When I just had one child, my daughter, I was twenty years old. I was blissfully naïve. I thought her behavior was somewhat related to my parenting in some way, except that one time she bit my husband’s boss’s son. That came out of nowhere. Wonder what he did to provoke it or did his cheeks just look yummy? She would sit in the cart at the grocery store, talk politely to adults as we passed by, and was this sweet little angel child.
Then I had a son. I remember him having a tantrum at a store when I wouldn’t buy him candy. I felt the stares, the glares, the dares. The how dare she not buy/buy him the candy. Some you could tell wanted you to bop him in the head gently, wished he had an off button (or hated kids), and those kind folks with the sympathy in their eyes. Cause ya know what feels so great in that moment, is for someone to say that back in their day, kids behaved. Oh, yes, things were so wonderful back in the 50′s. We can’t raise robot children nowadays. It just doesn’t work like that. It’s not so simple anymore, beside the laws they have passed to protect children, kids are just seriously too smart now anyway.
Given my perspective after having now had three boys, and also a baby girl, I judge parents less. I make other people’s parenting, within reason, none of my business. I am that lady in the store where if her kids are there, you may judge their behavior. Am I a good mom. Yes, I am. Do I teach kindness? Yes. Am I always kind? No. Am I human? Yes. I tend to think certain things like potty humor can be funny at times and let it slide, but too much and I scold them. I want to raise independent thinkers who question everything, which happens to include me sometimes. To raise kind people, I must keep being kind. No guilt, force, or blame others into being kind or else it’s not real kindness. It’s control then.
I realize when a certain child, my middle or younger son, are having a freakout, I want to control them. I want them to be quiet. Because I have at times made my relationship or the behavior of one child the reason I feel a certain way…it sets my mood. This goes against what I teach. You create your own happiness…until one of your kids is bad. I always joke that with my boys, 1+1=2, but 1+2=100. They play off each other, like my youngest son will be inappropriate in order to make his older brothers laugh (I see class clown/stand-up comedian in his future), and they exclude one or start wrestling…which someone always gets hurt. Did I teach them that? Or to lie? All kids do, btw, it’s human nature to avoid punishment. So I don’t take credit for my oldest daughter’s beauty, smarts, or talent either.
Oh, we survived the first week of school being out. I love summer, but I have to be a different kind of mom at times and my referee shirt I’d like to burn. I say no 4,782 times an hour and working at home can be a challenge. This is where self-care and self-love is so important. If I’m off, like they tire me out or I’m in full stress mode, I’m not me…which isn’t good for them either. I must be present, not fall into victim, and slip into gratitude. Knowing that I will look back on this and wish for the craziness, cuddles, chaos, cuties, and chuckles. Momworld tends to make me forget what I know, when they’re a storm there. Going to create my own sunshine there and take my spirited kids out to play in the sunshine.