The Horrible Mother

Posted: September 17, 2010 in Parenting
Tags: , , , ,

Two sistersI have two daughters. They are awesome, smart and creative. It shocks me just how much I love them sometimes, watching them sleep my heart soars to the upper regions of its capacity.

Then they wake up and start driving me crazy. I still love them of course, just not in the same heart soaring in the clouds way. It’s more like a “you love them, remember? Now put down the frying pan and walk away.” And because you’re reading this I’m going to add that I’m kidding, of course I am. The thing is when they are asleep I’m reminded of how small they really are. I remember that I’ve been gifted and cursed with the great honor of raising and bringing these little humans and releasing them into the world. 

Wow, I am capable of influencing which neurosis they walk away with.

And don’t kid yourself momma, or daddy they will walk away with some neurotic tendency, it’s our neurosis that really makes us human. If you had the mother that always seemed perfect you’ll kill yourself trying to be as perfect as she was and always feeling that you fall short. If you have a sibling you’ll probably always think that they were the favored one(s) and try to prove that you’re worthy of being the favorite. If your father walked away you’re searching for a father figure, if your momma walked away you probably feel like you have no center. And if you were locked in a closet when you misbehaved… I’m really sorry because that’s just messed up and you must be all sorts of crazy now.

My daughters probably deserve a better, wiser mommy; it’s always my thought when I feel like I can’t handle something. When the eldest decides that she’ll play blues clues with the youngest by drawing paw prints on the walls furniture bits of floor. My first impulse is to scream but I bite my tongue because she’s asked why I scream at her and not at the youngest. So I try the tactic I use with the youngest,” Dear, why did you do that? That’s a really bad idea now give me the crayon and go to your room, ok?” said in a syrupy voice. The kid of course, grins really big, does a twirl and starts drawing on the door. “Put the crayon down, and go to your room for five minutes, and think about why you did this, since you know that this is not acceptable.” Sterner gritting my teeth voice this time, but she still has a bit of a smirk on her face and is about to place crayon to the door again when I snap. “PUT THE CRAYON DOWN, MARCH TO YOUR ROOM, NOW MISSY!” At which point the crayon gets put down and she starts the fake crying tactic that she’s learned off her younger sister but also goes walks to her room, no smirking. She hasn’t always been that way, she used to listen with just a stern warning, and somehow I feel the need to revaluate how I deal with her when she misbehaves.

With the youngest the opposite is true, a hint of displeasure in my voice and she starts flipping out. My niece’s daughter is exactly the same, and I’ve always secretly judged how they deal with her tantrums. You can’t use the words don’t, stop, or no with this girl. She seriously has a melt down if you do, I’ve witnessed it, and it’s scary. I’ve always thought the same thing; they’ve spoiled that child rotten. Then came my youngest daughter and she had the same reaction to getting correction. You can imagine my reaction to this, many “Noooooooos!” and beating my pillow with my fist then lifting it the ceiling and screaming “Why, oh why?” My mother’s voice would then come to me and repeat what she’s always told me, when you judge you’ll reap the same. Very true by the way, that saying; it’s been tested countless times. My youngest doesn’t freak out when she hears no or stop or don’t by the way. I mean she started to, at first but I’ve figured out it’s the tone I use not the word that matters. As much as I want to rebel against the sugary, syrupy voice it’s what works right now. I’m really hoping that as she gets older I’ll be able to reason with her, (she’s two now.) I really don’t want to be using sugar voice when the kid’s ten. Right now sugary voice will not only get her to stop spilling milk on the floor, it leads her to run to the kitchen and get a towel to mop up the mess herself. Yes that results in more milk getting every where else, but I appreciate the intention, so I let her be and clean up again once she’s run off again.

There’s still the yelling thing to get over. It’s not acceptable, all the parenting books (and my sister) tell me so. It’s more a sibling issue then anything else I think.  My youngest is one of those kids who wants constant hugging and petting and attention. My eldest has always been very independent and not so much the huggy type. I mean she lets you hug her then says,” yeah, yeah I need to play now.” The youngest initiates the hug and holds on for a full five minutes, kissing you before walking off. And while my eldest still isn’t the huggy type she notices all the hugs her sister gets, and I feel like she feels loved less.

We’ve gone through the whole explanation thing; you are just different the way we respond to you both has to be different. She’s four so this may not be clicking yet, I’m 31 and my mother treating us different still hasn’t clicked. Oh well I hear yelling which means they’ve woken up and have commenced in a grudge match, which means time to wrap this up. Parenting is hard, for everyone and we’re probably all doing something wrong, I’m trying to learn as I go, Lord help me.

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Comments
  1. Mammywoo says:

    Fantastic post. Such a good point about neurosis! I never thought of it like that and it’s so true!! You are clearly a great mother. I have all this to come and SO much to learn! Thanks for today’s lesson!

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