Recently, I saw an article posted to Facebook about the 7 habits of highly effective people, based on the book of the same name. While I have never read the book, it did lead me to wonder about the habits of ineffective people. Specifically, what an ineffective mother looks like and what she would or wouldn’t be doing.
1) Taking L O N G bathroom breaks to actually finish reading a chapter of an intense mystery novel or play her turn in Words With Friends, leaving her children to think she has prolonged gastrointestinal issues when really – she had a J, X and Q to play.
2) Planning dinner at 5:15pm. After exhausting mac & cheese, hotdogs, cheese quesadillas and ham sandwiches, the short-term planning options are limited…and often result in microwave popcorn for dinner.
3) Waiting until the very last possible minute to leave Point A so as to NOT arrive too early to Point B and have to waste precious minutes just waiting. Very often, the children are taken by shock and awe with the “we need to leave RIGHT NOW” announcement. God help the child who has to go to the bathroom or find their shoes.
4) Enjoying a coffee shop visit with grown-up, adult friends one evening, forgetting to order decaf, and then not being able to fall asleep at a semi-normal time and then sleeping WAY too late in the morning. The sleeping late then results in not being tired that evening until really late…and the cycle goes on…for six years.
5) Using Google and/or Wikipedia as the main source for almost everything and inadvertently leading the children to believe any other avenue of research does not exist. This leads to the children believing Google the noun is now a verb. (As in: “Mom, can you Google…")
6) Creating a relaxing Zen-shui (or whatever) study environment by moving piles on the kitchen table from one end of the table to the other and straightening the piles on the countertops. Sadly, blowing on any flat surface and calling it “dusting” often accompanies this.
7) Feigning interest in hearing homemade jokes, dreams, over-detailed movie and book plots and summaries and pre-adolescent conversations. (“…and then she was like, ‘No way!’ and he was like, ‘Get out of here!’”)
This list was complied from the creative thinking of its author as she imagines how an ineffective mother would operate…of course, have noooooo first-hand knowledge or experience in the ways and practices of an actual ineffective mother.