We’re slowly perfecting our bedtime routine in response to the School Year beginning in less than 2 weeks. My children and I have discussed how things will be changing around here including chores, bedtime, and responsibilities.
So. Today. Bedtime 8:40pm.
Each day we are going to bed 10 minutes earlier than before. I had to head over to my parent’s house tonight and returned right at 8:40, only to be greeted with a chocolate covered 3-yr-old and the oldest two plopped right in front of the television. Awesome. I’m not mad, but I feel defeated. Why do I have to constantly be the “Bad Cop” in this thing we call parenting?
When I was a child, my Dad was the good guy in my eyes because he rarely told me no, never disciplined me, and did everything in his power to give me what I wanted or needed at the time. Most of what I “needed” revolved around shoes. In 8th grade it was a pair of black Nike basketball shoes with white laces. I don’t know how he mustered up the money for these, but I sure did get ’em come Christmas time. I also remember him stopping by the Track Field House after school just to bring me a pair of running shoes to try for my run that afternoon. He played Good Cop quite well.
Then there was my Mom. We butted heads quite a bit, but mainly because I think I was different compared to my older brother and sister. I’ll admit, I’m not very easy to understand and my interests varied from cheerleading to running to writing to well…. boys. Now that I’m a Mother myself I’m beginning to understand her more.. how she protected me, taught me, and loved me, but there was always a lesson to be learned. She kept me grounded and disciplined. Back then she was a “Bad Cop” because I didn’t want to be told, “No.” I didn’t want to learn how to do laundry or go to bed early.
When I walked into my house today, I became stricken with emotions.
- I was angry Daddy didn’t put them to bed.
- I was agitated that my kids KNEW it was bedtime yet didn’t move a muscle.
- I was overwhelmed by the mess of Capri Sun pouches, orange peels, and toys all over the floor.
- I was sad realizing I had officially become the “Bad Cop”.
- I was defeated.
You see there is no turning back. Today was the day I realized my children already know I’m the “Bad Cop” and they see me as I saw my Mom back then. I understand that they will, in the distant future, know that I did this for their own good, but for now it breaks my heart because they rarely want to be around me, groan when I speak to them, and roll their eyes when I walk in the room.
I don’t want this kind of relationship, but what do you do when the labels are made. He’s the Good Guy and I’m the Bad Guy.
Say tomorrow I decide to switch roles, who’s going to make sure they eat healthy, get to school on time, and learn that one shower a week is just unacceptable?
So, tonight my heart weight heavy because I always imagined myself “The Good Guy.”
Do you struggle with the roles you’ve been given in Parenting? Which cop are you? Good or Bad?
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