Rotten and Lousy
Today I went to the park with one of my oldest and dearest friends and our children. All three of my kids were rotten. 6yr old was whiney and disobedient, 4 yr. old threw about 10 full-blown tantrums and 2 yr. old kept hitting other kids who dared touch the fake steering wheel on the playground.
We've been to the park with this friend and her little boy several times and every previous time my kids were actually very well behaved. Plus this friend of mine knows me better than almost anyone else. She's seen every possible side of me - the good, bad and the ugly. She knows every one of my imperfections, and yet, she loves me. I know all of that (I also know that she has a little boy who even though I've only seen him be darling I would bet has had his rotten moments) so why did I feel the need to say things like, "Um, they were all up really late last night." and "I promise she doesn't usually throw this many tantrums." or "It is soooo past his nap time. " We've been to the park several times with her and my kids were well behaved on every other occasion.
Why did the fact that my friend saw my kids be rotten threaten me so much? Because I was afraid she would think I'm a lousy mom. I am in some respects, but in other ways I'm a fabulous mom. Aren't we all varying combinations of lousy and fabulous? So why do many of us go around looking over our shoulder, afraid that at any moment someone will find us out? Also, obviously there is a strong link between a child's behavior and his/her parents, but do I have to take the blame for every tantrum?
For the record, logically I know my friend well enough to know she was not judging me or my kids, but she knows me well enough to tell you that logic is not always the first thing I consult.
In conclusion, it's not okay to accept our lousiness and then do nothing about it. It is okay to acknowledge it and try really hard to change it. And, it is okay (and high time) to quit caring how other people perceive my mothering abilities. I'm determined to liberate myself from this prison of perceived parental perfection. The first step is acknowledgement, therefore, I officially declare (in a poorly structured run-on sentence) that SOMETIMES I'M A LOUSY MOM AND SOMETIMES MY KIDS ARE ROTTEN AND SOMETIMES IT'S MY FAULT AND SOMETIMES IT ISN'T!