Monday, February 08, 2010

On Being Me

Even before Mr. BTEG and I had kids, I had plans to be "the cool mom." I wanted to be the mom all the kids liked, and I wanted to have the home where all the kids wanted to hang out. This has its advantages. You not only have a much clearer picture of what your own children are doing when they are doing things in your home, but you don't have to worry as much about what your kid's friends' parents are like, and what sorts of things they allow in their homes. Plus, I want my children to be able to confide in me, not another mom who appears "cool" but who may have ideas with which I do not agree. I wasn't eager to necessarily be the mom that other kids besides my own came to for advice. I do see worrying tendencies in some of the Equestrienne's friends, but that is a whole other post, if I write it.

After the party we had for the Dancer this past Saturday, however, I have finally become convinced that I do not have the personality to be "the cool mom." I dislike a lot of noise and commotion, and hate sensing that things are out of control, or at least that they are not going the way I had planned. The Dancer had a very nice party. The house was adequately clean ahead of time, the games and favors were planned out and prepared, and the refreshments were acceptable. However, at one point I went into our pantry and shut the door and took a little "time-out" because I was overwhelmed by the noise and exuberance. (Mr. BTEG was still there to supervise.) I also felt incapable at times of being in charge of the group of girls. This same problem has occurred when I have tried to be a teacher, or a Girl Scout leader. I don't feel capable of what I feel is the necessary "command" and firmness when dealing with a group of kids. You can do your own psychoanalysis of me as to why this is so. ;)

However, "knowing is half the battle." I've spent a lot of time with a counselor in the past working on another part of the battle, learning not to think negatively or have distorted thought patterns about myself. So as I let go of being "the cool mom," I can still find ways that do suit me to support my children and their friendships. And make sure I always have back-up at parties!


Elephantschild said...

Oh, I'm the same way. I tried being the afternoon program director for 16 kids 3-8 yrs old last fall - it was a nightmare.

The kids liked me ok, but I was complete toast for 2 days afterward.

skatey katie said...

well barb, you know i am quite the extrovert, but parties with a housefull of screeching kiddos totally do my head in too sometimes...
but it's got funner as our kiddos have got older - this summer we've frequently had a group of 20 year olds turn up - danny's old skool mates plus a few extras - they're so easy - lots of coffee and the odd barbecue - and it turns out that they are brilliant with little people, so they include them in board games etc.
i wonder if it's kinda easier that fraser taught alot of them - he has spent years playing backyard cricket etc and they are such lovely people.
but to be honest, for the last few years, we've had most of our birthday parties at the beach - a picnic with cake and candles and Big Wide Open Spaces...
love X

Barb the Evil Genius said...

Around here it's winter so outdoors is not really an option, sadly. Last year we had the Dancer's birthday party at an indoor play facility, and that was a lot of fun, plus not much work for us! But we had to scale back a bit this year. Who knows what we'll do next year.