When the local school district announced that the all of the public schools in the county would be closed an additional week in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, social media lit up like the scoreboard at a Friday night football game. But not in a good way.
Moms all over the place were upset that their precious children would be out of school for even more days. Not because these moms highly prized their little ones’ education—they were just tired of having their kids at home. Social media posts went from “pray for me and my family to survive the storm” to “OMG. I love my kids but they HAVE to go back to school SOON. Otherwise, I’m gonna need more wine—a LOT more.”
Quick question for everyone complaining about having their kids for 11 days straight and citing their sudden need to drink: Why did you become a parent in the first place?
Children aren’t accessories that you can take off and put away until you want to wear them again. But this attitude explains why teachers are under so much pressure—expected to be teacher, babysitter, and parent all in one.
Parents who think it’s the school’s job to raise their kid are the same ones who blame the teachers when Mrs. Smith calls home about little Johnny’s bad behavior. As a teacher myself, I’ve been on plenty of phone calls and in plenty of parent-teacher meetings where parents scream profanities at the teachers and administrators. (And society wonders why kids these days are so disrespectful and entitled.)
If a teacher calls home to tell you that your Little Precious is taunting other students, disrupting the class with rude outbursts, and seems to be a good candidate for some kind of intervention, you might want to spend a few minutes looking in the mirror before you call the teacher names.
Apples don’t fall far from the tree. If little Suzie is a brat, Mrs. Suzie is probably one too. And before you accuse me of “mom-shaming,” let me say that there are things in life we ought to be ashamed about—and raising a child to be an asshole is one of them.
The parents who yell the loudest at teachers and criticize them for doing a crappy job are often the same parents who spend their free time as keyboard warriors, yelling loudly on social media, criticizing everyone and everything from the President to the school superintendent to the gas station down the street. Your kids are watching you. They learn how to manage their emotions by watching how you handle yours.
And maybe if parents spent less time on social media in general, they would be less frazzled? Less on edge? Less emotionally spent and more prepared to invest in their kids?
Yes, kids need a lot of attention. If they don’t get it from their parents, they start to seek it in other—often unhealthy—ways. But we’d have more attention to give them if we weren’t dishing it out elsewhere. Instead of complaining that our kids “drive us crazy,” how about preserving our mental energy and sanity so that we can give our kids the time and attention they need?
I doubt it’s the actual time with their kids that annoys parents. Could it be that parents would just rather be doing something else besides parenting? Again I ask, why did you have kids in the first place?
Bio: Marissa Glover lives in Florida, where she was born and raised, but she isn’t to blame for election results. When she isn’t mothering or teaching, Marissa shares her thoughts more than necessary, which she considers a form of charitable giving. If it counted as a tax deduction, she’d be rich. Her work has appeared in various places including Blunt Moms, 4 Boys Mother, and her parents’ refrigerator. You can find her on Facebook here.