Our guest blogger Mommy Q wonders whether she'd raise her kids like Angelina.
- Cathy Hale, MommyQ [BettyConfidential.com]
A few weeks ago I was at the nail salon flipping through a tabloid. The story that caught my eye was about Angelina Jolie and her mother-in-law, Jane Pitt. The two weren't getting along so well because Brad's mom was annoyed at Angelina's overly relaxed parenting style. She worries that the nannies are too involved and that Angelina doesn't provide them with enough discipline. According to Brad's mom, the kids stay up late all of the time, they eat lots of junk food, go out in public looking unkempt. Brad's mom believes young children need a more structured upbringing.
I'm a stay-at-home, work-from-home mom, so I'm knee-deep in kiddos every day. As I was about to knock Angelina for her mommy style, I couldn't help but entertain the scenario in my head. "What kind of mom would I be if I were super-rich like Angelina?"
If we had ridiculous amounts of disposable income, would I be a different mother? Would I invest in more "we" time or more "me" time? Would I choose to spend more quality time with my children or with myself? Would I throw caution to the wind? Would I let my children stay up late munching Cheetos, knowing that I didn't have to deal with the orange handprints all over the sofa? My housekeeper would handle that. When the boys start to slap, pinch, shove and wrestle for toys around 5:30 p.m., would I just let the nanny figure out how to intervene? Or would I even be at home? Maybe I'd be at the gym or shopping or - gasp! - getting my weekly massage. Would I be constantly running out of the door, kissing my kids on the cheeks and yelling last-minute directions to my nannies on the way out?
Call it being responsible or being a control freak, but I get stressed out when routines are in jeopardy. When it comes to raising my own kids, I am a big fan of structure. For example, I feed them dinner at 6:00 or 6:30, bathe them an hour later, and then the bedtime routine gets rolling. My boys are in bed - literally under the covers - by 8 p.m. every night during the school year. During the weekends and the summer, when school's out, they can stay up until 8:30 or 9 p.m.
I can't say for sure, but if I were super rich I'd probably be exactly the same. What can I say? I'm boring. I'd hire people to do the things I don't particularly enjoy like cooking, cleaning the house, and doing laundry, so I could spend more quality time with my kids. Of course, I would love some additional "me" time for exercising and spending more quality time with my husband. But I would be just as hands-on, if not more, and I believe our rules would remain the same. Sorry kids, it seems there are no Cheetos feasts on the horizon.
Tell us: Do you think having oodles of dollars would change your parenting style?
Cathy Hale is a nationally recognized writer and the voice of MommyQ, a mom blog with celebrity and fashion spin. She lives in Austin, TX, with her husband and two rambunctious young sons. Cathy is also a contributing reporter for Us Weekly and writes for Babble.To read more from BettyConfidential:
Mean Betty: Angelina Jolie Broke Up More Than One Marriage
Postcards from Mommywood: I'm Losing the Parenthood Race
- My Son's Big Fat Fourth Birthday Party