I saw this meme floating around, and while generally I quickly glance over parenting stuff, as this one was specifically for mothers teaching their sons some lessons, I guess I was looking for some tips.
I did not get any tips.
What I did get was some outdated crap that looked desperately in need of an update.
So, I present 20 things a mom should tell her son, with my revisions in bold.
TWENTY THINGS A MOM SHOULD TELL HER SON
1. Play a sport.
It will teach you how to win honorably,
lose gracefully, respect authority,
work with others, manage your time
and stay out of trouble.
And maybe even throw or catch.
1. Pick an activity you enjoy and try your best. Every discipline in this world, from sports to dance to academic quiz team teaches you hard work, ethical play, and leadership.
2. You will set the tone
for the sexual relationship,
so don’t take something away from her
that you can’t give back.#
2. *Eyeroll at ‘you will set the tone’ bullshit*. In the future, you may want to enter into a sexual relationship (in the DISTANT future). You and your partner are equals, and should be using your mouths for communication before anything else. Talk about your relationship – your needs, your wants, your fears. Respect each other equally.
3. Use careful aim when you pee.
Somebody’s got to clean that up, you know.
3. Let rip when you pee. As I have taught you to clean up after yourself, you’ll be mopping up whizz if you miss, so it’s on you, buddy!
4. Save money when you’re young
because you’re going to need it someday.
4. Great tip, frugal living (with a few splurges) in youth will help your older self in the long run.
5. Allow me to introduce you
to the dishwasher, oven,
washing machine, iron,
vacuum, mop and broom.
Now please go use them.
5. See tip #3. Be your own cleaner.
6. Pray and be a spiritual leader.
6. Be a decent, upstanding person. If your spirituality helps you achieve that goal, great. If not, fine. But you will be, in all ways, a light in your community and world.
7. Don’t ever be a bully
and don’t ever start a fight,
but if some idiot clocks you,
please defend yourself.
7. Defend yourself, yes, but use it as a teachable moment – reach out to the bully who is obviously in pain themselves.
8. Your knowledge and education is something
that nobody can take away from you.
8. Knowledge is paramount. So is common sense, and the ability to always question. Don’t just learn what you’re told – investigate. See if the teacher is teaching you the truth, or what they wish is true.
9. Treat women kindly.
Forever is a long time to live alone
and it’s even longer to live with somebody
who hates your guts.
9. Uh, how about treat everyone kindly, because you will be sharing this Earth with them forever, and no one likes a dickhead.
10. Take pride in your appearance.
10. Meh. Take a bath, comb your hair, brush your teeth, but if you never care about fashion or the latest ‘it’ trend, I won’t lose sleep.
11. Be strong and tender at the same time.
11. Oy. Look, kid, you are going to have a lot of conflicting messages in this world, that men should be one way or another, or *gasp* a bit of both. These are RIDICULOUS notions – be a decent person. That’s it. Don’t worry about which emotional quality is ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ in that moment, just be decent. This isn’t brain surgery.
12. A woman can do everything that you can do.
This includes her having a successful career
and you changing diapers at 3 A.M.
Mutual respect is the key to a good relationship.
12. …yeah, except for point 3 (where someone else is cleaning up after you), and point 2 (where apparently you rule the bedroom). Look, your momma is a very strong woman, so you’ll be growing up with this drilled into your skull, but you and whoever you choose as a partner are a team. Sometimes, one of you leads, sometimes, the other does, but in everything, you are a united front. (And for the record, if you never have kids, I don’t care. Do what is right for your team, and no one else.)
13. “Yes ma’am” and “yes sir”
still go a long way.
13. Yes, be polite. Open doors for everyone regardless of gender. Offer your seat on the bus to anyone who looks like they could use it. A little kindness goes a long way.
14. The reason that they’re called “private parts”
is because they’re “private”.
Please do not scratch them in public.
14. Also, if I see you with your trousers sagging, I *will* pants you. I know momma said appearance isn’t everything, but DAYUM – people look ridiculous with their asses hanging out, pull your damn pants up.
15. Peer pressure is a scary thing.
Be a good leader and others will follow.
15. Peer pressure is bullshit – make your own decent choices in this world, your family will always stand with you.
16. Bringing her flowers for no reason
is always a good idea.
16. Erm….I guess. If she likes flowers. Howabout asking her what she or he likes, and then going for that, versus an outdated concept of romance? Just a thought. Your dad’s best gifts to me in the world are handwritten notes, you might want to start there, with communication.
17. It is better to be kind
than to be right.
17. Be a gracious winner. You can be right and kind at the same time.
18. A sense of humor
goes a long way
in the healing process.
18. *whistles* Always look on the bright side of life…
19. Please choose your spouse wisely.
My daughter-in-law will be the gatekeeper for me
spending time with you and my grandchildren.
19. Well, if that ain’t some pressure, I don’t know what is. Look, if you have kids, fine. If you don’t, fine. If your spouse is a dude, fine. If I have raised you to have a brain in your head, you know right from wrong, you know who and what a decent partner is, I trust you’ll make the right choice. And if I want to see you or any potential grandkids, *you* are who I will contact.
20. Remember to call your mother
because I might be missing you.
20. Luckily, you have a mother with a sense of self, so if I am missing you…I’ll pick up the damn phone, not pine away like some lighthouse keeper, waiting for the family to call. Oh, and if you do call, and I’m out, just leave a message – I have a fabulous life to lead, and won’t always be near a phone line, but know I’ll always call you back, and I’ll always be there for you.