Yep. That's me.
I drag myself out of bed after yet another night filled with multiple interruptions (i.e husband snoring, toddler head banging, older kid sleeping walking and occasionally sleep yelling - that's a fun experience at 3am by the way) to get myself ready for work, make breakfast for two kids, feed the puppy, pack lunches and schoolbags and then drag everyone else out of bed and get them dressed. When I turn off the 'toonies' at 7:30 because kids are staring at the TV instead of eating, I am the worst...mom...ever.
After work when I pick up up the toddler from day care and I see him running towards me with his big blue eyes open wide, arms outstretched, and he runs right past me into the play area - its ok, I'm not hurt. Maybe a little...but I understand the importance of free play so I oblige as I gather his little coat and lunch bag and follow him to watch him play with his little buddies for the next 10 minutes even though I am pretty beat and just want to go home. But then when I say its time to go because mommy has to go home and make dinner instead of going through the drive thru on the way home, I am the worst...mom...ever.
We get home to a sink full of dirty dishes from breakfast, pee spot on the rug from our not-yet-house trained puppy, one kid asking to go play at the neighbor's, the other one asking me to get him a snack and I say "Hold on! We JUST walked in the door! Give me a minute!", I get looked at like I am the worst...mom...ever.
The rest of the day, night and all those that follow play out pretty much the same way. The dinner I made complete with protein, starch and vegetable gets eye rolls, 'ick's and 'eww's' and the occasional "Can't we have mac & cheese instead?" which loosely translate to the fact that I am the worst...mom...ever. When I insist the 11 year old study for his history test instead of playing video games...worst mom ever. When its time for the 3 year old to go to bed (even though its already 20 minutes past bedtime) - worst mom ever. When I tell them to pick up their clothes or their toys and be responsible for their things, when I say 'No, you can't go to your friend's house because we are going to visit your 98-year-old great granny', because I suggest playing an old school board game instead of watching TV or staring at the phones, when I tell my son to hustle and pay attention at practice and address his coach respectfully as 'Coach' because he's an adult and a volunteer who is using his personal time to help you improve your game, when I say "Yes, you have to go to church today", when I deny their request to eat candy at 9am, when I make them say please and thank you and hold the door for the person behind them....yep - all those things make me the front runner for being the worst...mom...ever.
I thought the job of being the best mom ever entailed raising kids with respect, values, manners and a sense of responsibility. From the reactions I get from my kids most times, apparently I'm doing it all wrong because yes I literally have been told 'You're the worst mom ever' when I say no to a sleepover request or when I say "Turn off the video game and take the trash out NOW!" for the 3rd or 4th time with zero acknowledgement....
It's funny though...when other parents are exposed to my children I always hear 'Your boys are so polite', 'Your boys are so sweet', 'Your boys are the best'. Maybe it's because when I'm not being the worst mom ever, I am loving, praising, encouraging and playing with my boys as much as they'll let me. I tell them how much I love them every chance I get. I kiss them all over even though a lot of times they wipe them off. I hug them. I squeeze them. I let them know that they mean the world to me. I play trains, Play-Doh, football, basketball. I'm not allowed to play video games though because I stink at them.
So I guess if my trade off for all that time ingraining values and manners is being the worst mom ever...I'll wear that badge, even if it occasionally gets tarnished when they stop their feet, pout and give me the silent treatment. Because apparently being the worst mom ever is helping to shape my boys to be sweet, kindhearted, respectful little gentlemen...whether they like it or not.