There are just certain lines I will not cross, things in good conscience I can not participate in in this life. I simply can’t lest I become one of those women on Oprah—“I just lost who I was once I became a mom.” I have principles and I need to be able to look at my freckly-face each morning in the mirror.
Life lesson #1: It it makes the kids happy, but me miserable, ban it. That's the litmus test in my house for parental decisions—if it makes them happy and it makes me miserable, I know it's a bad idea. I don't take my kids to Chuckie Cheese. Chuckie Cheese sucks the life and money out of its patrons. I could lose myself—a dangerous thing. Life lesson #1 has caused me to also ban Caillou—that annoying Canadian cartoon, as well as me planning art projects for my kids.
Life lesson #2: Deprivation is good for children. When you give a child everything, you teach them to appreciate nothing. My kids own (from me at least) two pairs of shoes, they don’t get soda or other sugared drinks, I don’t buy them toys unless it’s their birthday or Christmas, they have to eat their vegetables to get dessert, and bedtime is always at 8pm—winter or summer. Their birthday parties are always at home and always include pin-the-tail on the whatever they can draw—Jedi, donkey, etc. I figure once they leave our house, life will only be uphill for them. They’ll never need medication because all they’ll need is a giant sugared soda at Chuckie Cheese.
Life lesson #3: If it’s too much work, it’s just a plain bad idea. This has caused me to give up scrapbooking at least 6 years ago—a decision I have never regretted since. Someday my kids will inherit CDs (or whatever the method of storage is then) chock full of their childhood pictures and videos. Basically, all crafts are bad. I guess the children crafts mentioned in #1 should fit here as well. Mopping and most other house work involving chemicals definitely fits here as well.
Life lesson #4: Life is easier when you are not sentimental. I don’t save hair from my kids’ first haircut because I’d have to remember where I put it for them in 25 years and I don’t save their teeth. Ilene lost a tooth the other day at my friend Allison’s house and Allison kindly wrapped the tooth and carefully sent it home. We quickly threw the tooth away and gave her a buck. What tooth fairy?
Life lesson #5: Guilt is for sissies. This life lesson may send me straight to hell, but at least I’ll go without emotional baggage. If I do something wrong and know it’s wrong, and want to stop doing it, I stop, repent if necessary, and move on. If I need to start doing something, but I’m too lazy to do what needs to be done, I always give myself an out. Life is just easier that way.