Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Not guilty, but not quite innocent

In general, I have decided that the whole mommy guilt thing is a bunch of crap and that I will get angry instead of guilty whenever someone tries to make me feel bad for working or wanting time to myself or feeling less-than yippy-skippy about being a mother. I figure, I'm still a human being and I'm doing the best I can. But the thing is, sometimes I'm pretty sure that I'm not doing the best I can. I was reading another starkly insightful post on Bad Mommy Moments and had this pang of guilt. Maybe it was more like sadness.

My daughter has been having a serious issue with yelling. I make a big deal about the children not yelling at me. I think it's disrespectful for children to yell at adults. In case I haven't mentioned it, I'm from the South and coddling children ain't what we do here. But she keeps telling me that it scares her when I yell and her face . . . . Man, she really seems to be in pain. It's as if I'm changing who she is. And my son just cries, but it's real tears instead of that dry whining he does when he wants something. It's beyond awful.

So, when I think about how hard I'm trying to be the loving, kind, whole, trust-worthy mother that I believe they deserve, I'm so sad that I'm short-tempered and distracted more often that I should be. And, if I'm being honest, I just give myself permission to release the frustration. I'm tired most of the time; I do more than my share of the childcare; I have to get things done; first-time obedience is the rule!; I have my own emotional stuff going on. But I know that these facts probably won't color their memories of their childhood or make them feel less lonely or unattended. It's my job to give them what they need to emerge whole from their upbringing so that they can create happy lives.

Before we started trying to conceive, I prayed for patience because I knew that I couldn't be the kind of mother I wanted to be if I didn't work on myself in that area. Sometimes I'm impressed that God has changed me so much, but when the grits hit the fan, I still resort to less than thoughtful behavior.

It's hard, but I'm going to take a cue from Bad Mommy Moments and step up my mommy game.


Ink said...

I hope you left a comment at Bad Mommy Moments so that people can come here and read your thoughtful contribution!

And that's my mantra, too, for everything (life in general): just doing the best I can...

The Steel Magnolia said...

I think I left a senseless ramble there; her post really provoked a lot of emotions in me. I'll check. Thanks so much!