Their Bad Mother

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Apparently I am failing at this parenting thing. Failing, that is, if mothers were given a report card based upon the behavior of my children.

I understand that kids are not tiny adults, but little lunatics with the need to be programmed with the social norms and acceptable behaviors of civilized society. I understand that it is one of my jobs (in addition to loving, nurturing, feeding and clothing) to provide them with this social indoctrination through discipline, schedule, routine, incentives and punishment when required.

However, despite my best intentions, my kids did not get the memo.

Victor has apparently skipped the terrible twos and tumultuous threes and gone straight to the WTF fours (he always was an over-achiever and apparently is an extremely strong mimic of his big brother's behavior). As I mentioned last week, Angel has completely lost his damned mind with a combination of raging tantrums whenever and wherever he does not get his way (including home, preschool, gymnastics, playgrounds, places of worship...you get the picture) and an utter inability to follow directions. His focus in increasingly non-existent (well, focus on anything that HE does not want at any given moment), and my days are filled repeating his name and doing my best not to scream at the top of my lungs...or burst into tears.

My mother tells me that I simply need to let them know that this behavior is unacceptable. That there should be consequences. Clearly she must have been given the award for mother of the century because there are consequences-o-plenty at BadAssMama Central and my kids (particularly the big boy) have still not located their damned minds.

I see the looks of pity from the other moms in karate when the big boy is not behaving. The sideways glance from moms at preschool pick-up for the exceedingly bad mother of "that kid" when he once again throws a tantrum on the way out the door. The looks of sheer exhaustion from his teachers when delivering yet another bad report.

I would love to say that I care nothing about the opinion of others when it comes to my parenting skills. That my sole focus is on helping my kids to break out of the nasty pattern we've found ourselves stuck in, while reminding myself that I'm doing the best I can every day. I'd love to be able to say that. But I can't.

The truth is, I know that I am being the best mother that I know how to be. That my central operating principle every day is to help my kids to become the best versions of themselves that they can possibly be. That I am operating from a place of love, genuine concern and sacrifice for my family every day. I know these things make me a good mother, but I also know that my kids' current behavior pattern seems to make others think that I am not.

I shouldn't care, but I do.

And it sucks...
notexpectingtoomuch said...

Been there. I've had so many days when I avoided eye contact with other parents at pick-up time. Hang in there.

Pandy said...

I had a biter. He almost got picked out of pre-school and the dirty looks from the other moms were frequent -- and I didn't blame them. Now? Sweetest kid I know. It gets better.

Baby Hampers said...

We're all doing the best job we know how to do. But whatever you are experiencing, another parent has been there and dealt with it. Get advice, talk to other parents. Other parents are not staring because we are judging, we feel your pain!

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