Welcome to my new column, Be The Boss. After writing Funny Mummy for over ten years, my focus, and much of yours, I’m sure, has shifted and I’m going to offering advice, humour, and (of course) commentary on how we , as busy moms, can take control of our family, business, and personal lives by acting as smart CEO’s of each of these areas. I thought an appropriate place to start would be at the beginning…at the beginning of my book “I Am So The Boss Of You”, which basically outlines my entire philosophy in this area. So, here it is, enjoy, and please join me in thanking the many smart women (and a few men) behind the websites who share my words with you.
“You are not the boss of me! ”Hey, Mom! Yes, you! The one running to the fridge to pour your eight-year-old son a glass of chocolate milk before he has an epic meltdown (just as you’re about to go out with your friends for the first time in six months). How many times have you heard that expression? Come on, you know you have. What’s that? You’ve lost count? Of course. I don’t care whether you’re a working mom, a stay-at home mom, a work-from-home mom, a single mom, or an empty-nest mom. It doesn’t matter if you live in North America, Europe, India, or on Planet Xenon. And it makes no difference whether your children are toddling, walking, or driving. If you have children – any children at all – you have heard that annoying pronouncement several thousand times: “You are not the boss of me!” It’s been screamed at you by Michael, in the midst of his full-on tantrum in aisle three. It’s been spat out by Jennifer, followed by a delightful teenage stomp-stomp-stomp-slam. And it’s quite possible (you’re not entirely sure because you were sleep-deprived at the time) that little Maria strung those seven words together to construct her very first sentence, at the ripe old age of nine months. Just before she threw turnips in your face.
Oh, yes. You’ve heard that expression. We all have. In fact, we’ve heard it so many times, and for so many years, that we don’t really even hear it anymore. We tune it out. With so many choices and styles before us (and so many other moms waiting to offer, or publicly blog, judgment on our efforts), it’s not hard to see why we’ve been overlooking the obvious. After twenty or so years of parenting, even I was starting to distrust my own excellent instincts (four kids – all still alive, FYI). And then, in the middle of a two-hour meeting on how to use time more efficiently, it struck me: Why are we working so hard to find the perfect way to parent when we already have an excellent model right in front of us? One that operates efficiently, effectively, and economically? One that millions of people the world over are already employing (though not quite in the way I mean)? One that goes through an audit process, for goodness sake? One that our dear children have been dropping hints about for years? It’s right there – from the mouths of babes, as they say: “You are not the boss of me!”
Oh yes, my little friend, I am! I am the boss of you, in every imaginable way. Physically, mentally, financially, parents rule – basically, we’re at the top of the food chain. We get to tell our children when to go to bed, and we get to choose their mealtimes and what is served at those meals. We select their extracurricular activities, and, for a (ridiculously) short stretch of time, we even get to pick what they wear. Perhaps this generation of parents needs to take a moment to remind itself that we really are The Boss, El Presidente, Le Grand Fromage.
Excerpted from “I Am So The Boss Of You: An 8 Step Guide To Giving Your Family “The Business” by Kathy Buckworth, McClelland & Stewart, 2013. Available at Chapters, Indigo, Amazon, Kobo, and soon on Audible. This book has recently been optioned by Warner Bros. Television. Visit kathybuckworth.com and read “Be The Boss” every month.