I got irritated by that and then later? I got more than irritated and moved to "downright pissed". Know why?
It's my right and my privilege as their mother to brag on them.
I'm not going to stop. Not ever.
Now, I'm not saying my children are perfect. Oh my God. Far from it.
My daughter has a "Bitch please" face that could knock a grown woman to her knees. Observe:
(Please note that in the second photograph her brother appears to be very intent on whatever I was saying and she was looking at me like, "Whatever")
And let's not forget my son. My son who at seven years old decided he would forge my signature on a document he needed to turn into school. Sadly for him, he did not know my initials and his subterfuge was soon discovered by his teacher who marched straight to my car in the pick-up lane and showed me what he had done. Too bad kid. If you didn't realize my name isn't actually "Mom" you might have gotten away with it.
My son never, ever listens to any of my fashion advice. I'm quite certain he doesn't always tell me the truth. He frequently purchases cookies at school prompting me to say, "Dude, I got ANOTHER auto-replenish notice for your school lunch account". He once said, "Most women don't know who the father of their baby is, right?" and I had to promptly shut that nonsense down (and turn off the Maury program, oy). He is rarely cranky, but often does not listen and his room frequently looks like it should be condemned. I need to take a nerve pill every time the child had to choose classes for the next marking period because he. cannot. make. a. decision.
My children? So not perfect.
Their mother? Also not perfect. Not even close.
So not perfect that her daughter called her out the other day and she totally deserved it. So not perfect that the smoke detector went off four times in the past week while she was cooking dinner. So not perfect that she didn't realize that her son had a huge hole in his shoe until he specifically pointed it out. So not perfect that she's spent a lot of years in therapy, trying to figure things out. She's spent more time working than a perfect mom would. Less time building tree forts and teaching driving.
Not perfect. Not even close.
I've noticed recently there seems to be this trend on social media to talk about how sucky your kids are and how much being a parent blows. People complain, somewhat unceasingly, about how difficult their child is. How hard it is make dinner or make cookies or get up to make sure they get to school on time. They wish their kid would stop talking, would go to sleep, would go outside and play, would stop asking for everything. They wish they could have their old lives back, wish they could sleep in, wish they could go to the gym whenever they felt like it, wish they could have wine. Lots and lots of wine.
And you know? There have been many times in my life I could identify with many of these things (except the wine part since I don't drink it). If you know my son, you know that he spent the years of 2004-2012 talking pretty much continually without taking a breath. There have been many days that I worked so many hours that the very thought of making dinner made me want to stab someone in the neck (and my husband would often helpfully say, "I'll take care of it!" and then order pizza, which made me want to stab him in the neck). I had twins. I think I slept a total of twenty-five minutes in 1998. I have fallen asleep in the shower. I have fallen asleep sitting on the toilet. I haven't seen the end of a movie we watched at home since the year 2000.
I get it. I really, really get it.
Our children are human, though. They are imperfect. They are messy, they are funny, and they are sometimes a pain in the ass.
My children are mine. Only for a little while, but still. They are mine.
They will have many years of people being harsh to them. Being cruel to them. Kicking them while they are down. Expecting things of them that they can never deliver on. Being mean to them for absolutely no reason. The world is often a very ugly, negative place.
My home does not have to be.
I want my children to know that there is no one, no one ever anywhere on this planet, who loves them as much as their mom. That even if they fail at something and they are kicking themselves about it, that I still love them. That I am so, so proud of them for even little things.
There is enough time to be kicked around by the world. They deserve this safe place to fall.
My children deserve to know they can fail and they will still be loved. My children deserve to know that mama has their back. My children deserve to know that home is the place you can be yourself, whoever that might be.
Your kids deserve that too.
So I'm not going to stop bragging on my children. I'm not going to stop being proud. I'm not ever going to think they are perfect, but I'm going to be really happy at how perfect they are to me.
I would be so happy if you would do the same.