During my years teaching at the college level, I had a few unfortunate run-ins with a type of student that is becoming too prevalent in our society. You know, the “do nothing earn an A” types. You all know the type: The student that never makes class, somehow manages to blame the instructor and cries until he gets an A? And by cry, I mean Real Tears And All, people.
It’s not just the old “My dog ate my homework” excuse. It’s deeper. It’s every day. Every assignment. Every test.
Not al kids are this way but talking to old Professors, they all agree: It’s an epidemic and they don’t know what to do about it except compare emailed excuses and take out some sort of Liability insurance for the-Professor-that-makes-their-students-excel-through-hard-work.
A few years went by. I became a mom again. I quit teaching.
The same attitude popped up at playgroups and on TV. It started permeating daily life in a new twist: Mom Entitlement.
Something clicked one day while watching one of those “news” shows (Dateline? Something?) which featured a successful mom earning a night out. “She makes breakfast for her teen son, works 9-5 and rewards herself at night with parties and cocktail bars!” The mom comes on the air explaining how rewarding yourself is the best gift you can give your child. It’s the best for everyone, really. You work hard, go enjoy life! So she justified her nightly parties by her 30 minutes of morning routine with her 15 year old son.
Look, I say that. I get that. I do that. But when did becoming a Mom entitle me to stay exactly the same? To enjoy my nightlife? To drag my children along my bumpy road of self fulfillment?
I bitch about wanting to be ME. The OLD ME. I whine because my kids are hard. I joke about surviving motherhood by booze. My children are not an accessory, they are my CHILDREN. They are hard. They are challenging. They whine. They throw fits. They spitup and crap themselves.
Of course they do. They are kids.
Somewhere along the way, either through too much Mister Roger’s neighborhood or awards for showing up, we’ve lost the whole “grow a pair” attitude our country was built on. We’ve become ninnies. Do you think our Founding Fathers’ children never threw a fit? Do you think their wives went out for pedis once a week?
I’m not saying we shouldn’t enjoy comforts and rewards because lord knows I love me a Mom Night Out. I love me a four day trip to San Fran with ladies and drinks and no kids.
But maybe when I return I should worry a little less about how hard being a mother is and actually be a mother. Spitup, poopy pants, and real live tantrums and all.
Next up? I insult your religious beliefs while quoting Rush Limbaugh!
P.S. No, kidding, I have a post for the real Brutally Honest Monday Fashion Style asking (begging) for input on this floral dress. I just forgot the card in the camera at home. Unless you want to fling some input about the dress sans-visual, feel free.
<a href=“http://mrs.flinger.us”><img src=“http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3130/2394484739_8a1ed73b65_m.jpg” alt=“Brutally Honest Mondays” border=“0” /></a>
I love you more & more all the time. Well done!
By Alli ~Mrs. Fussypants on 2008 07 14
I think I love this post but I’m too drunk to be sure.
By Jenny, bloggess on 2008 07 14
Seriously, you got some go kill yourself feedback? For the record, I’m with ya lady. It’s tiring, exhausting even. But sometimes you just have to belly up and do the job you signed up for - being a mom.
And now I’m looking forward to having my religious beliefs insulted.
By syd on 2008 07 14
All parents complain about it being hard. If they don’t they are lying to themselves. I am sure our forefathers pissed and moaned around the campfire that little Johnny was not plowing the field correctly or little Mary did not churn the butter the right way. It is just different degrees.
By Jess on 2008 07 14
Yup. We think we’re entitled + it’s not just mothers, it’s the Millenials…http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/11/08/60minutes/main3475200.shtml
Worth a watch. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.
By Gwen Bell on 2008 07 14
Eh, I think it’s the result of being held under the thumb of society in the past too much in some degree, ya dig? Moms portrayed on TV as these high-heeled, dress wearing cooks/maids/hotties who never complained, used a cuss-word, or needed a drink or a foot-rub. Sometimes we just overcorrect, I think. Now we’re screaming about how “it’s hard, damnit! and I can’t just pretend to be perfect! and I like being a mom, but I need a night out and a break sometimes!”
And if you ask me, the whole Sense of Entitlement thing? It’s rampant in EVERY area of our society. I saw it when I was TA’ing at WFU, too. But I saw it just as much when I was working at Dairy Queen and when I was managing a Brookstone. “The customer is always right” has been taken to such extreme levels that it’s ridiculous now.
Obviously, I could go on for days.
Great post! No go kill yourself. Or have a Mom Night Out. You know, whatever you feel like doing… because YOU’VE EARNED IT.
By Sarcastic Mom on 2008 07 14
I love you bitches.
By Mrs. Flinger on 2008 07 14
We love you more!
Seriously, though. I think that entitlement is a real problem that keeps escalating.
