Parenting has made me into a gigantic hypocrite.
The word hypocrite is rooted in the Greek word hypokrites, which means “stage actor, pretender, dissembler.” So a hypocrite is a person who pretends to be a certain way, but really acts and believes the total opposite. Kinda like a self-proclaimed vegetarian that eats bacon.
I can't even believe the stuff that comes out of my mouth at times, but in my defense, there are moments that I actually BELIEVE my own BS. The other day I was in the middle of a doozie, and I started to reflect on the things I say, and teach. Then I started to think about the things I actually DO. And really, I was shocked. I hate hypocrites- when did I actually BECOME one?!
If I had just done a little detective work when I was a child I would probably realize that my parents were big fat liars too. Here are my top offenses.
1. WHAT I SAY: You're hungry? How about you eat some carrots?
STOP CRYING. They are good for you. I love carrots! Look- I'll eat one. No, you can't have any cookies. You've had enough sugar today.
WHAT I DO:
Stand by the pantry every night and shove cookies into my mouth like there's a famine and I'm about to pass out from low blood sugar. At first there's an inner debate.
DON'T EAT THAT! You did so good all day! You will feel guilty tomorrow.
SHUT UP. I'm eating the cookies. I'll just buy bigger pants.
I want to stop, but I can't. The cookies are so delicious. And then I need salty, so bring on the chips. And while I'm eating those I remember the peanut butter cups hidden and decide it's most politically correct to eat those to end on a salty/sweet note. I take my snacking seriously, and at approximately 9:32pm-the more sugar- the better.
2. WHAT I SAY: Ok, enough TV. Let's go outside and run around. You've been glued to the screen all day!
It's a beautiful day outside. Let's go burn some daylight.
WHAT I DO:
Binge watch Mad Men and Real Housewives of pretty much anywhere and everywhere, or anything that makes me feel really good about my life or really deprived about my life. You see, at the end of the day my brain is overcooked oatmeal hours later, sticking to the side of the bowl. I can't function. I can't think. I can't go to bed yet without ME time. Me without ME time is tightly wound, exhausted, empty, starving. Copious amounts of television seems to help.
3. WHAT I SAY: Time for bed, boys. You need sleep. You have a big day tomorrow and you need your rest.
WHAT I DO: Break every single attempted bedtime I've ever attempted to place on myself. I get the smallest dose of alone time and I'm a kid at Disney Land. I don't know which way to go first. Watch TV! Pluck my eyebrows! Stare at my pores in the magnification mirror! EAT THOSE COOKIES! Search Facebook, Craigslist, Ebay! Straighten up! Read! Learn to crochet! Learn Spanish! I want to do ALL the things.
Suddenly, I check the clock expecting five minutes to have passed, and somehow it's 11pm. AGAIN. And I haven't even learned Spanish yet. Oh mierda.
4. WHAT I SAY: You have enough cars. In fact, you have at least eleventy hundred Lightning McQueens alone!
We don't need to buy any more. I wish I could buy you everything you wanted, but then you would rely on stuff to make you happy, and then you would be miserable because there's never enough stuff. So I'm not buying it for you because I'm doing you a favor.
WHAT I DO: Buy multiple versions of my own Lightning McQueens- which for me equals shoes, shirts, lipsticks, books, pants. Stuff, stuff, stuff. I love stuff. Never ever enough stuff.
5. WHAT I SAY: You are beautiful. I love you EXACTLY the way you are. There's nothing you could do to make me not love you. You make my life happy, purposeful, complete.
I love that you try your best. I love watching you learn. I love your spirit and tenacity. I love watching you make mistakes because it means you are trying.
WHAT I DO: Say nothing of the sort while inside my mind. Why the heck aren't we as nice to ourselves as we are to our kids? You aren't enough. You did it wrong. You screwed up. I wouldn't dream of talking to my children that way- why is it ok to take to me that way? I would be destroyed if their inner voice was as mean spirited as mine.
I don't know everything about parenting, but I'm learning to believe that a little hypocrisy is necessary to raising little humans. At least until they get older and are able to make choices for themselves. Then they can do exactly what I'm pretending not to do now. However, I am gonna work on number 5. That's something I need to learn how to do so I can show them by example. I don't ever want that mean inner voice taking up space in their brain.