Do you remember when you were pregnant, all excited and glow-y; anticipating the beginning of this grand adventure called Motherhood? The first time you tried to nurse and of course, couldn’t figure out the latch. Or the first time you tried to change a diaper in your newfound sleep deprived state, and caught yourself asleep halfway through wiping everything off.
We’re supposedly born with a “mother” instinct- but that doesn’t mean we’re perfect. I mean, speaking from experience? I must’ve been a faulty one, because I am far from perfect. From not knowing how to respond to my toddler always undressing herself to not always remembering to stay calm, there are more than enough learning opportunities in my parenting journey. I’m far from the picture perfect Hallmark movie mother that we all strive deep down to be.
Oops, I yelled at the kids again.
I yelled. I punished. In fact, if we’re being honest? I even cursed a little bit. I’m not perfect, and I’m not afraid to admit it. It could be any number of scenarios:
- Monkey opened the hall bathroom door (again) and they’re covered in toilet water.
- Bear has committed her favorite crime yet again, and ripped every single wipe out of a near-full package. (Picture Bear, grinning, covered in and surrounded by now-dried wipes)
- Monkey has discovered a pen and scribbled everywhere. On herself. She’s a blue-scribble monster.
Or, my personal favorite- Monkey has finagled some sort of ingredient or food off of the kitchen counter, and her and Bear have since tag-teamed the destruction of said item.
In fact, I might’ve even screamed. It’s been a long day, I’m exhausted. We’ve gone over the fact that this (or any one of these) activities is a no go. But of course, they’re children. They don’t always remember. But you have to admit- it can get to be like pulling teeth; constantly stopping & correcting the same thing, over and over again.
When the girls get scolded by me, It’s not pretty.
They cry. They scream.
Hell, the other day, Bear hauled off, wound up her little hand and hit me in the back. (This resulted in additional punishment. No go on hitting Mommy.) Monkey usually runs away and slams the door to her room, physically blocking me from reaching her (because its not like I know how to open a door or anything.)
They yell at me, say thinks in toddler I can only assume equate to the meanest insults they can think of, and they’ll even downright ignore me.
When I was unhappy with myself,
This type of behavior tortured me. Not only was I mad at myself, but now the kids were, too. My one source of unconditional love- the three beings that literally came from me, and they too were capable of disliking me, of being disappointed in me. This simply capitalized on the twisted idea in my head that I was a bad mother, probably a bad fiance, and ultimately a bad person.
But when I started to have faith in myself, and started to build on myself first and foremost?
I’m more likely to take a step back, get in a deep breath, and reevaluate the situation before responding. Not as quick to yell and punish as I am to teach and correct. As apt to respond in a quick and efficient manner as I used to be to lay down the hammer without a second glance.
I am far from perfect- but kids don’t need perfect parents. None of us are born knowing anything and everything about parenting- that would be too easy.
We don’t need to be perfect- but being happy with ourselves and patient enough with our children is all they can hope for.