We bought our home in the summer of 2015 before L was born. We had been living in a modest 2 bedroom home on a fairly busy street with an almost nonexistent front yard. To accommodate our growing family, we moved to a beautiful, quaint 3 bedroom home on a dead end dirt road. Perfect. It is quiet. So peaceful.
As time went on and L, D and now H grow older, I knew there would be more kids around. Our next door neighbors have 2 children who I adore and look forward to the time when I can simply ask, “Hey kiddo, are you sticking around for dinner?” They are good kids with great parents and I think of them as family.
On the other hand, there are kids who live further up the road who I do not have that connection with and I have a hard time letting my boys out to play with them. Every encounter I have had with the parents of these children have been…rather uncomfortable, forced or otherwise very inappropriate as the mother has a tendency to A. not wear a bra in public, B. swear in front of my children like it is nothing and/or C. talk about inappropriate subject matter. There have been times where all 3 have occured in one conversation.
I actually cringed when I learned that our children would be in the same class together. The first day of school, all the nervous parents stood outside, waiting for the teacher to file her class into the school. The parents of the neighbor kids recognize me and proceeded to talk to me about their first day jitters. ” I am worried that my boys will be in the principal’s office for cussing or starting a fight!!” said the mother. She has a kindergartener and a 3rd grader. Personally, these worries are not on my radar.
I know we are in the age of lifting each other up and praising each other for getting through another day but here’s the thing. I am judging you and the way you parent. I know I may be in the minority when I say this but when it comes to my children, I will always be judgy and picky about who my children spend their time with. There are expectations that I have for my children and part of those expectations is who they spend their time with.
The past year or so has proven difficult as the kids from down the street want to play. Unfortunately, it is normal for me to look up from whatever I am doing to see one or two pairs of eyes staring in my front picture window. It is normal to have a boy riding in circles in my driveway, blowing a horn that you would get from a birthday or New Years Eve party. I have a baby who takes 2 naps a day with a very protective dog. When they knock on my front door 3, 4, 5 times a day and the dog goes crazy, I start to become irritated. And when the boy regularly gives me attitude for not letting my kids out to play, I become angry. I am an adult and expect to be treated with respect from a 9 year old boy.
I feel like a prisoner in my own home. We go into the front yard to play soccer or let our boys ride their bikes and all of a sudden, we have 2 more kids at our house, without supervision, with very big attitudes and no sense of boundaries. I am simply not ok with this.
We live in a small neighborhood and I like to be civil but how do I exactly say, “I do not like the way you are allowed to run around without shoes on over the dirt road, without a coat, when you are sick!” How do I say “I don’t want your kids to come to my house and ask my boys to play because your children are allowed to do things I won’t allow my boys to do and further, I do not want to have to babysit your disrespectful children when you have no idea where they are for the evening! I also expect my children to wear more than JUST their underwear while running through the neighborhood. (Yes! ALL of that happened too!)
One day at pick-up, this mother struck up a conversation despite my trying to put on my resting-bitch-face.(Apparently, I am not very good at it as I get random people talking to me all the time!!) She proceeded to tell me that she had been awake for 24 hours straight the day before and was exhausted. She had to ask me if her sons were at my house for dinner the previous night because they left and didn’t return for hours. When I explained that they were most definitely NOT, she commented very nonchalauntly and with a slight chuckle that she had no clue where her children went that evening!!! Are you kidding me?!?! How is that funny?!
Just today, after my husband gave the boys a bath and they were in their pajamas, we sat down to watch a little tv before reading and bedtime. It was just starting to get dark and the temps that were once in the 40s was steadily dropping. I looked outside to see the 3rd grader on his bike, in my driveway with no coat on. I felt the need to A. Put a coat on this poor boy who was coughing and yet B. close my curtains as he was staring in my windows at my family snuggling on the couch.
He turned around and rode away. Hoping that would be the end of it, I held my breath but knew he would be back soon. After about 2 minutes, he came back and, this time, knocked on my door to ask my kindergartener to play. I had to explain that we had already had a bath and bedtime was coming soon. And of course, the mom in me comes blaring through because as this poor boy is coughing and gasping on my front porch, I HAD to ask him where his coat was. His response: “I have a long sleeve shirt!” Did no one bother to tell this boy to put a coat on?
On this occasion, I was not met with an attitude like I usually get but I have a hard time letting my kiddos go out the door to play with these boys even when it is 75 degrees and sunny. I have been known to close the curtains and front door to simply avoid having to deal with the constant visits and inquiries.
So yes! I am judging you and your parenting that I have observed. Not because I am an asshole but because I want my children to be surrounded with great people, young and old. I see the way you are NOT parenting your child. I see the longing on your child’s face when I play with my boys or snuggle on the couch. I know I will not always be able to choose my boys’ friends but I certainly will try while they are young. I want them to strive for greatness and I believe that begins now. I know it is convenient to have friends right down the street but at what cost?
No, it isn’t the neighbor boys’ fault and that is where I feel conflict. I have this compulsion to fix things or problems. I feel like as soon as I open my door to help these boys, the parents will take full advantage and these boys will be at my house more than they are now and I am not willing to take that on.
I am not sure what the answer is but any advice would be welcome! What would you do in a situation like this? Drop me a line here! I always love feedback!
As always, thank you for reading! Life has been a bit crazy so my posts have been sporadic. For everyone who has stuck with me…thank you!!!! Have a great rest of your week!!