Today, my roommate and I switched on “Wife Swap” – a reality show that plays on Lifetime about two families that swap wives – who are also usually moms. For the first half of the swap, the wives have to follow the rules according to the way the other wife lives and rules her home. During the second half, the wives implement their own rules into the homes – and you guessed it – chaos ensues shortly thereafter.
I’ve never really understood the point of the show, since there’s no prize for the mom who does the best job or adjusts the best to her strange home and family. Having watched a couple of episodes, I’ve seen that the moms are supposed to learn something from the other mom because either they’re too strict or too lenient and need to chill out and go the other direction a bit to balance things out.
On today’s episode, I heard the saddest thing I’ve heard a normal child say. The two moms on the show were Lisa and Joyce. Lisa ran a real estate business with her husband and devoted 7 days a week to her job. She made her kids do all the chores and if they missed ANYTHING, she would leave them a list before she left for work of what they needed to fix for when they got home. The house they lived in literally had a room (the formal living room) that the kids could only enter by INVITATION. Because the parents worked all day long, everyday – the kids barely saw them and spent most of their time at home alone. Oh but wait, there were Sundays. Sundays were family days – when the family would go down to the real estate office and CLEAN TOGETHER! Hooray for family time!! Because their parents always worked, the kids were pretty lonely at home. 10-year-old Conner was seen playing outside, alone, in the yard with a giant STICK. When asked he said, “Yeah, this stick is my friend.” THIS STICK IS MY FRIEND?! Are you serious?! And to make it even better – Lisa brags to her new family her little boy has SO much imagination that he has fun playing with nothing but a stick! That’s nothing to brag about woman!
Granted, the other family was extreme in the other regard. The mom slaves=d after the kids – happily. She loved cooking, cleaning, and taking care of her kids’ needs. They loved pranks and being silly, i.e. farting in a bottle and opening it in someone’s face, taking a big dump in the toilet and leaving it for the next customer to find, leaving a dead mouse in the kitchen cabinet, etc. TOO MUCH!! It’s awesome that she loved her kids and did whatever she has to for them, but I’m sorry that’s too far. I hate spoiled kids who don’t do anything to help out or for themselves.
BUT – there’s nothing worse than listening to a child say that he’s so lonely, that his friend is a stick. And the kid was so nonchalant and happy about it, as if it was the most normal thing in the world! What ticks me off even more than kids who don’t appreciate their parents are PARENTS who don’t give a crap about their kids! If you don’t have any time for them, want them just to do chores all day and then sit at home by themselves – DON’T HAVE KIDS! I mean, honestly, if a successful career is really all that you work towards, then that’s perfectly fine. But not to allow your kids into a main room of the, and house considering cleaning the business offices FAMILY time is ridiculous. If you don’t have time for your kids and don’t want to make them a priority, just don’t have them! It’s not fair to anyone and people would be surprised what kind of emotional abuse that inflicts on helpless kids.
Luckily Lisa’s eyes were opened and she started spending more time with her kids and being less rigid. And thankfully, the stick her child played with got traded in for some real friends.