Saturday, 28 September 2013

The Proposal

It has almost been a year since the start of the famous mom strike. Or infamous. Meh. You say potato. I say potato.

While the girls are definitely more aware of their jobs and responsibilities as part of our family team, I have come across a new parenting challenge as the ladies test their emerging independence.

We generally have no major issues as a family. They are well mannered, helpful and respectful kids, but as of late when I need to lay down the law I am met with resistance in the form of eye rolls, arguing and a plethora of “I’m not a baby” complaints.

One said basement troll is actually counting down the days until she can move out.

I too remember wishing for a fantasy world where there were no rules and no one dictating my life and telling me what to do. Freedom bitches! Now that I am actually living in the land of the long wished for grown ups, I realize that reality bites and instead wish for my mom to come and do my laundry and my dad to take care of the bills. For the fridge to be full and meals to magically appear on the table. To be footloose and fancy free where my biggest concern is what outfit I am wearing the next day.

The other day after yet another arguing session about bedtime and phones being handed over to me after 10pm, I was done. Like stick a fork in me done.
Sound familiar?

I had an idea.

You all know I much prefer giving my kids a creative and safe hands-on life lesson rather than a rambling lecture that we all know they just tune out after 30 seconds. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. I am a bit crazy, but I am not insane. Yet.

Kids learn by doing…so here we go again.
Oh stop squealing with glee.

It appears to me my teenagers are looking for a roommate rather than a mother.

You see, when things are hunky dory and life is going peachy, they love having me as a mom. Like I am the best mom EVER!!

When its time for me to challenge them, guide them, teach them or impose the rules of life and living in my house, they kinda go all schizo. And I’m tired of the schizo. Truth be told, I couldn’t give a rats ass if they get mad at me. As far as I’m concerned, if they are not mad at me at least once a day, then frankly I am not doing my job properly. I am not afraid of them being mad at me. I am not afraid to parent them. I just need them to understand real life and to go the *#$^ to sleep.

So just like last year, I am sick of the nagging and arguing. Instead, I offered a proposal.
You and I can call it an experiment.

The Proposal

If you really want to be treated like an adult in this home, it looks like you have a choice to make.

You can choose for me to be your mom, and accept all that comes with that.
The good, the bad and the ugly.

Or you can choose to be my roommate. You cannot have the best of both worlds.

The roommate rules are the following:

You are entitled by law to food, shelter and medical care.
By law you are expected to go to school.

If you choose to be my roommate, you will need to buy your own groceries. I will give you $50 a week to feed yourself. This includes, breakfast, lunch, snacks, drinks and dinner. You can be damn well sure I am grilling juicy steaks for a family of four the first night! Oops, outside voice.

I grocery shop on Sundays. Please feel free to join me this week. Hope you have a loonie for the grocery cart. I will clear off a shelf in the pantry and fridge for you to keep your wares. Please remember to label your items with a Sharpie.

(I do hope they remember to budget for their own Sharpie)

Same applies for laundry. You will be assigned a laundry day. Please be aware that the laundry soap I buy can be a bit pricey. But I am sure you will allot monies for this during your first grocery trip. After all, you are a grown up and you know everything. You may have to buy a cheaper brand. Ditto for the fabric softener. Hope your ass doesn’t get itchy. Oops sorry, I really need to stop treating you like a baby.

If you have any clean, dirty or wet clothes in the washer or dryer at the end of your laundry day, you will conveniently find your clothing in a garbage bag in your bedroom. May I suggest air-drying it as soon as possible; a week between washing days could prove to be very moldy. Oops, sorry! This mom thing is hard to give up.

Roommates are not personal chauffer’s. If I am going somewhere you need to go, please feel free to ask me politely for a ride. That’s what roommates do. If the Spirit so moves me, I may let you tag along for free. If I’m in a pissy mood or if you need a ride somewhere that is not my own destination, (such as basketball practice, orthodontist appointments, the grocery store when you run out of milk) the government pays me .43 cents a kilometer. I will charge you the same. No deals here "roomy", my ride takes premium gasoline. Please ensure you provide me with your transportation requests in advance. I will do my best to accommodate you but in the off chance I can’t, the drug store down the road sells bus tickets. It’s not that long of a walk. Or about $1.22 in gas money.

Cleary, your food budget will not cover extras like, oh lets see. Your phone.  I imagine you will need to earn some extra money to cover your “essential” luxuries. I do appreciate the world may end without your cell phone.

