The Change In Me

I think it is impossible to raise kids and not experience some form of mom guilt. It could be you feel guilty for not spending enough time with your kids, for having to work, for not being able to provide them everything they dream of (let’s be honest, those dreams are expensive!) or how you are treating them, or better yet, how and what you are teaching them.

I have guilt over all of these things now and then. The one thing that causes me the most angst is how I am parenting them. How I talk to them and in turn what they are learning from me. From my behavior.

I am not perfect. I know I am not a perfect mother, as I know there is no such thing. I just want to go to sleep at night feeling like a good mother. In the last several months these moments of feeling proud of myself, of the mother I am, have been fleeting. They are now few and far between. Instead I lay in bed at night feeling ashamed and sorry. Regretful and guilty. What could I have done differently? Or better?

There are a million things I shouldn’t say, but of course once frustration sets in and patience runs out, I do. The minute something hurtful crosses my lips I am sorry. The minute I grab one of my boys, in anger, and forcefully put them in the time-out chair, I feel bad. Should being a mom feel this sad, sorry and mean?

I do not feel bad for disciplining them. It is my job to teach them right from wrong, good from bad. The problem is, I have not been a good teacher. Now I have no one to blame for my children’s behavior but myself. This is why I find the way I react to their behavior so shameful. If I was doing a better job parenting them, if I tried harder as a Mom, then they would not behave the way they do (90% of the time anyway) and there would be no reason for me to have to behave the way I do. It is cyclical. Like a never-ending game of Ring Around the Rosie we keep spinning and falling down. Over and over.

So I will stop. I will change my behavior, therefore changing theirs. I will do what I say and follow through. I may falter, but I will try my hardest, everyday. I will talk to them instead of yelling and screaming. I will not fly off the handle and treat them badly. I will listen to them and I will teach them to listen in return.

I will be prepared for them to fight me, to fight the new rules. They will not believe that I will stay strong and true to my word, but I will. Because I have to. They are mine, and it is my job to teach them to be the greatest of men, and I will.  I will not have my children look back one day and remember me as being a mean mom. A tough mom? Fine. Mean? No way. Hurtful? Never. I will love them more than I do anything else and from this they will learn to love.

I will start today. I will never stop.

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