Thursday, April 10, 2008

MOM PULLLED FOUR WAYS HAS A SINGLE ANSWER -REAL LIFE MOM COLUMN IN TODAY'S OREGONIAN NEWSPAPER

REAL-LIFE MOM
Mom pulled four ways has a single solution
Thursday, April 10, 2008 SW WEEKLY OREGONIAN

Home from our traditional spring break trip to the beach, we decided to watch a movie after unpacking, and I once again found myself in a dilemma -- how to meet the desires of five kids at four ages.

Without being told I favor one over another.

Our 5-year-old, Augustin, was clamoring to watch "Cars," for, like, the 100th time, saying, "Because I'm sick and I get to choose." The twins, 10, wanted to watch "I Am Legend" with Will Smith. Ryan, our 16-year-old, who had seen "I Am Legend," asked for the Oscar-winning-but-violent "No Country for Old Men." And Rachel, my outdoorsy 18-year-old, was placing her vote for Sean Penn's "Into the Wild."


Whose movie do I pick? We have one good TV, and no one likes to watch movies downstairs; plus, I like to do things as a family. I do not want to look like I am playing favorites. It's always such a conundrum.

I struggle with making everyone happy all the time. I do not want to disappoint any of my children, and when I hear one of them announce I play favorites -- ouch!

It sounds like this: "Augustin is spoiled," and "You always give in to Ryan," and "The twins always get their way" and "Rachel never has to do chores."

While growing up, I also accused my parents of favoring my brother and sister. And I have proof -- I kept meticulous notes of my growing-up years.

One journal entry from seventh grade declared: "Mama always favors Martin. Can you believe she gives him the same amount of allowance she gives me and I do so much more work? He never does any work."

If my brother and sister had kept diaries, they'd have their own versions of our growing-up years. Good thing I was the writer.

My mom always wanted to be fair with us. Though she was an only child, she saw how favoritism in my dad's family affected my dad, one of five children.

Looking back, I do think she and my father were -- and still are -- fair. Ultimately, though, as my husband's parents would say, parenting is not about being fair. It's about meeting needs as they arise. And making each child feel loved.

Back on family movie night at the Seigneur house, there were just not enough TVs, or hours, to watch each of the movies my kids wanted to see at the same time. So, we watched Cars with Augustin first then Into the Wild, and the next day, Ryan's movie.

Without the little ones, who said it wasn't fair.

Cornelia Seigneur is a West Linn writer and mom of five children. Her column appears the second Thursday of each month. Visit her at www.writermom.net

2 comments:

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Cornelia Becker Seigneur said...

Thanks so much for the add- keep in touch - cornelia
www.writermom.net

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