I love my daughter, more than anything in the world, but there are days when she really tries my patience. I try my best to remain calm, not to raise my voice and to allow her to have a certain amount of freedom. I always try and speak to her the same way I would talk to anyone else, to answer any of her questions in a way that she can understand, to always let her know the reason behind why I say no sometimes. Still there are times when I just can't help it, she'd pushed me right to my limit and I get angry and louder, I send her to her room and she ends up in tears. After a few minutes when I have calmed down I go and try and explain why I was upset, give her a hug and we move on. I'm constantly worrying that I'm doing it all wrong, that I should be able to stay calm, that I should be more understanding. I worry that I get upset too much, that I'm not spending enough time with her, that I'm not giving her all that things that she needs, that I'm not raising her properly. You watch t.v shows that show the parents in such a light, they seem to have it all figured out, everyone is happy, when something bad happens they all come together and everyone is fine (which is why I think I enjoyed Jon and Kate plus 8 so much, they seemed so normal). Then of course you watch your friends with their kids, or see other mothers at the school or park. It seems like there are so many that never raise their voices, they are always calm and relaxed, never stressed, it seems like they never have any problems to deal with in their families. It always makes me feel inadequate, I always look at them and think 'why can't I be more like that?' I look at them and it seems like they have this perfect relationship with their children, they never seem to get upset. It all looks so perfect. I end up being jealous of their calmness, their patience and feeling even worse about the times when I get upset with my daughter. I start to really worry that I'm doing it wrong.
I have one such friend, it seemed like whenever we were together she was always so put together and calm, it was like she had the patience of an angel, like nothing ever got to her at all. Then one day she looked at me and said "You're always so good with your daughter, always calm and put together". I was totally shocked!!! Here I had been thinking that she was this perfect mom and she felt the same way about me! We got to talking about it and realized that we both went through the same things, that we had the same worries and fears. We both lost our patience at times and wanted to rip our hair out, we both raised our voices at times, but we were also both trying our best. It was a major eye opener for me, and it made me feel soo much better about the kind of mother I am.
I realized that those 'perfect' moms that I saw out with their 'perfect' kids were probably just like me. I only saw them sometimes, and it was always out somewhere. I didn't spend hours with them anywhere, I didn't know what happened after they left, I didn't see the tantrums that their kids threw when they were told no. I realized that I can't judge the perfect mom based on a few hours over a few months, I had no idea what things were like the rest of the time.
So remember, the next time you're out and feeling that you're doing it all wrong and you're the worst parent out there. The next time you look at that other mom and think she's got it all together and her life and kids are perfect, she just might be looking at you and thinking the same thing!!
Now if you will excuse me I am going to go hug my daughter :)