I Don't Want to Be a Perfect Mom; I Want to Be a Better One
By Adrienne Bolton on November 26, 2012
I can't be the mom I want to be, if I just keep doing the same things wrong.
I'm a good mom, and I love my kids more than life itself. But, I want to be a mom that doesn't yell. A mom that doesn't appear to be angry or aggravated. I want my kids to grow up knowing they brought me joy each and every day. I want them to look back and picture me smiling instead crying.
I know I'm a good mom, but a good mom can behave badly.
Sometimes motherhood just sucks the life right out of me. It can be exhausting to be stuck in a "mom rut." The kids aren't listening, hubs doesn't get it, and tomorrow I will wake up and do it all again.
Sure, I need a break. Who doesn't? But, it's more than getting an hour to myself and a pedicure. I need change. Let me rephrase that: *I* need *to* change. I need to suck it up, put on my big girl pants, and start acting like the mom my kids need.
Motherhood is not about me, it's about my kids.
On Monday, I had a trying day with my youngest. I yelled. a lot. He cried. a lot.
He's only seven. How can this be? I'm crushing him with my lack of parenting skills.
When things calmed down, I tried to let him tell me how he was feeling. Even though I didn't agree with the "why" of his feelings, I recognized them. He's entitled to feel anyway he wants. His feelings are based on his perceptions. If he thinks I'm angry at him all the time I have to ask myself what I'm doing to contribute to this perception.
When our kids aren't minding us or just being rotten, it's hard to put their behavior aside and take a look in the mirror.
I could have told him I wasn't angry, or tried to explain why I get frustrated that I have to tell him the same things over and over. Or? I could try something different.
I could really listen to what he's trying to tell me. It doesn't matter if I agree. It matters that I listen. When I really took the time to let him talk, I realized he's trying to tell me he's hurting. His little heart hurts just like mine.
Really listening meant that I had to sit there as he went on and on about how mean and scary I am. Of course, I don't really think I'm mean and scary, but he's seven. Again, he's entitled to think that. Usually, I interrupt him when his dramatics get out of hand and I feel like I have to defend myself, but this time, I just sat there. Instead of trying to correct his perception and convince him I'm nice, I accepted it that he didn't think so at that moment.
I promised him I would try not to yell anymore. I told him I'm sorry it hurts his feelings and scares him. I told him sometimes I just don't know what else to do, so I yell. It's sort of like a broken tool that doesn't work.
I didn't yell today.
At the end of the day my son came skipping down the hall into my room and said, "Mommy, I believe you now. I believe you're trying."
I don't want to be a perfect mom, but I want to be a better one.
Photo Credit: gabrielap93.