Parenting: A Lesson in Hypocrisy.

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I have come to the realization that when it comes to parenting, I am the biggest hypocrite there is. I know many of us can stake that claim on a few occasions over the so-called blissful years or rearing those little assholes we call our ‘love of our lives’. But really, I know this one thing for sure– I do not follow rules. In fact, I abhor them. Most days of the week, my husband usually has that fleeting thought of “well, today is going to be the day she gets arrested.” Don’t ask for what….the list can be endless, especially over the years he has been with me! Don’t panic,  murder isn’t on the list (yet).

All those pesky rules thrown around with authority by people of some sort of authority; there in lies the biggest problem. I have a huge issue with authority. Always have, always will, I am sure. I know, you’re wondering, what is the big whine about hypocrisy then? We all have issues with rules and authority every now and then. Well, here is the big, shiny sign of hypocricy–I am hyper diligent when it comes to rules and authority with my children. Not just my rules and authority (that goes without saying), but ANY type of the two.

It hit me like a ton of bricks this evening when I was lecturing my son about his homework and the guidelines and what the teacher expects, and that he needs to listen to and follow the rules. I swear, I could see my husband silently beating his head against the wall as I spoke. I simultaneously thought of my high school years and all of the classes I skipped, the tests I never studied for, the notes I never took. I recalled the times I yelled at my teacher, got kicked out and put in the hallway for an entire semester for not following rules. I remember the bottles of liquor and the drugs I did in the Girl’s washroom on ‘study break’. For as long as I have been alive, I have been that person who constantly questions the authority figures and consistently bends (breaks, if we need to get technical) the rules. Some of them are worth bending, but for the most part, looking back on my life, alot of the them were probably not worth it. Breaking and bending them just caused me more grief in the long run. I would love to say I learned from that, but full disclosure here: I have not. I am still that 14 year-old stuck in a 42 year-old body!

Surely, she must be exaggerating, you think to yourself; I am afraid not. My oldest would be happy to sit you down and tell you all of the times her mother pulled crazier stunts than she could even dream of, usually in front of her. She will reminisce about the time we went to a Rihanna concert in Vancouver for her birthday; she was 15 I believe. Well, not only did I order us drinks and hid them by my seat and kept an eye on the security guard for her, but we ended up wrestling with a fountain in the middle of the night, drunk as skunks, and we were both terribly hung over on the drive home the next morning. Ya, I got a big ole “Mother of the Year” trophy for that stunt. It took up the entire mantel. I bring this up, because my son is dying to see Kendrick Lamar and of course my husband is tempted to buy the tickets. He isn’t a fan of Kendrick, so me being the generous partner, I offered to chaperone this event for our 14 year-old son. Innocent enough. Until he reminded me that “you are the one who needs chaperoning and I’m pretty sure the Rihanna concert with her mother is the gateway to our daughter’s drinking.”

Ouch. Possibly right but there is no way to prove that, so I will let it slide. Besides, we had a great time! Mother-Daughter bonding at its finest. I assured my husband that I would NOT get drunk and I would not even offer our son a sip (especially since he can’t stand alcohol and finds it useless). Somehow, he wasn’t convinced.

Yet, when it comes to my children I have instilled in them how important it is to be on time, follow doctor’s orders -finishing antibiotics is a big one for me- read signs, follow safety rules everywhere, and abide by the law at all costs. Except, of course, when they are with me and I am the one not reading the sign or following the law to the letter. Then it’s “I am an adult. I pay taxes. I get to do what I want.” Or my favourite: “it’s not illegal if you don’t get caught.” That last one is in jest, and in my defense, I joke a lot.

So all you parents out there fretting over the hypocrisy of your parenting, like the little white lies you tell your children to keep the peace and the bribes you endure to get the screaming to stop or the room cleaned, just remember, you could be worse. You could be me. Or my children.

You’re welcome, people.

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