Someone has to be the boss but many times its not Mom who steps up. And when that happens it's bad for her kids, bad for her, and bad for the general public at large. Think not? Well, consider the alternative...which, by the way, can be observed and verified while cruising through the local aisles of your nearest grocery store, Box-Mart, or former favorite eating spot:
Ambivalent Mom: Poor thing...sometimes I just want to shake her and scream, "Quit being so darn skittish and DO something!" This Shake-n-Scream urge generally awakens after observing Ambivalent Mom's older child attempting to shove his younger sibling beneath a shopping cart basket and hearing the cries of, "Stop! You're hurtin' me. I don't want to go under the cart, etc." All the while noting Ambivalent Mom's reluctance to act...move...or pry Damien away from his little brother.
Expletive Mom: Oh, come on, we've all heard her. Vocal blue-streak streaming LIVE over teeming masses at Box-Mart or the youth soccer tourney. "I told you to pick up your *#&@! cleats while we were walking out of the ^&%! door, so don't look at me like it's my #*&! fault.
Oblivious Mom: Not to be confused with Ambivalent Mom, everyone BUT Oblivious Mom sees and hears and feels motivated to do something about her children. Perhaps you sat next to her last time you went out to eat with your husband or friend while OM's child ran about nearly tackling the wait staff or her teenagers spoke so loud and obnoxiously that you couldn't hear a word your companion spoke. (You know who you are! And I sat next to you at Red Lobster in 1999.)
We are such a mess sometimes as a mom, aren't we? But we don't have to remain ambivalent, cursing, or oblivious to our role as a mom. We can step up and start speaking and living some OTM reality. Here's one tip for you to activate in your home--do it and let One Tough Mother confidence begin.
For years and years the following truth has been embedded into my children's little brains anytime they wished to usurp my "this is the way it's going to be" rulings. Feel free to follow suit:
Me: "Kristen/Ricky/Patrick, who's the boss?"
Child: "You are." (Usually said with abject sadness)
Me: "Kristen/Ricky/Patrick, who's going to win?"
Child: "You are." (Always said with resignation)
Me: "Kristen/Ricky/Patrick, why am I going to win?"
Child: "Because you're the boss." (Sighing gloomily and walking away)