Are you a good mom

An endless supply of ass beaters

What makes a good mother?  The range of answers are limitless depending on who is asked.  I write this because my sister and my own goodness as a mother is constantly questioned.  Who questions our ability to be a good mother?  Surprisingly, it is our own father.  

Walt apparently feels he is the ultimate dad.  He seems shocked when anyone gives their opinion otherwise.  I will take a journey down memory lane and give an accurate portrayal of Walt as our father.  This is not written with the intention of making our father look bad, but instead to point out where mistakes were made and how a different approach to child-rearing would have made all the difference.

My earliest recollection of Walt’s approach to parenting began at five years of age.  Our dad worked full-time and always came home immediately after the office closed.  My mother always had dinner prepared and we would sit down for a meal at the dining room table.  As I grew older and became vocal about what I liked to eat versus disliked, it became a problem.  We were ordered to eat everything on our plates, Lima beans included.  As dinner dragged on I would move my beans around on the plate hoping dad would finish up and we kids could make an escape.  Some dinners that was the case, others we weren’t so lucky.  Reality is, Lima beans wouldn’t hurt us and eventually we ate our way through.

At the age of nine my brother Joe and I learned Mom was pregnant.  We were surprised but happy to hear the news.  Mom apparently missed the sound of crying babies and needed another round at child-bearing.  Susan entered the world in 1979 as the first intentional child.  The following year everyone was surprised to hear mom was pregnant again.  Sam rounded out our family of six and the house became very cramped.  

Over the years an alliance was created between we children and mom.  We all felt the sun rose and set on her and she was our best friend.  She encouraged us in all that we tried and made us feel special.  I don’t recall her using physical violence to punish us as that was dad’s specialty.  In my early teen years dad made a cricket bat and used it as a paddle to “keep us in line.”  Seriously, a cricket bat?  Wasn’t having all four of your children scared to death of upsetting their father punishment enough?  

The cricket bat was put to use often.  Dad was proud of this corporal form of punishment and even had the bat hanging from a nail on wall as a constant reminder to behave.  We all feared the Walt and having our ass beat with the bat.  Our solution was to be as far away from home as possible to avoid punishment.  Of all the ass beating we received I doubt any of us could recall what our offenses were.  I would even bet money that our father could no longer recall.  Around my mid-teen years I was deemed guilty of some action and off the wall the bat came.  I remember trying my best not to cry when I received a paddling.  Hindsight, I should have began crying as soon as dad went to retrieve that damn bat, but I was just to determined to prove he could not “hurt me.”  The reign of the cricket bat came to an abrupt end when a crack across my ass broke it in two.  Dad was not discouraged by this in the least.  He just trimmed the broken edge off and declared it “The Paddle.”  For additional intimidation he drilled holes in it and informed us this would create less wind resistance on his swing.  The paddling continued and created a permanent memory of growing up under the dictatorship of Walt.

Living in fear of a parent is a piss poor way to grow up.  All four of us never felt we were “good kids” in our father’s eyes.  Our achievements never seemed to impress him and after enough time passed, we no longer cared what dad thought.  That leads to our current lives.  With little to no choice to live elsewhere, three of us had to move back with our parents.  We are all adults now and find it extremely uncomfortable living under Walt’s roof.  He doesn’t have the ability to butt out of our lives and consistently gives his unsolicited opinion on our activities, ability to raise our children, how to spend what little money we have, who to be friends with, etc.

He regularly tells Susan she is stupid and will never be able to take care of herself.  As if this wasn’t bad enough, dad tells his grandson that he has two things working against him in life: his mom and his dad.  Now Blaine is at the tender age of seven and the last thing he needs to hear is negative comments about his parents.  Seven year old boys act up just as my five year old daughter does.  Walt’s solution to these short-lived fit pitches….”beat that kid’s ass!”  

There is no ass beating going on at the Crider household these days.  I will not tolerate it even once.  Growing up with the constant threat of physical punishment caused me to dislike and not trust my father.  Time-outs are the modern solution where no physical pain is involved and problems with a child’s attitude can be resolved peacefully, sitting on a chair in the corner.  No amount of ass beating will lead to a child stating they had a good parent.

