I sometimes wonder if life would be easier without friends.
Don't get me wrong, there are TONS of good reasons to have them and I adore mine. But sometimes there's that peer pressure thing that happens. (I can't believe I'm practically 35 and still dealing with peer pressure.) You know, you go to the mall cause they are, you go out to dinner cause they are, you buy clothes cause they are. Fill in the blank....there's a bunch of things we do, sometimes more than others, becuase our friends are doing it.
Today's trip to the mall, completely unnecessary. I didn't NEED anything, I didn't need to go, but why not? What would it hurt?
What would it hurt...Well, let's see.... it interrupted my daughter's nap; it got my children home and in bed and hour late (1.5 hours for the baby); it stopped me from working on the garden which I need/want to get done; it caused me to spend money I didn't need to spend; it let me 'ignore' my children's not-so-stellar behavior as they goofed off; and it stopped them from spending any time with Daddy today since we were gone for the few hours he's home each night.
Don't get me wrong, I'm understand kids are going to "be kids" (loud, rude, crazy, etc), but sometimes we ask a lot of them. We ask them to be quiet in stores, and not to run, and to sit still in the restaurant. And this is after they had to be quiet and not run and sit still in school and during lunch and while doing their homework and in the car. Whew!! That's a lot of not being a kid!
At the same time, kids need to learn to use manners and sit still and to act appropriately in public. But they can only handle so much of this before they need to let off steam and play!! They know this, and I know this. But apparently, sometimes I forget!
At the same time, the entire time I'm at the mall, I'm dealing with "can I buy this Mommy" from one or both of the boys (in time Iz will do it too!). Which is not my favorite, and puts me in a cranky mood! They want so many things. And I'm not one to give in-almost ever. We talk about planning what to buy, and things being on sale, and using our money wisely so we can save for what we really want. But then I go and buy myself a Grande Carmel Frappucino that costs $4.67.....hmmm, what was that about saving again?? We've tried various strategies to help with the gimmies/buying/wanting that all kids go through, and we're still learning how to handle it (me as much as them!).
The problem is, when I DON'T go to the mall with my friends (or coffee shop, or other less-than-child-friendly place) I hear lots of funny stories afterwards, and hear lots of 'inside' jokes. And it makes me sad/jealous that I wasn't there. It probably hits a nerve of being less-than-popular in high school. So I think to myself, "I should go with them next time and have fun".
So I go with them....
And then when I get home I feel bad for denying my children the chance to ride their bikes and play in the sun and have my full attention (would they have gotten it tho?? or would I have been weeding?). I think it's that last one that really bugs me. Why is it impossible to be out with my friends and pay attention to my kids. The biggest reason might be the 'empty threats' of "we're going to go home if you keep acting like that". But then we don't cause I don't want to leave while I'm hanging out with MY friends. And of course, the irony is, when we are together we WANT them to behave so that we can have a good time and so that they can have a good time. But I make it impossible for them to do that becuase I don't pay much attention to them cause I'm too busy having a good time with my friends!!! So they have to act up to get my attention. After all, negative attention is better than no attention at all, right?
What a conundrum!!