Mom Kristina Kuzmic doesn't care that all three of her kids are mad at her.
"They are angry at me because I parented them," she says between bites of ice cream, adding that her one job as their mom is to love her kids. "And loving them does not always mean making them happy."
Boy, there's a pearl of wisdom right there. It's so true, yet I often struggle with that concept. Of course I want to make my kids happy every second, but I could not agree more that it's basically impossible to do the right thing as a parent and always have your children like you.
Take this morning, for instance, when my 2-year-old wanted to drink a second glass of orange juice after she complained her belly hurt and looked like she might puke. Um, no. Cue the tears and wild protests. And my guilt. But Kristina's next comments make me feel even more self-assured in my decision to ignore my daughter's crying and carrying on.
"Until my kids are adults, I am not their friend. We are not on the same level," Kristina continues, adding toppings to her carton of ice cream. "I'm the authority."
She explains you can't take it personally when your kid doesn't like you; again, she is kinda rockin' my world right now with this advice that is so, so hard to follow, but is so on target.
"If my kids like me 100 percent of the time, I'm probably failing at parenting," Kristina says. And now here's her best tip of all: "Don't give in!" Even when it's hard, and your kid is mad at you, and you feel bad, don't give in. Ugh! So. Hard!
This is definitely the part of parenting I grapple with the most. I'll threaten all sorts of things, and then not follow through when I feel bad, or give my kids a million "one more chances." Or I'll say, "That's it! No dessert!" And a minute later, I'm scooping out the ice cream when they're crying.
But as Kristina says, "Stand your ground." Otherwise, your kids will turn into entitled, bratty adults the rest of the world has to deal with. Yikes. Oh wait, Kristina just poured her wine into her ice cream. Um, how much wine has she had?
Okay, not too much that she isn't still offering amazingly sage advice, like that parents must actually parent their kids, then find friends their own age.
Well, thanks, Kristina! The next time I'm starting to falter on standing my ground with my kids, I'm going to pour myself a glass of wine, dig into a carton of ice cream, and remember your advice.
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.