Some days my mommy guilt eats me alive! Do you feel me on this? But I also don’t understand my mommy guilt either. Who’s to say that how I am parenting my children isn’t the right way? Why do I compare myself to other people and their children and their behaviors? Who’s to say their parenting is correct? Just because it looks all pretty on the outside, doesn’t mean it is all pretty on the inside.
In almost everything in life, we are taught. Our mothers taught us how to crawl by laying us on our tummies and helping us work our muscles and become strong. Our mothers taught us how to walk, by barely, touching the tips of our fingers and showing us the way. When we do something wrong, in most cases our mothers are there teaching us how to do it right. Growing up I feel like I was watching the opposite way of how you should do things. I don’t know if you believe in past lives, I am not entirely sure how I feel on the topic either, but I have always been open to the idea. I have always felt that if past lives are a thing, then I was my mother’s, mother in a past life; for real! I have always felt more like “the mother” in our relationship, she has always felt like my daughter. I feel I have had to be there for her in several aspects of her life and teach her right from wrong.
The point of my rambling is that we all learned to be who we are because of what we have seen, because of what we were told, it is all based on what your life has taught you, so who’s to say our teachings are wrong? Well, quite a few people out there actually, there are constantly people out there making other people feel like shit for how they parent. To me, that is just plain bullshit, when we become parents we have no idea what we are doing, and we have all these people coming at us telling us about their experiences and just straight freaking us out with their birthing and parenting stories. I am also guilty of this, sorry new mommies! We are all hoping for the best, hoping for a healthy, chubby, rollie pollie baby, and we are all hoping that we will be good parents. But we all; and I do not care who you are, WE ALL make mistakes and I know I make a lot of them. I do not know what I am doing as a parent! I didn’t have the best examples of parenting, all I knew is that I wanted to do things differently, I didn’t want to make the mistakes my parents made and for me, that was the best that I could do for them.
I constantly get told that I am a “soft mom”, which basically means that I let my kids get away with too much, “you are too “soft” on them.” “you are not strict enough”, “you don’t enforce punishments enough”. Does any of this sound familiar to anyone else? If I am what some people would call a “soft mom” well then I fully embrace that title. I AM a soft mom! In my humble opinion, life is just to damn short, I don’t want to focus on chores, and nagging and punishments. Don’t get me wrong, when my kids do something wrong, I have talks with them, I sit down and talk, I don’t yell. I will ground them, take certain things away from them for a certain amount of time depending on what they did wrong. Sometimes I don’t fully stick to the punishments and sometimes I do. I feel I am very close with each of my children, and we are very open with each other. Sometimes I might be too open with them. I am not afraid to have the sex talk with them. It is super awkward for them which makes it fun for me and I get a little kick out of embarrassing them. My older kids have a pretty strict father, that makes them do chores and is on their ass all of the time, nagging them, yelling at them. Don’t get me wrong, he is a good father and he loves them and provides for them, he is just a much different parent than me. Same with my boyfriend and the father of my two younger children, he is stricter than I am with our younger boys and also tries to make me stricter with my older children. In fact, we argue about this as well, he is one of the people in my life that feels that I am a “soft mom”.
But… I FEEL guilty for being too tough on them, I feel like everyone else around them is already so tough on them and I see how it affects them. I don’t know how my parenting is going to affect them as they get older and I don’t think anyone can tell me otherwise. I sit down and have conversations with my children rather than yelling and I hope that teaches them how to sit down and communicate with people, rather than resorting to anger. I make my children work for the things that they want, if they want to join something that I have to pay for, like football for example, then they will go to every practice and they will show up and put in the work. I hope that teaches them to work hard and show up for the things that they want. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t handle every single situation that way. There are plenty of times that I have lost my temper, yelled, acted out of anger, or hurt, or disappointment. Like I said I have made a million mistakes too. Some days I let the things that people say affect me, and it sits in my head and I fester over it and I question if I am a good mother or not. More often then not I feel like I am failing as a mother, and it makes me mad that I let the things that people say about my parenting get to me, because again WHO ARE YOU TO SAY? You only believe in what you believe in because of how you were raised and who’s to say that is what is right or what’s wrong?
At the end of the day, I know that I am showing up and doing the best that I can. It is okay if my kids see me make a mistake, to me it shows them that it is okay for them to make a mistake and what is important is that you learn and grow and try better next time. It is okay if I lose my temper sometimes, that shows my kids that it is okay to be mad sometimes too, what matters is what you do with that anger. Did you do something positive with it rather than destructive or negative? I don’t set the best example here sometimes either but the point is that I try and I am showing my kids to try too. To show up and make the effort. I hope when they are older, that they are happy, and living the life of their dreams and not letting anyone else, including me, dictate how they should be living their lives. I hope that they learn from me but also want to do better than me and be better than me. We should all learn to empower, and support each other rather than, making someone feel guilty, or make them feel like they are failing as a parent because with or without your words we are feeling that way already. We are all doing the best with what we have learned and are trying our best to do better than the ones before us. We all want the same things at the end of the day, so try not to let that mommy guilt get to you and lean on other mommies that want to lift you up and support you in this mommy adventure.
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