You have heard it a million times. But I bet you never realized that it was now your name. “But Mom”. I have taken to teaching Mothers to reply “And But Mom also says you are to do it”. It adds a little humor to a situation which typically becomes a battleground of power.
Mothers who have children who slow to adapt to change hear this most often. For the children who are slow to adapt to change, “But Mom” is used to start a conversation about why they have to finish what they are doing since their mind can’t fathom (or do imagine) what terrible things will occur if they don’t follow the path to completion that they anticipated. They can’t understand why “But Mom” would want something done in a manner different from they have already planned out for the task. They have no clue why “But Mom” felt that this moment was the needed start or stop time. And they have confusion as to why “But Mom” felt that they were the only one who could do whatever was being asked or commanded to be done.
Children who use the “But Mom” mantra find it hard to be flexible in their thinking. They have no idea how to think as their “But Moms” do. They get very anxious if the path to the future (5 minutes, day, etc.) is not fully planned out with logic applied. This is why they get so upset when they ask (with intense emotions) “Why?” and get a “Who” responses like ” Because I said so”, or “Because I am the parent.” Who and Why are two entirely different concepts and they understand that. They are requesting teaching as to how “But Mom’s” brain works. How she determines the “who”, “what”, “when”, “where” and “why” of her requests or commands.
So on this Mother’s Day, pause for a second when your child calls you “But Mom”, to step into his shoes, trying to understand what he is needing to learn about how you think. Most Mother’s find that by talking it through, providing choice, and plenty of patience with a touch of humor, things will work out better.
And I should know. I had two of my three children give me the endearing name of “But Mom”
Happy “But Mom’s” Day