Parenting Manual

The weather in Louisville these past couple of nights has been really amazing. We’ve been able to have the windows open at night and everything. I love being able to have the windows open because it’s just so nice to let in some fresh air. I know that sounds so cliche, but sometimes it’s the little things. We still currently live in the cul de sac so our street tends to be pretty busy with kids. We normally overhear kids playing games or dogs barking, but last night I overheard something that made me feel all kinds of emotions.

Across the street from us there is an overall “unruly household”. We have lived in our house for almost 8 years and the same people have always occupied the house. We don’t really talk to them except in passing. From what we have gathered, the dad works away from home as he is rarely ever home, we do know the mom works at UPS and holds an office job, they have 3 kids, a girl in high school, a boy in middle school, and a boy in elementary school, they have two house dogs, and I’m pretty sure several hunting dogs they keep in their backyard. How in the world they even manage in that tiny house is beyond me. They normally air out their “dirty laundry” aka shit no one should hear, on a pretty regular basis. Like, I don’t even have to eavesdrop, especially on nights like last night when Raelynn was already in bed, Scott wasn’t home, my dogs were asleep and I was watching a show on TV with the windows open.

The mom and the daughter proceeded to get into a heated argument which I have no idea what the content of the argument was about. The daughter said, “I just won’t fucking come home from school tomorrow then.” The mom said, “Well, that’s just fine with me, less I have to worry about. But when you do come home, you’re grounded so don’t even think about going…..(didn’t hear where her mom was forbidding her to go)…., because you are grounded and I mean it.” I’m fairly certain all of this took place in the house because I heard the daughter walk out the door, slam the door, and proceed to say, “GOD, I HATE HER.” My heart dropped. I don’t even know these people and I was so sad and mad and I had come to a realization. I used to be that ungrateful little girl.

I’m pretty sure the daughter is a freshman in highschool and she is going through her rebellious stage. Scott and I see her smoking cigarettes on the side of house or walking a lap around the neighborhood to get in a couple of draws. I’ve saw her at a liquor store with someone older that was getting her alcohol. I’m certain she didn’t see me. But when she said she hated her mom, it just stung me.

I used to be the girl that smoked outside of my bedroom window at night or walk around the neighborhood just to get a puff or two of that cigarette. I used to be the girl that stole alcohol from wherever I could just to get drunk on the weekends. When I was a freshman in high school, there wasn’t a day that went by that I wasn’t trying to figure out how to get a joint. I didn’t do shit at school. I was too interested in hanging out with friends and boys. I don’t even know how I had time to hang out with anyone or do anything my freshman year in highschool because I stayed grounded that whole year it felt like. But not for any of the above. For not cleaning my room, or not putting my clothes away. My mom was pretty naive when it came to what I did on the weekends. Or if she thought I was doing something inappropriate, I could pretty much make up a huge story and she would believe it. She knows now about everything because I’ve told her. I’ve asked her before why she believed my very unbelievable stories and she said just she just did.

I think when the girl said she hated her mom, I imagined Raelynn saying she hated me one day. I imagined if Raelynn did ANY of the stuff I did whenever she is that age. What am I going to do if Raelynn is this rebellious little girl one day? What am I going to do if she tells me she hates me one day?

No one told me being a parent was going to involve all of these questions!!!!!!!!!! Why is there not a manual on this?! Someone could make millions on this shit. I think everyone hopes they will never need a manual on how to parent on these issues, but in today’s world, I think it’s almost inevitable. I think I was raised really well and I still did some pretty stupid shit. I put myself in some really bad situations. How do you stop your kid from doing this without them hating you?

I want my little girl to love me always and I want her to look back and be happy with her life and the way she was raised. I want her to have good morals and values. I want her to make the right decisions for her life and I want her to excel. I want her to know she can be whatever she wants….within reason.

I do want to be her friend, but first and foremost, I am her mom. Being a mom comes before being her friend.

Now, I’m going to go start working on that parenting manual that doesn’t exist…

–The Kentucky Momma


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