Fail Mom   Leave a comment

In a previous blog post I mentioned that the primary maternal role I did not expect was that of Fail Mom, and that it deserved an entire entry.  So here goes.

I sincerely hope I am not the only person in the world to have assumed success at parenting with no logical reason to do so.  I can think of some reasons why we think motherhood can’t be too difficult.

1. We have forgotten any agony our mother expressed while she was raising us.

2. People have been having children and raising them to adulthood for how long now?

3. Anyone can have a baby.

4. I’m an intelligent person.

5. Everyone is doing it.

These are all understandable assumptions based on basic observations.

But, the key assumption we make is that we are logical, moral people.  We can observe other people saying and doing things to their children that are clearly not the right thing to do.  It’s just so obvious that one should ignore the tantrum, not buy the candy, correct misbehavior, teach necessary skills.

Ah…but we don’t realize how the complexity of life creates challenges we can’t imagine.  We don’t understand that the love we have for our children will twist our reason.  We can’t imagine the responsibility for another life in our hands.  We think we have, but we haven’t.

So we end up being unfair, impatient, even mean sometimes.  We are inconsistent.  We let them have pineapple Fanta even though it has food coloring in it.  We pick up the mess they made because we’d rather not have to ask one more time.  We scream at our child for throwing up on his bunk bed stairs.

We push them into activities they don’t benefit from, just because we think it would be a good idea.  We don’t actually listen when they are trying to tell us something important.  We spend much more time staring at electronic screens than we do at their faces.

There’s a Baby Blues comic I love which has a place of honor on my fridge.  Each frame shows the mom doing something for the kids that before parenthood, she knew she would never do.  She tells her daughter she’ll help her figure out how to do the math later; for now here’s the answers.  She tells the kids they should finish brushing their teeth in the car.  She sends them into the den with cookies to watch TV, so she can finish making dinner.  She burns the dinner.  Her husband says, “Shake it off.  You’re human.”

Her response: “I was a great mother–until I had kids!”

Exactly–I’m human–and having kids has taught me that.

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Posted April 2, 2015 by swanatbagend in motherhood, parenting

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