I know I am a good mom.  I also know that Susan is a good mom.  How do I know this?  Our children want to be with us.  They are thrilled with the time they share and demand more.  Time is love to a child and they can never get enough.  So ask yourself, “Do my children want to spend time with me?”  If you answer yes, than you are on the right track.  All three of my children flock to me.  My sons are well past childhood age and still come as often as possible, at times three or four days, to visit.  My mom is happy when they arrive and make her laugh at their silliness.  My dad….well…somethings never change.  He is unhappy that his grandchildren come to visit.  They take up to much room in the house for his happiness.  Dad doesn’t keep this to himself either.  Zeth feels uncomfortable coming to visit anymore and limits his weekend trips.  It breaks my heart my sons feel unwelcome but it doesn’t surprise me.  As the children of Walt, none of us ever felt welcome either.

Comments

  1. Auntie J says:

    Only you Pattie could have so little respect for your own father that you would trash him in this post. I’m not only disappointed but anger as well that you don’t even remember that it is your father who is putting a roof over you and Tess’s head and providing a safe place for you to live. I know Tess is the most important thing to you in your life next to your education but think back about where you would be without your father’s help, you would not be in college you would be working to support your lifestyle as a single mom and certainly not being supplied with endless help from the state! Further more you should not speak for your brothers and sister they are adults and I know they do not all feel this way. I hope you are ashamed of yourself and share this story with your mother because now you are shaming her as well incase you forgot your father is her husband and I’m sure she wouldn’t appreciate such slandering. I only wish the best for Tess between you and John and this divorce the child don’t have much of a chance for a normal life. You need to return to therapy and double up on your sessions because it’s not working!

    • Yes, only I would write this post. The only reason Tess and I are there is because Mom insisted we move in over going to a shelter. He doesn’t care what happens to me or my kids so it’s a bit hard to have any respect for a man who screams at everyone in the house no matter how hard we try. My brother and sister feel the same way. I can’t comment on Joe’s opinion but since he never comes around to visit I would say it’s pretty clear. As far as slander…it’s not when it’s true. If reading how your brother is (as if you didn’t know) makes you angry, I am sorry. The point I was trying to make is don’t question other peoples parenting when you haven’t proven yourself as the ideal mold. I would think it would concern people about the physical and psychological abuse created by this parenting style versus letting out a secret of my childhood.

  2. Daddy's Little Girl says:

    Wow…I don’t know you but wish I did because I would tell you face to face that obviously you didn’t get enough beatings. Your story sounds a little like mine so I can relate but the difference is I don’t blame dad for my beatings. I blame myself. It doesn’t sound like he had no reason. Typically BAD parents don’t beat their kids and supply food, clothing , and shelter. BAD parents beat you and don’t provide you with anything. Today’s day we are not allowed to beat our children because of people like you who don’t take any ownership for what they did. Boy I wish I could do to my kids what my parents did to me. Now a days the kids are running the household. Parents need to take their role back and be in control. But looks like in your case their grandparents because didn’t you say you live back at home? What the hell? If your Dad was so bad that you felt you needed to blast him on this page then shame on you for going back home to live. There are shelters for woman like you. How dare you live with him and all you do is talk about him like this! Veggies….I hate them to this day! Who cares. It wasn’t like it was RAT POISON…..It was veggies….so good for you….I know you have put worser things in your mouth then veggies…come on now be for real. Let me close this by saying…take responsibility for you! The past is the past and each individual does the best that they can with what they have. Raising kids isn’t easy. I have 4 of my own and no father present for any of them. What I would give to have a man like my DAD who made me eat veggies and beat me with a willow branch in their life! While you are living in his home remember this….YOUR BUSINESS IS HIS BUSINESS….if you don’t like it….it’s simple….GET OUT!

    • Thank you for your comment. Obviously you don’t know me. Yes, I live at home, in the basement which is fine. The point of my blog was he has no right to treat any of his kids like he does whether they are living at in his home or not. He has made it clear he doesn’t want anyone around and we are all fine with that. I take very good care of my daughter and would never think about hitting her or screaming at her how horrible she is. Respect for my dad is earned.

    • Auntie J says:

      Daddy’s Little Girl’s comment is perfect and so correct!!!!!

