Kids First? Nah.

us 2

us 1(Sorry, kids, you’re not in these pictures. And look how happy we are!)

Here’s the thing: I don’t put my kids first. I’m serious. When I hear my friends talk about taking their kids to Disney World, I think, “I would never take my kids to Disney World! I’m going to the beach and the kids can come along if they want.” When I hear someone talk about being sick of listening to Wiggles songs in the car, I think, “What is wrong with you?” My kids are growing up on a steady aural diet of Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, and the Stones. (Okay, maybe a little 80s trash thrown in too. Sorry, Dad.) They should all probably be growing up on Mozart, but, oh well, we can’t win ‘em all.

I am Mean Mommy.

Maybe I’m Mean Mommy because it’s what’s good for the kids. For example, I have no trouble sending my kid to bed hungry when he doesn’t like lentils. (Mr. Okayest is bound to swoop in and take the credit for that one.) I am proud to say that my 3-year-old’s favorite foods do include salmon, plain yogurt, and blueberries.

Maybe I’m Mean Mommy because that’s how I was raised. My parents were a team, a unit, and I knew I couldn’t play either one of them against the other. They put each other first, and we kids knew that we came second. You might think that would make a kid feel insecure, but it made me feel completely secure. I knew where I stood. I stood under them – under their safe canopy of intertwined arms.

Maybe I’m Mean Mommy because it’s what’s good for my marriage. I am not going to win any friends with this one, but I do try to put my husband first. I promised him, during our eight childless years, that we are what is most important, whether children come to us or not. After fifteen rounds of infertility treatments, one miscarriage, one adoption, and two IVF twins, my husband is still my favorite person in the whole world. It goes both ways, too. Have you ever heard that saying, “The best thing a father can do for his children is love their mother”? I believe that works in our household.

Or, let’s face it, maybe I’m Mean Mommy because I just really like the beach and Zeppelin.

us 3(Sorry kids, you’re not in that picture either. Look at that empty carseat behind us!)