Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mom Shame

"Mom Shame" - That feeling that you're doing all wrong; that because of you your children are going to turn out to be mass murders or worse- will never become productive members of society and live in your house and on your payroll forever.

It doesn't help that all the other moms look like they have it all together. Now, I've had a glass of wine with enough of them to know that this isn't the case at all, but that doesn't stop me from thinking it.

Because my mom shame runs so deep, I'm always intrigued by the so-called parenting experts. I saw the newest one on Oprah (I KNOW!) and went out and bought the book. A lot of what this particular expert had to say resonated with me:

Your children are individuals with individual needs, wants and dreams regardless of the needs, wants and dreams YOU may have for them.
Your children are sent to you to teach you lessons you have yet to learn
The way you relate to and parent your children are triggers of and reactions to your own stuff
In order to parent effectively, you need to deal with your own stuff and get your own crap under control.

What it bottomed down to was this, when you understand the "why" of why you're freaking out on your children or are so obsessed with say, your kids grades,
you give yourself the space to connect to your children in a deeper and more meaningful way (buy the book).

I've recently had some pretty powerful discussions with my grown son regarding the whys behind some of my parenting choices which has created a deeper understanding and bond between us.

So okay, I get this book and decide I've been doing it all wrong all these years and now I'm going to start doing it "right." One of the things this expert advocates is letting your children "sit with" uncomfortable emotions so that they learn to handle them and not rush to "make it all better" which I actually believe in. So when Tiny Dancer had a major melt down this weekend, I stood back and thinking I was "giving her the space to sit with her feelings" let her melt down a bit, until she looked at me and screamed, "Why are you looking at me like I'm crazy?!" and took off running. Yeah, awesome parenting there!

I took off after her and attempted to explain what I was doing and apologized for it not being what she needed. She responded with an adamant, "NO! it was NOT!" So I did what I normally do in these circumstances which turns out to be exactly what she needs. I get her to breathe and in that breath she usually figures out the answer. I then talk to her about how she had the answer all along and feelings pass, all she does has to breathe through them.  Then we had ice cream.

In the end, the meltdown passed, she got the answer and we got through it. I'm not sure that my mom shame will ever go away...maybe with enough ice-cream.

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