A friend and I recently found ourselves standing in line at a department store, behind a mother and two children, aged roughly 3 and 5. The kids were swearing, pulling products off shelves and tossing them on the floor, screaming at ear-splitting volume, and threatening to hit people. Throughout all this, the mother alternately ignored them and apologised to the people around her with a dismissive, “Sorry. I can’t control them.” Occasionally, she’d turn and scream at the kids, “Stop that! Do you want the shop man to yell at you?”
When they finally paid for their purchases and left the store (much to the relief of everyone else), my friend turned to me and said, “I don’t really blame the kids. There’s no such a thing as a kid who’s born bad. I blame their parents.”
I held up my fist and said, “Right on, Sister.” Or something to that effect. There was probably less fist raising and hip-hop talk, but you get the idea.
We moved forward and Big Brother put our purchases on the counter. He spoke politely, made conversation about the things we were buying and how windy it was outside (he’s 4 going on 54, okay?), thanked the cashier, and then picked up some of the products that had been strewn across the floor by the other children and helpfully put them back on the shelves. And as we walked away, my friend turned to me and said, “You’re so lucky that you’ve got such a good boy. He’s so polite and well-mannered.”
I held up my fist and said, “Righ– What?!”
Hold on. Why is it the parents’ fault if the child is badly behaved, but “luck” if the child is well-behaved?
It’s not “luck” that I have a well-behaved son. It’s good parenting.
It’s not “luck” that my son speaks politely to people. It’s training, coupled with my husband and I consistently setting a good example.
It’s not “luck” that my son picks up things that have been left on the floor. It’s a habit he’s learned from picking up his toys at home.
So why can’t I stand up on my soapbox and declare loudly, “I am a good parent!” Well, I suppose I could. (In fact, considering this blog is my soapbox, consider it done.) And you can do the same. If you’re a good parent, stand up and say so. Don’t let people write it off as luck. And definitely don’t do it yourself. Stand up and be proud of the way you’ve taught your children to behave.
It’s okay to be awesome.
It’s even okay to be awesome in non-parent related roles.
Back when I was gainfully employed as a sales manager, I had an employee who was awesome. Whenever I congratulated him on a great day, his response would be “I was lucky today,” or “It was great. Everyone I talked to was ready to buy,” or, my personal favourite, “Yeah, it must have been the advertising.” But if he had a bad day, he was the first to tell me why it was his own fault, and what he’d done wrong.
What is the fascination we have with refusing take responsibility for a job well done? Why are people ashamed to take pride in their own abilities? Why can’t we admit that it’s okay to be awesome?
I hereby issue a challenge to every person who reads this post. Step onto your soapbox and proudly proclaim that you’re awesome.
Leave a comment telling me you’re awesome, and that it’s okay.
I’ll start. I’m an awesome Mum, I’m an awesome wife, I’m an awesome writer, and that’s okay.