You'll Always Be a Worse Mom Than Your Idealized Self
There has been a lot of hubbub recently surrounding the rash of "All Parents from That Country Are Better Than Any Parent from This Country" type articles making the rounds on the blogosphere, and I feel like have something to add to the conversation. You see, I have spent almost two years now living with the idealized version of my parental self.
This lady (I'll call her "Idealized Mama") is so much better at parenting than me -- or really anyone I know -- that I thought I should share some of my observations so that you might learn from her wisdom, strength, and obvious maternal superiority.
Idealized Mama was an early standout in the mothering game. While I caved and started begging for an epidural as soon as the real labor pains started kicking in, she was able to stick with it and have her baby the way she planned... Au Naturale. When I asked her how she did it, she just smiled and said it was painful, but I could've done it if I had gone to the right birthing class. Lesson learned.
Birthing was just the tip of the iceberg for this übermom. She pretty much excels at every aspect of parenting.
Here are but a few of the many examples of her parental prowess:
Her child never went through a colicky stage. Sure, the wee one would whimper from time to time, but it wasn't anything she couldn't handle. I would watch in amazement as she'd pick up the child, coo softly, and lull the baby back into a peaceful slumber.
Most new parents find it hard to connect with one another because the baby requires so much attention and energy. Not so for Idealized Mama and her hubby. Her child seemed to understand from the very beginning that there was "Mommy and Daddy Time" every evening and never really pushed the issue.
Idealized Mama seems to perpetually hover in that sweet spot of attending to, but not hyper-parenting, her child. Yes, we real parents could definitely learn a thing or two from her on this topic.
Her child never makes it challenging to eat out at restaurants. She simply says in a stern, but not shrill, voice, "Please behave like an adult and eat your dinner," and her child acquiesces. Our 20-month-old daughter still insists on dropping her food on the floor and spilling water every time we eat out. I'm sure I'm doing something wrong because she won't listen to me when I ask her to cooperate. Maybe I have somehow inadvertently made her too dependent and she's acting out in an attempt to get approval??
Amazingly, Idealized Mama never seems conflicted about her choices. She never doubts, not even for a second, a decision she has made. She always feels assured that she has done the right thing. I confided my angst to her one evening over a particularly difficult decision I was facing. Her response? "You actual parents over think things too much. Just get on with it and don't look back."
Has she ever felt overwhelmed? Nope.
Experienced parental guilt? Never.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.I'm sure your head is spinning with the realization of all the things you are doing wrong as a parent. The good news is that you too can dig deep and find your own idealized version of yourself. She can be very helpful.
Photo Credit: criminalintent.