I woke up this morning as I do every morning… racked with guilt and shame. Why? Is because I really feel it because I have done something wrong?
No it isn’t, It is society and other judgemental parents that make me carry this guilt around day after day. But as of today I am quitting that job, guit-carrier. Now this isn’t going to be easy after all I have a had a full time job as a guilt-parent for almost 19 years.
I have tried to play the perfectionist, do no wrong parent, and truth is I am just not that great at it I am a semi-crunchy mom who makes plenty of mistakes. I do my best and I imagine every parent feels they are doing… their best after all there is no instruction manual when they are born to us..
I don’t usually make every parent teacher conference, because I work and I don’t relish the idea of going in and hearing a teacher tell me all that my child is doing wrong or right. I have four children, if I go to two of those children’s parent teacher conferences the praise is laid on thick, their grades are perfect, their behavior should be a model, they are neat, they are quiet, they are going somewhere in life, then I have the other two….. I would be hearing this.. let’s talk about their behavior, if they don’t improve their grades…. they are constantly into trouble..
So I am going to be honest I have a hard enough time not finding all the negative in those two children and focusing on what they are doing right without a teacher telling me more of what is wrong. So I answer the letters, phone calls, talk to the kids about it, put a plan in place and move on.
If I can’t move on the kids can’t either, I don’t want them constantly thinking they are doing wrong just because their right is someone else’s wrong. I am also guilty of not doing play dates, my parents didn’t get my friends for me, I don’t want to run around collecting friends for my children, they have to be social beings without my assistance when they grow up so this I leave to them, heck, they probably won’t even like the friends I pick.
I don’t do a lot of discipline on my children. I tell them why it is wrong, what can happen if they continue, the effects it has on others, give them a couple of choices on how to change it and I have to try and let them work on fixing it. My job as a parent is not to fix everything, I am raising adults, no one fixes my ,mistakes and they have to learn no one fixes theirs either, they have to . I don’t do birthday parties… yes that is right, I take my kids out on a date sort of thing, that is just for them, we eat, we talk and it’s just about them.
I don’t give up my whole self just for them… I am sorry but this is a huge mistake women make, this leads to raising boys that expect women giving up their total existence for a man, or it leads girls expecting her husband to give up all he is for her. I want them to love a person just for them and to be confident in who they are so they won’t have these insecurities. , If I am not reflecting happiness with my life choices, how am going to raise happy kids if I am never happy. And what good does it do to lose yourself, be miserable, then they may carry guilt thinking you are unhappy because you sacrifice your total being and are miserable because of them. Do I really want them bearing that on their shoulders.. that I am some how miserable because I am a mother?
I am a happy woman because I give myself love too, that is what I wish to teach my children that you can be a good mother while still practicing self love. The greatest thing I could teach my children is to love and accept others, while maintaining self love. That is not being selfish this is what I want for my kids, to be happy adults with the choices they have made, and with the skills I have taught them. The thing I don’t want to teach them anymore… guilt…. So I will no longer live with Parental guilt..or at least try to dismiss it when it starts creeping in my mind.