Okay, so I know what you’re thinking. I’m a mean mom. But hear me out on this one. The millennial generation is one of the most entitled generations to date. And yes, the baby boomers set them all up in part for that one. But that doesn’t make it okay for me to raise a total pansy. It doesn’t. And the only way out of it is teaching my kids that.
I love my daughter more than life itself. I think (I hope) that I’ve made that evident. She is an amazing little person and the fact that my body created her still amazes me to this day. However, she’s been an only child for 6 1/2 years. She has had A LOT of one on one time with me, my husband, her father, all of her grandparents, her cousins, etc. Because of all this time around adults (and almost adults) she has developed this attitude that is not at all cute on a 6-year old. It’s damn right infuriating. Even worse is that she gives you this attitude in the right context. This is both a proud moment for my inner bitch and a disheartening one for the rest of me.
All of this one on one time, however, has made her feel like she’s the most special little snowflake in all the land. Her dad reinforces that, as do his parents, and my own. Our baby shower is next week. I’ve had multiple people tell me they’re going to bring a present for her. Please don’t. I appreciate the sentiment. I really do. And our growing family will be a very difficult transition for her. I get that. That’s why we’ve sat down together and talked about it multiple times. That’s why I leave the lines of communication open so that she can talk to me about any future concerns she may have. And while a “Big Sister” tee shirt would be cute, there are only so many of those that we need (one, and I’ve already purchased it) and this shower is about the baby. She’s gonna have to get over herself and realize that it’s not always about her and it never will be again.
See, I look at it this way… It’s not my job to be my kids’ friend. It’s my job to make them into decent people that I would be willing to be friends with in adulthood. I have no intention of raising self-entitled little assholes because I wouldn’t want to hang out with those people later in life, let alone admit they came from me. It’s also my job to get them ready for the real world. And the real world doesn’t care that you just had a major life transition. The real world gives you a brief period of time to put your life back in order and then it’s all, “Suck it up, buttercup. Life goes on.”
Now, before you go reporting me to Child Services, please realize that my daughter knows how special she is in our home. There is no one that could ever replace her and I would be lost without her. What I teach her is that everyone feels like that in their own home. But then you go to school (or soccer or gymnastics) and not everyone can be the special snowflake all at once. You have to take turns. I’ve already threatened to remove her from any and all activities in later years where you receive a “participation award.” Those things are crap. What I teach her is that she needs to learn how to handle situations on her own because, excluding small exceptions, she’s gonna be the one there and I’m not the mom that’s gonna call the school to say, “So-and-so was picking on my Peanut.”
A perfect example… She is currently obsessed with Shopkins. In case you don’t know what they are, they are tiny little choking hazards in the shapes of food, shoes, household appliances, etc that have cutsy names like Dakota Dogbone. I don’t even know if that’s a real example. I just made it up. Anyway, she’s allowed to bring a toy for recess. She frequently decides to bring some of her Shopkins because it’s a status thing in 1st grade. I get it. For back story, please know that I have been telling her since she started Kindergarten that she is not allowed to accept daily “gifts” from other kids in her class or on the bus because these kids will just as quickly change their minds, turn around, and say that she stole it from them, she wasn’t supposed to keep it, whatever excuse they can to get the object back. She knows this. She has been forced, by me, multiple times, to give items back to other kids because I refuse to be known as “The Klepto’s Mom.” It’s just not a title I want, okay? Yesterday she came home complaining that she and another girl in her class had traded Shopkins and she wanted hers back now. She even gave the girl back her original Shopkins, but the girl won’t bring hers back. She also informed me that it’s my job to call that girl’s mother and make her bring them in.
Know what I said? “Looks like you’re beat, kid. And technically, you’re beat twice because you already gave back her Shopkins.” I know. I know. I’m terrible. I’m a horrible, no good human being. However, I’m pretty sure she learned the lesson that I’ve been trying to teach her for the past 2 years. And I doubt she’ll be as eager to “trade” in the future. Now, this is just my wishful thinking. She is my kid and I’m very good at holding a grudge. I still get angry when I visit my grandmother and pass by Liz Velchik’s old house because that little girl would make me late for my mother to stay and clean up Barbies but would run out the door while my house was a mess if she had to go home. But, I digress. I hope she learned this lesson, even if she did have to do it the hard way, because it’s bigger than a toy. It’s learning who to trust, standing up for yourself, anticipating what’s to come. These are things I’m trying to teach her now because they are lessons that are so much harder to learn later in life.
That, and that everyone is special in their own way. But one snowflake doesn’t usually stand out in a blizzard.