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For Mother’s Day Let’s Reflect on our Children not Others.

by on May 11, 2013

There was a cartoon called Baby Blues and in one strip a woman tore down another woman about how she was raising her kids.  In the last box the mom from the series looked at the woman and said, “I was a great mom too, before I had kids.”

With Mother’s Day tomorrow I have to tell you I was a great mom until my son was about six.  Although he’d been in school for two years, he’d entered a new phase of his life.  One that affected me as a mother.  He was now around others.  It’s not like I’d never had someone complain about my son for one thing or another, but now it was school, scouts, sports…everywhere my son’s behavior was in question.  Why?  He might say no to me in public.  Didn’t you know that children never disagree with their parents?  And never in public.  They never are allowed to throw a fit because their mother says no to an item in a store.

Now by fit it was more of a I’m not going to move from this spot no matter what you say to me.  There wasn’t a reincarnation of a sixties protester who flopped on the ground while screaming at the top of his lungs, maybe because I’d taught him that was the quickest way to be stuck on a chair for five minutes in the middle of a room. But who knows, remember I’m the bad mother.

It’s been six years of parents throwing their guilt onto me.  Sure I should have realized this sooner.  Anytime my son achieved more than another child a parent would give me the look if my son even so much as walked too slow after a game.   My husband always says “we have a good kid.”  Yes, we do.  Sadly I feel every comment as a direct accusation of my inability to parent.

My health both physically and mentally is at a breaking point.  Although it would be easy for me to blame others, I am the one that lets their comments affect me.  I can’t understand the constant need of others to tare down another to build themselves up.  I’m told to take chances on people and live in society, but every step I take outside my house the more I want to lock myself in my room.

Intellectually I know I shouldn’t take each accusation as a personal failure, but it’s hard not to. Everyone wants to be the best mother than can be.  They want to guide their children to become the best person for themselves.  Too many people live through their children instead of letting their children live.  I know I can’t stop people from trying to tell me what my son’s doing wrong instead of looking at their own children and admitting theirs aren’t the perfect angels, but I am going to take steps to recognize what their real intention is.

Are they trying to protect my child from danger?  Or are they just trying to distract me from the way their child is acting?  If it’s the latter this is my one and only warning, I know your child smokes, swears, bullies, cheats on homework, throws fits and needs medication to function in society.  Why don’t I tell you?  Because I’m only responsible for one child, mine.  How about you turn around and parent yours instead of trying to get me to correct mine from making errors that are much less egregious then yours.

There’s a saying in basketball.  “The ball don’t lie.”  Simply put, you can call a foul when a shot is missed, but when you miss the free throws, it’s an indicator of what you’re really entitled too.

My Boy...the only child with a parent who admits he isn't perfect.

My Boy…the only child with a parent who admits he isn’t perfect.

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2 Comments
  1. Kari permalink

    From one mom to another, I think you have just expressed something that all of us mothers experience, if we are good moms. Soon we become displaced with societies expectations and inability to look into the mirror. I have been trying not to allow others opinions of my parenting to get in the way of my life. And, when my child is in need of discipline, I tend to look deeper into the mirror to see what it is in my parenting that caused them to think that the “bad” decision was the “right” choice. Yes I can make better choices and be a better example, but sometimes I don’t. This is the beauty of being human I think. And the minute I start thinking that I am better than you (which is also a human quality) is when I really need to have faith in the ability to love. If we can’t love each other then how can we raise loving children? This world needs these loving children that make humanly acceptable mistakes. Nurturing redirection instead of accusing and blaming. The first choice is to act on human instinct, the thoughtful reply is always a tribute to love. For me I try to practice love, not always easy but I try.

  2. You are so right. If more parents would take the time to parent their own children, class rooms would be a better place for all involved. By the way, tell your son he’s a great kid. 🙂 I’ve got three boys. While they’re not perfect either they’re great kids and I’m very proud to be their mom.

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