I think mostly I just don't like other people trying to be the boss of me. I relent slightly on this where my mother is concerned (anyone that lets you live inside their body for almost a year earns some bossiness currency with that), and also to my sisters as it relates to giving my children things that I would normally say "no" to. They say things like "come here to your Auntie" and then they somehow totally undermine me without being disrespectful or rude. It is a true blessing for the children of the crazy sister to have access to the far more stable sisters to plead their case. It's child advocacy at it's most effective, really.
I, however, am not now, nor will I ever be, ok with getting lifestyle/parenting advice from magazines, Oprah Winfrey or (let's face it) most of the time, my pediatrician. They try to tell me lots of stuff that has nothing to do with medicine that I pretty much roll my eyes at because I know that by my next child, their recommendations will have changed based on the "latest research". I especially do not like it when a magazine to which I have subscribed (presumably because it was part of a magazine and wrapping-paper school-fundraising sale) shows up at my house covered in an airbrushed and professionally lit photo of some supermodel/celebrity/mom trying to resurrect her career by sharing with me and other common folk her three minute beauty tricks and radically new mothering philosophies.
The latest of these allegedly real-mom advice givers is Helena Christensen on the cover of my "Cookie" magazine. If you don't know who she is... remember when they used to have music videos on MTV? Remember the Chris Isaak music video "Wicked Game"? Remember the pretty-much-nudie girl frolicking on the beach in the Chris Isaac music video "Wicked Game"? Meet Helena. (Mom, I always covered my eyes - promise.) In case you're clinging to the edge of your seat like you're watching an episode of Lost, her "three 3-minute beauty tricks" are:
1.a warm, nude face, 2.red lipstick, 3.metallic eyeshadow. Gee, thanks Helena. My guess at your "three 3-minute beauty tricks" was : 1. Look like Helena Christensen. Oh, did I say three tricks? I meant one.
In addition to salvaging her otherwise hopeless appearance with her magic red lipstick, apparently Helena is also a "hands on" kind of mom (she probably chooses the nanny herself), and is qualified to dole out parenting advice as well. She says of her 9 year old son, "He's all that matters. He's my best friend." To that, I say: Crazy Talk. I am not my 9 year old's best friend. I never hope to be. I am not my child's peer. I never will be. I am her mother, I will always be her mother, and being her mother means that I love her more than any of her BFFs ever will. Being her mother means that I love her so much that I do what is best for her, not what is fun for her - even when that means I'm not super popular with her. I am an adult woman, and my mother? Still my mother. What I've seen in my life is that women that had a friend instead of a mother, spend their whole lives searching for someone to help them feel secure by being their bossy, stable, female authority figure and they latch onto anything that comes close. Thanks Helena, but I'm the bossy one around here and since in the end everything is the mom's fault anyway... I'm going to earn my kid's therapy hours the old fashioned way.
ps - Your "He's all that matters" theory = selfish, self centered children who think that their needs supersede every one's around them. Sometimes, children need to understand that they are not all that matters because, let's be honest - they just aren't. It doesn't mean that we don't love them, but it does mean that they need to learn to wait their turn... for siblings, or life, or for mom to go to the bathroom... by herself... without anyone watching her... or telling her random facts about how sharks, or worms or dinosaurs poop too.
I am hoping that one day I will see featured on the cover a magazine the beauty secrets of a real life woman addressing things like; "When you just can't get around to showering - best scents for masking the smell of throw-up", "Bras that make your boobs look like they did before you nursed three children" and "Acne and wrinkles-who knew they could go together?" The parenting section would have advice like "Don't worry - you're doing fine and it's not your fault. Lots of kids pick their noses in public. Just speak really loudly and say "Your mom told you not to do that anymore. Hey, where did she go anyway?", then roll your eyes and walk far enough away to feign a convincing search for the mystery mom."
Now tell me women all over the country would not line up to buy that. I, for one, will be looking for that publication to purchase in the next school fundraiser, and if I know anything... so will Helena Christensen. Or at least her nanny will.