      • First, let me be clear. I am not saying my dad was beating his children everyday. There is no question to whether he yelled everyday. The scars created by constant degrading is much more painful and long lasting than a sore ass. Our father certainly had moments where as children we loved and appreciated what he did for us. We were all active in sports and he happily took us for practices and games. We all played instruments and participated in school events that other parents may not have supported. Again, the point I was making in my blog wasn’t to show lack of respect to my parents or extended family, nor put words into the mouths of my siblings. My POINT was treat your children with respect and the reward will be they reciprocate that respect through-out life. We were not beaten black and blue all over our bodies, put in a cage or tied to a bed, but his distinct parenting style does not promote a loving, respectful relationship. Furthermore, until you lived in my shoes, don’t judge my words. God is the ultimate judge and that is who I will answer to when my number is called. If He has a problem with me publically sharing a TINY bit of information with the world, He will let me know. Otherwise, it’s my life and my blog….and some day my novel. I don’t make anyone read what I write and this blog is FAR from being dedicated to bashing my father. All in all, I came out a well-rounded, happy, caring person in life and I give my MOTHER majority credit for that, followed by a small amount of credit to my father.

  3. Corinna says:

    Wow.. People come on.. As i read this blog it was clear to me that this was an outlet for Pattie to express how her fathers form of parenting has affected her.. She has a right to her own feelings.. You were not there in her home.. She was a child… It sure did open my eyes. I will take what she says to heart and think about it the next time i want to yell. What is that portraying to my child.. Walt is by far not a monster abuser.. And i believe Pattie was not trying to convince anyone of this.. He was not perfect..who is?..but his actions did affect his family.. and if writing this down on a blog helps..then you have my full support Pattie..

  4. The paddle you describe sounds just like what every teacher had hanging on the wall in their classroom when I was growing up. I’m sure by the time you were in school, teachers having paddles was a thing of the past.
    I remember my Dad telling me how he was “disciplined” with a switch and how he would have to go out and cut the switch from a particular bush or tree that would eventually be used across his bottom.
    It was a way of life in those days…. Something that is looked down on today. Back then most Mom’s stayed at home with the children and often used the “wait till your Father gets home” phrase and after a day at work, Dad was informed at the dinner table what his children did wrong that day.
    Was it the right way? Don’t know.. but I do know, most did the best they could.

    IMHO..back then, kids respected their parents & teachers. Yes some had to walk to school ( we’ve all heard the stories from our parents about walking to school in the snow) most were hard working and helped with chores at home and it wasn’t just loading the dishwasher or taking out the trash….

    Today, I see so many young adults with no structure, no work ethic ..there is a sense of entitlement that something is deserved to them rather than the motivation to work for something that they want. The thought of working to earn something has been far replaced by instant gratification. I see young adults who blame all of their life difficulties on someone else, there is no accountability. It is always someone else that caused them to end up in their current predicament and I believe when you blame someone else, rather than owning your responsibility.. your growth and maturing stops.

    As you well know..I happen to know your Dad, I remember many family events where “the Walt” had his small grandson with him… I’m not sure who the child’s Mother was, because she was never there. It was just Walt and the youngster. I find it funny how the man children grew up in fear of, “ the Walt”, came in handy when a babysitter was needed….

    Your Dad has been very good to my Mom, like a son to her and I admire him for that. It says a lot to me that he has opened his home to his adult children and their children to get a fresh start. Bringing adults back into your home isn’t always the easiest thing to do.
    As much as you complain about it, the current roof over your head belongs to your parents and from the sound of things, you should be damn thankful for it…

    • Reading from afar says:

      Faye, I have to say you hit the nail on the head!! I too know the family and have seen Walt with his grandkids many many times. We all have made mistakes growing up, trusted people we shouldn’t have, and gotten ourselves into situations, but I don’t point fingers at my parents for MY choices I made in my life. I know for Pattie this site is a form of attention. She all her life has needed attention and gone again her family in many different ways to get it. (She should feel thankful there was an open door for her when she needed it.) We have all fallen into this attention trap by posting. I’ve been reading and holding off on posting but I too have fallen into this attention grabbing scheme. I am not taking sides here I’m only stating what I’ve seen and observed.

      • Really, you all don’t know shit. Seriously, YOU DON’T! If you don’t like what I write then don’t read my blog. This is my last comment concerning what everyone has to say about my family and I. How about you read something else I write that has to do with my children, divorce, or school! I don’t point fingers at my parents for the choices I’ve made in life, nor do I wish I could change anything about the choices I’ve made. It’s my life, I can’t help who my father is as I can only pick my friends, not family. Reading from afar……I highly doubt you know me as well as you think.

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