Five Things I Never Thought I'd Say When I Became a Parent

Despite swearing she would never utter the words her mother did, Leslie Kennedy has come full circle with the same classic comebacks she tells her own kids.

Honestly, you grow up hearing your mom say stuff over and over again and you swear you’ll never say that to your kids. Or, you just roll your eyes, annoyed that she doesn’t get why you’re annoyed by the decisions she makes and the rules she hands down. But then I had kids of my own, and the first time I heard my mother’s voice come out of my mouth, I knew that it was inevitable. I was going to become my mother. In fact, I already was.

I fought it. I fought it hard. But alas, the circle of life has made its way around. There’s no use fighting it. As sure as Halloween falls every year on October 31st, you can be certain that eventually you will hear yourself say things you never thought you’d say, like:

“Because I’m your mom and I said so.”

Ugh. This was the most annoying thing ever to hear when I was a kid. I wanted more of a reason than that when I was told I couldn’t do something. It infuriated me. Why do you say so, mom? Why? And then I had kids and it turned out she said so because she’s my mom and that was all the reason she needed to give. “Because I said so.” It's a classic for a reason.

“I don’t care what Sally gets to do. I’m not Sally’s mom. I’m your mom!”

Ugh, again. I hated that one when I was a kid. Because Sally’s mom was so much cooler than mine. She let Sally stay out later. Why couldn’t Sally’s mom be my mom? I never used to get it, but oh do I ever get it now. I’m so sick and tired of hearing what my kids’ parents apparently let their kids do. That’s awesome that Jenny’s mom lets her play with makeup all the time. But Jenny’s mom doesn’t have a kid who drew with lipstick on her carpet did she now? No? That’s why I don’t care what Jenny gets to do.

“You’ll understand when you’re older.”

I really do try to use this one sparingly, because it’s pretty demeaning and not really fair to say to a kid. But sometimes it’s really the only thing you can say when you try to explain adult concepts to a child and expect them to get it. Every time I say it I feel dirty. But some things they simply won’t understand until they’re older.

“Go to your room!”

Okay, it’s not that I never thought I’d say it. I knew I’d say it. But it rolls so easily off the tongue. One thing that I’ve realized since I’ve had kids of my own is that the punishment for the child is really just a reprieve for the aggravated mom. I never really understood being sent to where all my toys and books were. As I kid I was all, ‘okay, I guess.” But I get it now.

“Stop licking your brother!”

Seriously, why are kids so weird? If I had a nickel for every time I had to ask a kid to stop doing something strange to the other one I’d have their university tuition paid for already. Bonus points for creativity, but it would be nice not to have to tell a kid to stop trying to paint their sibling with pudding or to refrain from sticking a crayon up each other’s noses.

Having kids is the ultimate karma for your parents. You quickly realize when you have kids of your own that some things are universal. You know why? Because I’m a mom and I said so. 

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