movies I have to painfully sit through; but, I was pleasantly surprised that we could all relate to it, even eliciting lots of laughs and “awwws.” The icing on the cake: the mom of the wimpy kids is Alicia Silverstone. Gosh!
This Hollywood actress was my ultimate girl-crush and fashion icon eons ago, when she was in the movie, “Clueless.” Now, in her mother-role, I felt my age from the tips of my graying hair, all the way down to the marrows of my weary bones. The kids are even different actors now because the original ones from the first few movies are older. Ouch, old!
The Heffley family goes on a road trip to attend Meemaw’s 90th birthday party. Plans hilariously go haywire thanks to the kids’ scheming to attend a Cosplay (video gamers) convention. It showcases the modern world, wherein the father and kids are attached to their gadgets. Mom desperately wards off their dependence by going back to the basics through family bonding, talking, playing games, sharing healthy meals, etc.
My kids could totally relate to the part wherein Alicia confiscated their gadgets, and they declared she was the meanest mom in the world. Well, it’s nothing I haven’t heard before. Since I am the resident bad cop, my kids have uttered these jokes that are probably half-meant (truth in jest): “You’re the worst Mom ever!”, “You’re evil!”, “Here comes the Momster!”, or “I swear you’re ruining my life!”
At times, I wonder, am I even doing it right? See, the thing about parenting is we only get one shot; and if we screw things up, the result—dysfunctional kids. And that’s super scary!
I acknowledge I am the Cruella DeVil in my kids’ lives, but I only do it out of love. As much as possible, I try to balance everything so I can give them freedom to do what they want, within the limits of what I deem reasonably safe and sensible. My goal: I want to see all my three kids grow into decent, responsible, humble, and lovable human beings who work hard to succeed in life.
No matter how many desperate cries of “please” I hear about getting unlimited mobile internet on their cellphones, so they can stay online like all the damn time, I am never-ever going to cave. They can get it when they can pay for it. Talking to people in the flesh and reading actual books will always be the top priority. Mark my words!
There’s a scene in the movie wherein Alicia gets to pick out songs for their road trip. She chooses a CD of the Spice Girls and starts belting out “Wannabe” to the kids’ utter horror and disgust. My children and I all had a good laugh here because I’ve terrorized them with my car musical repertoire and singing many times.
On top of that, when my kids play their songs, they always complain when I join in with the wrong tune and mixed-up lyrics. Even our four year old knows the current pop songs better than I do. Holy moly!
Yes, there is a huge generation divide between my kids and I, but it is one gap that I try my darndest best to breach every single day. No matter what happens, my children know that communication lines are always open. And even though it’s hard for me to “get” what the current hot viral trends are, I’ve made this promise to keep an open mind to see things from their perspective.
Guilty mom syndrome
In the movie, the mom really struggled to make her children like the things that she enjoyed when she was growing up. In the end, she dejectedly returns all the gadgets, saying: “I give up!” My middle son turned to me and said, “Mom, she sounds exactly like you!” My older and younger child concurred.
All of us moms aim to give our kids the very best. Sometimes, reality bites, expectations aren’t met, goals fail, and guilt sets in. Am I doing enough? Do I work or stay home? Me-time, date night, or spend more time with the kids? The kids are misbehaving, is it my fault? There are many internal struggles.
I wish I am the perfect mom; the type who gently issues commands in her pristine white ruffled apron, while the scent of newly baked cookies permeate the air of a well-organized spotless house. No strand is out of place in her immaculately groomed hair, while soft-spoken docile kids smile and immediately follow all her instructions at once.
But no! I have a short fuse and stubborn strong-willed children who have minds of their own. They leave traces of their existence all over my house: dirty socks, crumbs, used plates, toys, homework, etc.
I also yell, which rapidly escalates to screaming like a banshee proportions, especially when child-who-must-not-be-named is running like a snail again on a hectic school morning, forcing me to be a Formula-1 racecar driver to beat the morning bell because I am a stickler for punctuality. If I am lucky, I get to brush my hair and my teeth before I hop onto the driver’s seat wearing my craptastic house clothes.
See, it ain’t perfect. Life never is. No one is. Not even in this era of happy filters, staged-to-perfection selfies, and cool tweets/status updates. The most important thing for me is I try! I guess that’s what all mothers do. We try our very best because our children deserve nothing less. And that is more than enough!