Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Good Mom

Today, the girls and I are together all day. Today, my mind is in an endless loop of criticism about my mothering. The last couple of weeks, I've been overcome by frustration and run completely out of patience and empathy. Today, so far, I have not. I have felt that burning knot of bile rising in my chest and taken a step back.

Growing up, my mom always told me I could do whatever I put my mind to. Being the perfectionist I am, I thought, well, I should put my mind to being the best, most perfect. I thought I should look like a super model, be valedictorian, etc - if not, then why even bother.

Today's loop has focused on being the best mom. More accurately, on how I'm not being the best mom today and everyday. It's exhausting and demoralizing. I'm trying to stop the thought chain and focus on being a good mom. A good mom loves, plays and cares for; a good mom takes breaks, says she's feeling frustrated and let's the kiddos safely play on their own, including watching TV (I still really struggle with that last one and the guilt that comes with it).

I want the absolute best for my girls, and I often feel like I am not that. But, then, I see them be loving to others, laughing, exploring and feel I, along with many others, must be doing something right.

Sigh. It's so turbulent in my chest, such a big battle waging. A seemingly futile battle that I need to just walk away from and find the joy and peace waiting for me.

This I think is what the universe is sending me. This time is my own personal purgatory. How I handle this time will either send me to a better place or a worse place. The hardest thing to accept is that the choice is mine. Much is outside of my control but not this.


Anonymous said...

A couple quotes about motherhood that may lift your spirits:

"What you create doesn't have to be perfect. . . . Don't let the voices of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside.

"If you still feel incapable of creating, start small. Try to see how many smiles you can create, write a letter of appreciation, learn a new skill, identify a space and beautify it"

Recognize that the joy of motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times and frustrating times. But amid the challenges, there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction.

liv said...

What I have learned about parenting in the last four years is that it's hard, there is no such thing as perfect, there are moments of sheer bliss and moments when I can't believe myself. I have also learned that I need to not forget me. In order for me to show my son how to treat others well, I have to treat myself well. Hang in there, love. You are a good gift to those two beautiful little ladies. xo.

heathre said...

the fact that you recognize this and strive to be better makes you a good mom. and part of that is being kind to yourself. the a-team is very lucky to have you and jason as their parents. i just wish i was closer and good give babysitting breaks! xoxo

Nanimal said...

lol... yeah. I schedule in TV breaks for me. If Mamma is happy- the whole house is happy.
My Mom always tells me "as long as they know they are completely loved - most of the rest won't even matter" and I kinda think that is right.
my mantra is kinda like this:
"does he know I love him?
does he love himself?"
check and check... I am awesome.
lol. I never wrote that out before - it kind of makes me laugh. anyhow... you ARE awesome...and the constant checking in with ourselves to make sure we are mothering in a way we are proud of... well that puts us in a super awesome class of mothers. serious.

Nanimal (Lemon) out

Amandaw said...

What you need to realize is that every mom feels this way. I actually said "screw you" to my wonderful, most special children when they totally ignored something I did that I thought they should stand up and cheer about. Who says that to their children!? The point, other then publicly admitting my faults, is that you are human, I am human. And humans are flawed and make mistakes. Even if you do something you are not proud of, tomorrow is another day. The kids will remember the good times, maybe not all you do everyday for them, but they will remember the little things. Unfortunately they will remember the few bad times too--like we do with our parents. But we still love our parents, and now we can empathize with them. We understand their sacrifices,their temper tantrums, and their need for alone time, the time they yelled screw you (although, my mom never did that). We should also assume that our kids will do the same when they become parents. What I don't understand about my parents was their need for 7 children! Good God, I can barely hold it together with 2. Anyway, I love you. Stop being so hard on your self, relax. And remember, you have about 2 years until they actually remember anything you do!!!! Lucky. I call these the practice years.