A Better Mother: Quit being so hard

This is REALLY hard for me to confess.

I am not the mother I want to be. I love my child and my step child, more than anything. I would lay down my life for them today. But I know that there are times I don’t show them the love I have for them.

Children are going to be children, they are not going to mind, they are going to talk back, they are going to misbehave, but I do not have to lose my cool the way I do. I spank, and scream, and cuss, and pop them, and sometimes, I forget to love. I’m not saying all these punishments are wrong, what I am saying is wrong is my quickness to resort to these. Why does my child have to be punished for my lack of patience.

When I see my child flinch, that breaks a part of me so deep inside, my child, my babygirl, should not be afraid of me.

I expect perfection and yet I know there is no perfect, why would a 4 year old be so robotic in her thoughts and words and actions as to not upset her mom. She shouldn’t be, she’s a child. I was a child too once.

I remember a few years ago, my own mother called me a nazi. I of course argued that I wasn’t that bad. But deep down, I knew there was some truth to it. I was hard on the kids, I do expect too much, I do scream when I could instead talk, I do react without thinking and regret it later.

Years ago,  I’d picked up my daughter from daycare, got in the car and she immediately started whining and crying, I can’t even remember why now. I called my own my mom crying, why were the drives home like this every night. And she said something I have never forgot, “she’s been at school for almost 9 hours, she’s tired, she’s hungry, things haven’t gone the way she wanted, in her own little mind, she’s stressed out too.” A light bulb went off, we were both tired, we were both hungry, we were both ready to be home, but at her age, limited vocabulary, and mind of a toddler, she didn’t know how to express this. Heck it’s taken me almost 30 years to learn to express myself to this extent. So I dried my eyes and talked to her.

I’ve failed at this so many times since this conversation years ago, but those words have stayed with me. I often question myself why I expect so much from them. Why do I lose it so easily? And sadly, the majority of the time it’s because they’re inconveniencing me. Talking when I want silence. Not hurrying when I’m in a hurry. Not minding. Isn’t part of my role as a parent to put my own needs and wants and life aside for my child. And I have and I do. But I can do better.

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