Tuesday, September 30, 2008

good mother vs. bad mother

I wonder. What makes a bad mother? I don't feel like a bad mother but I feel bad today.

My 13 year old son called me from school, claiming he was sick. Last year, his claiming to be sick caused a few arguments. It always ended up that he wasn't really that sick at all. He would stay home or come home early and have remarkable recoveries.

He struggles in some of his classes and can't afford to miss school. I told him I wouldn't come get him. In the most loving way I could, I told him that I just don't trust him as he has lied to me lately and been found out. He lied about being sick last year, quite a few times, and unless he is throwing up or has a fever, he gets to stay.

Now I do wonder if there is something else going on that makes him want to come home. Something else that is making him feel bad. I did ask about this and he said there was nothing going on.

He called a little bit later, but still before lunch and said that he had thrown up. I told him I didn't believe him and that he just had to suck it up and stay in school. I didn't want him to miss what his teachers were teaching.

He hung up on me. I should have been offended about this but honestly, I wasn't. I understand his frustration. I hated school. I never sluffed but I wanted to. As a child, I pretended to be sick all the time to stay home. I know how to make myself sick, how to appear sick, how to get people to feel for me. I've been there. But I want to teach my son something I had to learn as an adult and that is...you have to be accountable. You have to sometimes do things that are hard or undesirable. You have to pick yourself up by the bootstraps and be brave.

Now, I could be wrong. He may really be sick. If so, I'll eat crow.


Josi said...

I hate choices like this, but I'm right there with you. I also faked sick and have a child that veering into that lane. Even if they are sick, I want them to know that I know there's a chance they aren't. I also make it miserable when they stay home--in their room all day except for lunch, no friends after school. I don't know if it's right or wrong, but I know they can't say I don't think school is important. Good luck.

Maggie May said...

that's such a weird expression isn't it, eating crow? i digress! i have thought about this too. i faked sick a lot when i was a kid ,but i had a crappy childhood, so hmph.