Please accept this as an offer of employment. Minimum wage is currently $9.95 per hour in Alberta. I will pay you $10 per hour. Just think of the extra .5 cents as a retention bonus. After all good help is hard to find. You can let me know what your availability is per day after school and between sport commitments to do extra jobs around the house at my discretion. It may not be glamorous work, but as we are building a new house this one has a shit load to be done before we put it on the market. I really am looking forward to having a slave  an extra set of hands to do the dirty work. Think of it as an entry level position. Hey, we all gotta start somewhere right?

Please be aware you are on a three-month probation period and your employment can be terminated at anytime if I do not find your work satisfactory. AKA….do the job right or I will fire your ass and then you are shit out of luck. Don't worry, you still have options. I hear that delivering flyers at 5:00am can be somewhat lucrative. Cold, but lucrative. You may need to buy extra mittens. And perhaps go to bed before 10:00pm. But hey, I'm not one to tell my my roommate what is best for them.

Bills are to be paid up front. I am not a bank. If you need to work more hours, the availability for extra shifts is endless. But please be aware school is the law and sports may need to be sacrificed. The beauty is you get to choose. That’s what being a grown up is all about. And as you remind me daily, you are almost an adult.

In 4 years, 3 months and 28 days.

Please remember to wash and dry your own dishes and clean up after yourself. Which reminds me, you will need some dish soap. If you want to use the dishwasher, we can work out percentage of the water and electricity bills. Oh yeah….give me a few days to do the math for internet and cable.  How much electricity do you think it takes to charge your phone? Oh, let’s not stress…Instagram is totally is worth it.

In return you may choose your bedtime, make all your own decisions and have your phone all damn nightlong. However, as a renter of a room in my home, please be advised that after 10:00pm, the great room and TV are mine. Please retreat to your own space you have paid for. As a tenant. And grown up.

FYI…as a roommate please don’t touch my things. Like make-up, clothing, shampoo, computer, Netflix, PVR, ketchup, toothpaste. Oh, you get the idea. Being a grown up rocks. You’re gonna love it!

I have one little love thinking about this proposal.
I have one telling me how stupid it is. She is a no-go folks. She chooses ‘mommy’. Smart little thing.

You guess who is who.

I also have her permission to blog about it if she chooses to be my roommate.
I know each and everyone of you (except my mom) are totally hoping she will take the bait and bite.


Princess has until Wednesday to decide. I’ll keep you posted.

Quinn just wants to know if her older sister chooses the roommate option if she has to call me mommy or Jessica. Cuz that seems important right now.

Xo J


  1. C S Lewis says it better than I can:
    "When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."

    Good luck!

  2. As we've been telling our brilliant, I know everything 17 year old, "You're either in a dorm a year from now or you're paying rent and utilities. Rent is calculated based on square footage of your bedroom. My rent divided by the square feet of the house times the square of your room." Then my mother who works in the legal field told me how her firm calculates utilities for their business rental clients. Square footage of the space times $2 and then divide by 12. That is the utility bill for the month.


  3. This should be so, for one week in every house and family with children, in the whole world! I think this could actually lower criminality, and mentally inestable people, rates! This is genius. I am doing it with my daughter as soon as she starts (all in love´s name of course!)

  4. A+ for creativity . . . . Cannot wait to see how it goes. . .

  5. Good luck! I suspect, even if one does take you up on the proposal, the experiment will be short lived. Growing up is hard to do!

  6. You, Jessica Stilwell, are the mad scientist of Moms, the twisted, yet gorgeous, genius who whose vision for a new parenting tomorrow will someday be marked as the start of a new Golden Age of Momhood.
    Or you just may be mad.
    Either way, I'd follow you anywhere.
    Well done and good luck.

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  8. I cant believe I have never seen your blog before. I am dying laughing right now. My children are still young but my ten year old has started the eye rolling thing. I cannot stand it. In our most recent argument I raised my hands to the sky like I was in church and said " sweet Jesus I'm gonna hurt her" side children have never been hit, spanked a few times when they were really little but nothing should have seen her face. I then proceeded to tell her to go bring me everything from her room that makes her happy aka her IPOD. I too am a fan of taking away electronics. I forced her to sit through the lecture too. She probably tuned out most of it but I promise she listened to some too .Lets face it I was pracyically foaming at the mouth by this point. Been a few weeks and no eye rolling. The reason I found this blog is because I swear I have gone mad between little miss prissy, work and a lazy husband. Any creative tortures out their for a mama's boy who claims at age thirty he doesn't know how to dust or clean a bathroom???

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