Being a mom is often pure joy.
Children are smart and funny, and they say the funniest, most amazing things, especially, “I love you.” There are times when your heart is so full of love for your child, you almost can’t contain it.
AND being a mom is sometimes the most difficult thing in the world. There are times when no matter how you plan, how organized you are, or how much you love your child, the truth is – – it seems like you can’t quite get it all ‘right.’ Things keep happening that remind you just how ‘not right’ you are as a mom.
- Your child won’t get dressed on a school day even though he ‘knows how’ to
- You’re late picking up your child at preschool because it’s such a short time to get errands done, and the teacher is annoyed
- Your child seems to be the only one who has difficulty sitting still at the library’s Story Time
- your child has a tantrum at the store and other shoppers stare
When things don’t go well or when your child acts up it’s second nature to blame yourself. If you were a better mother your child would behave better, you’d never be late, and everyone would cooperate at the store. Right?
In fact, there are days when it feels like you’re barely competent as a mother. Perhaps the worst part of being a mother is that you’re not even allowed to admit that you sometimes feel like you’re not a good enough mom.
You have to pretend you’re doing just fine, that your child is fine and well-behaved (although a little energetic, maybe), and that you’re having no real problems at all.
Because if you were to admit that you didn’t have everything under complete control, other people would know that you weren’t a perfect mother. And if they knew, they would judge you.
Feeling judged is an awful feeling. It feels heavy and sticky, and dark. At least, that’s how it feels to me, it may be even more awful for you! Who wants to experience that feeling?! So you go through your days wondering if you could do something different that would make mothering easier. You worry whether your child might need something you aren’t giving her. But who could you ask who wouldn’t judge you?
It’s true – there are people who will judge your mothering skills. Shoppers at Target, the ‘perfect’ mom in the playgroup, the cousin at the family reunion. There will always be people who judge you as a mom no matter what you do or don’t do.
What’s also true, though, is that most moms judge themselves more harshly than other people do. That’s why you might insist to yourself that everything about you and your child is fine, just fine. You might think that if you admit to yourself that you need some help or guidance with your child’s behavior, it would prove you are an inadequate mom.
But is that really true?
What if you were to ask questions instead?
- What might happen if you admitted to yourself that your child needed some help with their behavior? (You might have to recognize that your child isn’t perfect – but is any child perfect?)
- What if you admitted you might need some help managing how you handle your child’s behavior? (You might get some suggestions you never thought of – suggestions that might even help)
In a perfect world mothers wouldn’t be so critical of themselves.
- They’d accept that they weren’t perfect.
- They’d ask for a little help, a different perspective, a listening ear.
- They’d know that whatever mistakes they make today can be learned from, and that tomorrow could be different and better.
And children could make mistakes, make choices that aren’t always the best. They’d still be the imperfect individuals that they are – but
- they’d have moms who give themselves grace so that they could give their children grace
- They’d have moms who strive to understand them and their behavior
- and moms would be free to mother them to be good people as they grow up
So where do we start to make this perfect world? In little ways, every day.
- Check the Resources and Tools page for books and websites that provide helpful information on child behavior, discipline and development. The more you understand your child and their development, the more patience you’ll be able to have, and the better able you’ll be to tell whether your child has needs you can get support with.
- Confide in a trusted friend when you’re feeling a little overwhelmed. Chances are great that she’ll remind you of how often you’re an amazing momis
And follow along on the Blog for tools, suggestions and strategies for managing your child and yourself when you’re feeling
- confused or
about your child.or their behavior. Being a mom is a joyful challenge and sometimes you just need some support for the challenges!
I wish you well,