🍷 opinion / 👶 motherhood

what’s luck got to do with it?

whats luck got to do with it-2It happened again last week, this time while we were in line at a drugstore.

There was a fellow mom waiting in front of us. She also had two kids, a boy and a girl.

As she was reaching into her purse for something, her son screamed and proceeded to snatch candy off the shelf.

Snickers and Three Musketeers went crashing to the floor, followed quickly by Butterfingers and bags of Skittles.

As the mom scurried to contain her son and simultaneously scoop up the fallen candy, her daughter picked up where her brother left off, sweeping her hand carelessly across the shelves of candy and knocking them to the floor.

I watched the scene in horror, unsure of whether I should help pick up the candy. As she stood up, her eyes fell on my daughters quietly standing beside me and she gave me a wistful expression.


AS SHE STOOD UP, HER EYES FELL ON MY DAUGHTERS QUIETLY STANDING BESIDE ME AND SHE GAVE ME A WISTFUL EXPRESSION.


Then she said it: “Your kids are so well-behaved. You’re so lucky!”

The ends of my mouth twitched and I managed a prim smile.

“Thank you.”

Just two days before, at a friend’s home, my kids were playing with my friend’s six-year-old daughter.

As the trio raced through the kitchen and out to the backyard, I called out to Pumpkin to slow down a bit and not to run in the house.

She skidded to a halt, glanced back at my serious expression, and did a quick walk instead behind her friend.

“I wished my daughter listened to me,” sighed my friend. “You’re so lucky!”

It’s hard not to feel frustrated and unsure of what to answer in these situations, because Luck has nothing to do with it.

On one hand, I want to accept these compliments with a good-natured shrug, but on the other hand, I feel as though I’d be selling myself short if I do.


ON ONE HAND, I WANT TO ACCEPT THESE COMPLIMENTS WITH A GOOD-NATURED SHRUG, BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, I FEEL AS THOUGH I’D BE SELLING MYSELF SHORT IF I DO.


Why?

Raising kids takes a lot of work. Any parent will tell you that. Raising kids who listen to you (most of the time) and know how to behave in public takes a shit ton of work.

When a child acts out at home, it’s crucial to address it immediately and communicate with the her, finding out why she feels the way she does, and demonstrating a more appropriate response. Over and over and over again.

Consistency is key, as exhausting as it is, but it certainly is no accident.

Tantrums happen. Kids act out. But turning to another mom and telling her She Is Lucky is straight up offensive and shows complete disregard for what she’s had to go through to get to where her kids are now.


TANTRUMS HAPPEN. KIDS ACT OUT. BUT TURNING TO ANOTHER MOM AND TELLING HER SHE IS LUCKY IS STRAIGHT UP OFFENSIVE AND SHOWS COMPLETE DISREGARD FOR WHAT SHE’S HAD TO GO THROUGH TO GET TO WHERE HER KIDS ARE NOW.


What those moms don’t see are the back-to-back time-outs, the shouting, the threats to take away toys or privileges, the negotiating, the self-doubt I feel that I may possibly be turning my own children against me by doing these things, yet plodding forward anyway–because I’ll be damned if my kids end up not learning right from wrong.

I’m not a perfect mom, nor would I ever profess to be. I have lots to learn and more than that before I ever feel satisfied with how I’m doing.

But to the moms out there who look down at her kids throwing candy in the store, then back at mine, with a wistful expression of “You’re so lucky!” on the tip of your tongue: Don’t say it.

It is offensive to me and all the hard work I put in to raising my children to be good citizens, no matter how tiring it is, or how much my kids may hate me in that moment for doing so.

That simple phrase belittles all my efforts and struggles in shaping my children into one day being considerate and respectful adults.

 


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9 thoughts on “what’s luck got to do with it?

  1. This is a great topic! As I witness more and more overly spoiled kids in the shopping centres; restaurants and other public places.., I know there’s a lack of discipline from their parents… But who is going to ‘pay’ for it in the future? I wonder…

    Vivienne X

    • I suppose everyone pays in some way or another. The parents of those kids will surely have some regrets. The kids may not be as liked or as accepted by society. And the rest would have to potentially deal with these types at school, at work, or in other social settings. Parenting just cannot be taken lightly, even if sometimes you have to be the bad guy! 😉

  2. Congrats to you! I don’t think I have ever heard that, I will have to be more aware of the use of the word “luck” I guess I just tune out comments and advice when it comes to children. In our nest we know the patience, courage and strength it takes to care for children, I’m empathetic to families who need more of it with care for special needs children. I see how much more work it takes and I am there for my friends who do need to talk about it.

    • I agree with this, and I also definitely feel for others who need to give more of themselves to children whether they have special needs or not. But any achievement takes time, effort, and perserverance, and however far one gets is determined by anything but luck. This could even apply to other accomplishments such as academics or a job promotion.

  3. Jen, I could so relate to that! I am far from being a perfect mom and neither are my kids perfect. But I am too feel offended when someone says to me in a social gathering “Oh you would not know, you have good kids”
    What about all the hard work I put in?
    Good for you that your kids are well behaved! All your hard work is paying off!

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