I am posting this reply to a blog post I read last night partially because the blog author is so amazingly real and honest and she resonates with me. But I am also posting this because I am also a real person and I do not like fake pretenses. In the blog world we see what we want everyone to see so often we put out what makes us look good and people do not get a picture of what life is really like. I am guilty of that. Who wants to read about how much your life sucks. NO ONE! People want the happy, nice, sweet pictures where we are all happy—whose going to read about our problems. Well, that is not reality and we all have our tough days and tough weeks and tough months. We all are human and while there are some out there that are amazing parents and never get mad and yell at their kids—I am not one of them. I get upset and mad and yell—often. I am human- completely and totally flawed human. So, when I read the post from Christie explaining her lack of natural parenting, I had to respond.
Please go here to read Christie’s post because it is amazing to get some background, but here is my reply to her post. It is honest and real and it is genuinely how I have felt for the last 12 years. I have learned to deal with much of this and am not as desperate as it may sound, but my demons have always been telling me I am a terrible parent. Some days I believe them and other days I know they are wrong- but I still struggle with this. Anyway, read on and please check out Christie’s post first.
Written as a reply at 11pm Thursday April 22, 2010
Reading your last 2 posts was like I literally was writing it myself-- except you’re a much better writer. I have never felt like parenting was my thing. I was like you- didn’t babysit, never held others kids, didn’t really like kids but we did the baby thing because it was what we do as married couples--right?? And the boys came easily with little effort. At one point I found myself with 2 little boys that were just like your little one- all boy- one almost TWO and a newborn. I remember crying my eyes out not out of post partum but out of feeling like I suck as a parent. I am not one of those relaxed and easy going (I am easy going but more out of laziness than wanting to be a good parent) parents who make parenting look easy. I am on the go mostly out of not wanting to have to deal with the kids at home. I find it easier to run around and do stuff than to sit at home and have to deal with them. I have never been a natural and am still not. Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids will everything in me but I find parenting hard and Mia with her tantrums right now are KILLING ME!!!!! I am literally sick of her 10 minutes after she wakes up and then I am just tolerating her for the rest of the day.
I just feel like I tolerate my kids much of the time. I don’t have that joy so many parents feel. I have joy at times and I think my kids are amazing but I do not have that wonderful “JOY” of parenting. I find many things annoying rather than cute. Things get under my skin and I tolerate little. I feel like a slave driver constantly yelling at my boys ordering them around. I just have never felt like a natural and as they grow older you get a whole new set of annoyances to deal with. I totally get you right now. I have felt like an inadequate mom since the boys were babies. I have always thought I was not meant to be a mom but I did it because I was supposed to. With that said, I love my kids and would NEVER go back and choose not to have had them or adopted Mia. I think they are amazing kids and are bound for greatness but I still to this day feel inadequate. Really, after 12 years of parenting, I still feel like I suck at this.
I have learned to deal with my feelings of inadequacy and think it is more of my issue than the fact that I am screwing up my kids like I use to think. I have had to get ok with the fact that I am really not a bad mom, I am a different mom. I am not the happy coddling cooing mom who just dotes on her kids and loves their snotty little noses. I will NEVER be that mom. But I am a mom who gives her kids all kinds of experiences and am always up for whatever. I can be fun and my kids feel like they can confide in me (not like their best friend—not at all- just an open relationship where they feel like they can talk to me) and I am defiantly a mom who forces my kids to have a work ethic and who expects them to be responsible children. I am also a mom who allows them to be independent and learn from their mistakes- no coddling from me! I will let them fall on their face if it means they will learn a valuable lesson. With all that, I have learned I am not a bad mom, just a different mom. Believe me, the voices in my head still tell me I suck at this and when I see those amazing calm and cool loving parents, my suspicions are confirmed once again-- but I have learned those are just my demons telling me that. I am a good but different type of mom and I am not screwing my kids up rather I am providing them with a unique loving home with consistency and independence.
So, what you are feeling is normal and believe me, there are many of us out there. We really are not natural parents but we can learn and we can get good at it. We may never feel like those naturals out there, but we can get good and our kids will turn out GREAT!!!! Frankly, some of those natural moms create little dependant wimps who cant play without mommy hovering-- not my cup of tea. So, which is better--hmmmmmmm--- lots to think about!!