Kelly Ripa Says, “I’m Not Your Friend, I’m Your Mom!” Can Parents Ever Have It Both Ways?
My little firecrackers are 4 years, 8 months, 1 week & 2 days old.
The other day I heard Kelly Ripa on the Wendy William’s show. The subject matter was light, and then Wendy brought up her 14 year old. She says her teen doesn’t like her very much lately. I think we can all remember back to that age. At the same time Kelly had been telling her a story about how her daughter,13, was in the bathroom texting it up during study hour and that was not OK with her. She took away her phone and computer privileges.
”Do you think that she likes you?” Wendy asks Ripa. ”No, I don’t think that she likes me. I don’t care. I’m like, I’m not your friend, I’m your mom. I’m not your friend!” The crowd claps away in approval, but do they all walk to the straight and narrow themselves? It is far easier said than done.
You can watch the segment yourself below.
Back when I was a child, it was fear that kept me in line. My parents had the belt and the wooden spoon, and just intense, intense intimidation and a lot of yelling. I’m 39 and I still fear my parents to this very day. Did I listen to them? Yes! But it was basically out of fear of the consequences of NOT listening to them.
I didn’t have a relationship with either of them. (Not for lack of trying.) I never talked to them about being bullied, or about the birds and the bees, my feelings about anything in general. I never came to them with any secrets or fears, or even things that normal kids usually DO tell their parents. In all honestly, my parental set just didn’t seem to care much. It was a household of immense dysfunction and intense feelings of sadness and neglect on my part. I guess I just always wanted to turn the tables with my own ‘future brood.’
I absolutely do notice that kids are NOT the same as they were back in my generation and in times before us. There was a lot more respect going on. Forget about my particular household, just in general. Now we fight against sassy school chums and iPad games. Social media, texting and more peer pressure than ever before. It’s not a beautiful world. The innocence is lost far earlier. I was in pig tails with bows at 11 years old still. My 9 year old hasn’t let me give her pig tails, minus the bows, in 2 years now. That’s just a very small example, but the sass she gives me, the boundaries she crosses and the buttons she pushes, I tell her, ”I’d never have gotten out of my room. If I were you, I would have always been grounded. My meals would be handed through a slot in my bedroom door.” Seriously.
Times have changed, kids have changed, but I know that a lot of parents, many of them coming from homes where they felt the way that I did growing up, really always wanted to be a mother and also a great friend to their children, but when they are young is this even possible?
With my son who is now of college-age, it did seem possible. Now with my girls, I always feel like I have completely lost control of them. Am I trusted and told anything to? Yes. Do I feel loved? Most times. Do I get all of the respect I should be getting? Um…honestly, no. Not even from my 4 year olds, and that side of things should still be all sugar and spice, oh but not any longer. The older one influencing them is not helping either. I feel like a lost soul sometimes, not knowing what I can do to level it all out at this point. My husband isn’t Mr. Disciplinarian himself, which is also an issue. Parenting is teamwork, but there usually is a good cop and a bad cop thing going on. (Or a better one to run to at least. Remember? :-P)
So what is a parent to do when they want to be listened to, respected, revered even, and still be trusted, feel loved, let in? I really don’t know. I guess sometimes you have to get rid of the desire to feel loved by them. I know that does come back around in the long run, but it is very hard to deal with at the time. Ripa seems unaffected, and I love that. I really wish I could be more like her.
I used to think walking a super fine line between parent and friend could actually work. Now that my home has blown up, I am seriously not sure I thought that opinion through enough. Hearing Kelly Ripa say what she said, it is true. We need to be a mom first, but can we be friend at all? (During childhood anyway.)
We have these severe extremes. People who drink and smoke with their kids and hang out with their kid’s friends. STOP- wrong, wrong. Parents who are so strict the kids can’t even speak to them, and they sneak out to find attention, approval and acceptance outside of the home, which in my case led to very low self-esteem, abusive relationships, dressing sexy for attention, rape and eventually teenage pregnancy. I guess I fear being a certain type of parent because of the things that happened to me. I want the opposite for my kids. My sons did alright, but it seems like these 3 girls are a whole different breed of child. I lost the reigns along the way, and I need to find and grab them before it’s too late, if it isn’t already. Some days it seems so.
I never claimed to be a perfect mom here. Having a blog and being able to write does not make me one. I’m just a human being with a soft and sensitive side and a very bruised past. Yes I did always want a special mother/daughter relationship that I never had with my own mom and obviously never will. However, as some people say, you will have that later down the line (in normal cases- not mine), and you will be respected and understood for being mom and not friend during earlier times, but it is SO hard to put that plan, that course of action, in place. Yup, even when on the inside you know that down the line they wil have kids and truly ‘get it’.
What are your thoughts? Do you fight the parent/ friend fight, or are you all mom or all dad? Can it ever work out with a healthy mixture, or is that fine line just a bit too unsteady to balance on. I’d love to hear your input. Share your thoughts on Kelly Ripa also. Do more parents need to think and act the way that she does? I love how unaffected she is personally. Guess you have to be thick-skinned. I am working on it 😯 .