I recently read a post here by Anonymous titled, forget success, i just want to survive And I saw myself in every line she wrote. I recognized her frustration and her temptation to believe that she was not the mom that her child needed. She is concerned that her mommy skills may be less than what her kid requires.
One of the reasons that our great friend, Sophie, began this blog “for moms and by moms” was to show us that we are not alone. You are not alone in feeling like you do not measure up in the Mommy-Wars. For some crazy reason we all feel as if every other woman around us is doing it right and we are doing it wrong and our child is going to turn out to be some kind of monster or gutter-dweller.
I am going to stick my neck out here a bit and presume to speak from a place of knowledge and experience in this area of mothering. To validate my ability to identify with you, here are a couple of excerpts from my journals...
“I see my inconsistency in so many areas, discipline, praising him enough, encouraging him, spending time together. Some of my discipline is more about how I will appear to others than how it will shape his life to come.”
“I am already feeling angry, tense and guilty and it’s only 10:15am! I cried as I rocked him to sleep for his morning nap.”
So many voices in my head about discipline. Dobsen says kids need to respect the parent by not being a nag. Mom says she slapped my hand and made me into being a good girl by the time I was six months old! Some say that under two is too young for a bottom spanking. My indecision is making me weak in whatever I end up doing.”
“God please protect this little heart from my anger and harsh words. Please don’t let me damage this child you have given me.”
I don’t know if you are a praying person or not as you read this, but I often wonder if it is that last entry that made me able to say today that I have raised two really wonderful, sane and good men!
My sons survived my awful days and my nagging, pestering voice. I blew it again and again but they grew up to be great people anyway! I do not ever remember thinking that I was a good mom, I always felt less than what my boys needed and should have gotten.
Your kids will survive you.
They will thrive in your messy house and your crazy, chaotic schedule. The only ingredient they need is love and you have that….even on the days when you don’t.
And then there are those lovely moments, like this entry in my journal…
“Last night I went into his dark bedroom to kiss him goodnight after being gone all evening at a baby shower. He lit up when he saw me and as I sat on his bed, he reached up and held my face in his warm little hands and said, “Oh Mommy, I love you. I forgot you have such a pretty face, I love your face!”
He overwhelmed me so much, and I told him I loved him too and that his words made me feel wonderful. He smiled and said, “Thank you.”
My sons are now 28 and 24 and all they remember is being loved. It amazes me that they turned out so great! It definitely had nothing to do with perfect parenting! I am hoping these words will help you on the days when it seems like everyone else is doing it right except you.
Read more from Susie by visiting her blog Recovering Church Lady.