However, on the flip side…There are people who look down there noses at mothers having any semblence of a life. At least that happens a lot where I live.
For example: When my ex says that he has a BIG problem with me going to movies with my friends after my son is IN BED and being watched by his stepfather (Who would pay money to not have to take me to a chick flick) I will gladly tell him to stick it up his rear end.
Moms need alone/down/play time but not at the expense of their child.
By Loralee on 2008 07 14
I love all of you bitches too (including you, Leslie!)
This was bang-on. I am a Chartered Accountant (CA), and now teach CA students. They OOZE Entitlement, and I am all, “Suck it up. I had to work to get my initials and SO DO YOU.”
Amen, Leslie. Amen.
By Angella on 2008 07 14
I don’t know if I’m still in the honeymoon phase with the Bean, or what, but I really don’t want to do anything without him. I don’t really care if my nails are done, or about having a girls night out, if it means spending time away from him. Maybe that makes me a total freak, but I can own that.
I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I work outside of home and don’t get to spend as much time with him as I wish I could, so every minute seems precious. Or maybe it’s just because he is so freaking awesome it blows my mind. But either way, my focus is always on him and not ME, and I don’t care if that is unhealthy or whatever.
I don’t want ME time, I want Bean Time!
To all the whiners out there, put that in your pipe and smoke it!
(I’ve always wanted to say that to someone.)
By bejewell on 2008 07 14
I am struggling with finding the right words to say other than EXACTLY! But I am failing badly. There is a new crop of employees at my office, fresh out of college, and they walk around like they own the place. It drives me CRAZY. I am striving to make sure my own child doesn’t grow up thinking the world owes her something.
By heather on 2008 07 14
I don’t blame the teen to 25 crowd for feeling a sense of entitlement. Physically the part of the brain that evaluates consequences and long term fall-out from their decisions is not fully developed. HOWEVER, (excuse me while I step up on my soapbox)one would hope that after a a certain point a grown woman would be able to prioritize her life so that self gratification is a treat, not a habit. I know the women of which you speak. I am related to some women of which you speak. I’m too self righteous or is it too lazy?)to become one of the women of which you speak(trip climbing down from soapbox wanders off in search of self-gratifying wine).
By TX Poppet on 2008 07 14
Is it too much to ask to find balance in all this? Zappos seems to have found a balance, even though the video portrays it’s employees as a bunch of sillies parading around the workplace. Zappos has staying power because it both caters to that Millenial crowd AND pushes the envelope on creativity + customer service. Let me put it this way, we Millenials might do it different, but we still get it done. (Many of us, in fact, are avid GTD—Getting Things Done, a productivity system users + advocates).
Lots of us (self included) own and run our own businesses, take creative leaps, have figured a way out of the cube. For that, I think we can be seen as a model. Maybe a model that needs work (I’m thinking about the early models of cylons in Battlestar Galactica here)...but a solid model, nonetheless.
By Gwen Bell on 2008 07 14
I love my kids and I love my time without my kids. That time without them is always short lived. I don’t get the party mom thing. It’s so immature.
I so want to know who posted the go kill yourself comment. you should sign that person up for every subscription on the interweb. That commenter must have been a party mom. You rock.
By Mamikaze on 2008 07 14
Amen Sister. As a solo parent, “Me Time” is virtually non-existent. I relish it when I DO get it, but first and foremost I’m a mom. It’s called Responsibility.
You’re so right on about the “Entitlement” epidemic. I work with 20-somethings and want to smack them upside the head virtually every day.
By mommypie on 2008 07 14
Amen sistah on entitlement. You have the right to PERSUE happiness not a right to have it handed to you.
Some days it’s best that Mommy goes out for the sake and sanity of keeping peace in the family.
By Candes on 2008 07 14
That’s some serious fucking honesty honey… YOU GO GURRRRRL. I think everyone does need a dose of “grow a pair.” Nobody said being a mom (or parent, period) was fun, rewarding or titillating (RAWR). If you think that, you should check to see if your address is in Stepford.
It’s all about survival, and we all do the best we can.
Like I say - being a Mom (specifically MY KID’S mom) is the best thing in the world and I LOVE it. Being a parent? SUCKS DONKEY DICKS.
By Katie Kat on 2008 07 14
My last two social occasions sans progeny totally got annihilated by the little beasts (one or other other or both were ill.) Was I happy about it? No, but I am a mother, so I dealt with it. They were sick and they needed their mother AND their father.
I figure they will not always be around to suck the life out of me, but I need to let them while this still can (and even want to!)
Great post. We do not need to be all-sacrificial, but you are right on about this sense of entitlement that has been rearing its ugly head.
By cagey on 2008 07 14
An AMEN is in order.
Even if you criticize my faith in your next brutally honest post.
By OMSH on 2008 07 14
awesome post girl.
By amy turn sharp on 2008 07 14