Being a mom is like being a hostage negotiator

In the over 12 1/2 years I have been a mom I have had more than my fair share of negotiations with my children. It got me to thinking is motherhood any different than being a hostage negotiator? Let me just go through the last weeks worth of negotiations with you I have had to make.

I have negotiated with my oldest daughter to get her to do her laundry more frequently. She will go a month without doing the laundry and then takes an entire weekend day occupying the washing machine just to wash all of her laundry. And this is usually with me saying you have GOT to wash your laundry TODAY! And then constant questions of how’s your laundry? So I put my foot down and gave her a schedule of laundry. This way too I can be sure to get my laundry done before the days she will need the machine. I promised her that if over the next two weeks she does the laundry on the days marked on the calendar as hers (which is every 4th day) then I will lighten her load. She currently washes her 9 year old sisters laundry too. It started when I was pregnant as a way to help me out because it was so hard for me to get down the stairs and it has kind of stuck. I have offered to take her sister’s laundry back before and she has told me no, but then we always end up having the same argument. Oh yeah and I’m not reminding her about the laundry either. She has to get it done on her own. If she doesn’t and it piles up, then our deal is off. I think she’ll be surprised at how much easier it’s going to be since she won’t have a months worth of clothes to wash.

There have been countless just eat one more bite of food and you can have a piece of candy, go play with your toy, help Daddy take down the lights, and whatever the hot commodity at the time for a 4 year old boy is.

Get your Social Studies project research done and you can play your video game.

I told my 9 year old daughter she had to read and she argued with me. So I said it’s either read a book or write me a 500 word essay about why you don’t like to read. She chose to read for 30 minutes.

If you want to eat dinner tonight, then you have to clean off the table so I can get dinner on it.

I’ve told my 4 year old son who’s having some difficulty consistently using the potty that Santa is watching so if he wants toys instead of coal in his stocking, then Santa wants to see him do all of his poop and pee in the potty.

I am sure there were many more negotiations. The typical behave in the grocery store and you can have a cookie. If you be quiet when we’re at the doctor you can get a lollipop and a sticker. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but there are constant negotiations happening in my house on a daily basis. Perhaps the police would find it beneficial to hire moms to be their hostage negotiators.

How many negotiations have you made with your children over the years? Got any creative negotiations you’d like to share? I’m always looking for something new to help get my kids to do the things I would like them to do.

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