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Where this mom draws the line in the sand

Where this mom draws the line in the sand

When I gave birth to my three children, I went from a being free-wheeling, fun-loving, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-capris kind of gal, who could hop in a car and go at a moment’s notice to a diaper bag-hauling, over-protective, sleep deprived, germaphobe with a Super Woman complex. Sound dramatic? Sound familiar?

I remember getting a phone call from a friend for a lunch date and being able to say, “I’ll be there in ten.” Slap on some lip gloss, grab the keys and I was out.

With three small kids that just didn’t happen anymore. You gotta get them ready, brush their hair, match their socks, pack the diaper bag, don’t forget the treats! At one point I had three kids in car seats. The phrase “herding cats” comes to mind when I think about the days of trying to get three little ones out the door.

My kids are now teenagers and for the most part, self-reliant. I do more reminding than hands-on getting them ready nowadays. I think I prefer the stage we are at now to the toddler years. Some of the free-wheeling and fun-loving has come back in my life.

When we become mothers we give and give up so much of ourselves for our children. We do it willingly. We do it with love. But, I think there is a point where you have to draw the line, a line in the sand, so to speak, where you, as a mother, decide, “I won’t give up this or I won’t do that for you, my darling child.”

My line in the sand is video games. I will not play them with my kids. I pack the lunches, chaperone field trips, dig under the bed for dirty socks, feed the dog when they forget, but I will not “kick their butts” as they like to say, at Mario Kart.

You may ask, “What about being a fun-loving mom? Don’t you ever play with your kids?”

Sure, I play with my kids! We ride bikes, play cards, we go on hikes, I tell them all about Pre-Cambrian rocks, but I will not play video games.

My kids, so far, are not too disappointed about this. It’s their own little world, free of mom. I’m going to be all up in their business soon enough. If they want to play one-on-one basketball at the park, I am there, but if they want me to do a guitar duel to the death on Guitar Hero, they are out of luck. One day, when they were at school I tried to play “€œHit Me with Your Best Shot” by Pat Benetar, I got boo-ed off. Three times!

Over-protective, sleep-deprived, germaphobe, that suffers ego-crushing defeats from her kids in video games?

That’s where I draw the line in the sand.

-Annie Payne

Mile High Mamas
Author: Mile High Mamas

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  1. I draw the line…in the sand. Seriously. We built my kids this big, beautiful wooden playset last year and filled the whole area with sand – a veritable dream sandbox.

    Problem is I have an aversion to sand and hate touching the stuff. So I will go in there, push the kids on their swings but refuse to get down and play with them in the [gulp] sand.

    Therapy. Need therapy.

  2. I have a hard time playing — that darn work ethic.

    Although I did initiate a game of TV Tag a couple of days ago.

    As for lines, we have no cable and no video games. So far, I’ve been able to stay on my side of the line. But at some point, I’m sure my kids (now 7 and 5) will do their best to move the line and redraw to their satisfaction.

  3. My line… ?
    Wow.. that’s a tough one…
    I suppose it’s one we’ve never done before… fishing. I will NOT spear a poor worm in the head, body, rear with a hook. It’s mean.. It makes me sad.

    I will camp, roll in mud, jump in puddles, have snow fights, snowboard, play video games, watch HORRIBLE movies, but I won’t fish. Blech!!

    (Oh, or do anything shark related! But that’s a phobia.. not a line 🙂 )

  4. No lines yet, but my son is only 2 1/2. Hopefully as he gets older I will be able to make the lines and stick to them.
    I do see the video game line though. I already get laughed at by my husband for my poor video game skills. I couldn’t handle the bruised ego if I was laughed at by son too.

  5. I do play my favorite video games with my kids who are adults, with alot of fun. I don’t go fishing, though. Camping? I’ll go and be a good sport. I’ll dine out with the kids anytime. We love playing various board games. It’s ok to draw one line if needed. What’s important is having fun with the kids!

  6. I can’t think of anything off hand that I just won’t do, but I can think of days that I just don’t want to do something… make sense?

    I’ll pretty much do it all as long as their is fun to be had. 🙂

  7. I admit I have a hard time playing as well. I just can’t get into Chutes and Ladders or playing dolls (especially since I am a Dad!)

  8. I love playing video games with my kids. I love playing board games and swimming and going to the park. I don’t, however, play dolls. Blah.

  9. I can’t do Pokemon battling. I’ve tried. I. CAN’T. I don’t get it! I absolutely do not get it!

    And I avoid playing sports whenever possible, although I haven’t officially drawn the line because, well… wouldn’t that be so sad. But when someone says, “Hey Mom, will you be my goalie??” I tend to say things like, “OK, but are you sure you don’t want to play some video games first??” 🙂

  10. I don’t buy my kids chocolate flavored cereal. Chocolate is not for breakfast. In a weak moment I agreed to buy a box of Coco Krispies not too long ago, and as I was scraping the hardened little pieces off my counter top I thought to myself this is why I never buy this crap.

  11. Amen on chocolate flavored cereal.

    I have a hard time with board games – particularly when my kids are sore losers. Yes, I should be teaching them about sportsmanship but there’s one son in particular that has a hard time with it… I have to be in a really agreeable mood to play “Sorry.”

  12. HOORAY! WAHOO! OH…MY…GOODNESS GRIEFOUS! You are officially my hero…I have exactly the same policy with my 13 year old! He has been trying (unsuccessfully) to get me to play video games with him for much of his life! It’s almost comical now, because he keeps asking, and I think he really believes I’ll give in one of these days! Yeah, right! Muahaha!

  13. My mom’s line in the sand was water guns. She hated guns (any and all types) and it didn’t matter that it was only a water gun, it looked like a gun and therefore – a no go. Not even in the summertime when all the other kids in the neighborhood had them.

    Ironic that she married my Dad who was a hunter/fisher/camper-kinda guy. huh. I wonder what Dr. Phil would have to say about that? lol

  14. I second the “No Chutes and Ladders!!” I DETEST that game. Like ALOT. It NEVER ends! Just when you *think* someone is going to make it to the top, no-oh-o, down the STUPID slide the come. AHHHHHH!

    And Candyland–AAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!!

    I now only buy games that have a “time to play” that is 20 minutes or less. We have some great games now and I, uh, “lost” the two aforementioned ones.

    Did someone mention therapy? 🙂

  15. My line is playing dolls, polly pocket, or my little pony. We play games, tea party, cook together, walks, etc. but I just can’t stand to play dolls. I get destructive when I play, so I’d better not. :0)

  16. I won’t push my kids on the swings at the park. Cruel? Well, we have swings at home – when we go to the park it’s for the slides, climbing, teeter-totter, etc. I am not packing the van, buckling three car seats and driving ten miles just to push the kids on a different swingset than the one we have at home. Nuh-uh. Not gonna do it.

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