Some days, I feel like a good mother. When I go to sleep at night, I feel like I can honestly say that I tried really hard to be patient and kind and to put my boys first.
Other days I go to sleep resolving to do better. I think of where I went wrong and how I can improve on it.
Truthfully, the latter are the more frequent days.
I believe part of that is my own shortcomings as a human being, but the other part is that there is no training to prepare you for being a parent. To have to learn everything on the spot, and those challenges are constantly changing with each new stage your child enters into.
Having a child is like suddenly finding yourself in a pair of scrubs in an operating theatre with a body in front of you and a scalpel in your hand. You are told the patient is your responsibility now. You know you don't know how to operate and share your concerns at never having done it before. You're told not to worry, just keep them alive and the rest you will figure out as you go along.
The problem is your patient can't tell you where they have pain, why they are on your table, or how to help them.
Until our children can speak and articulate themselves, its often a guessing game. Hence so many of us parents tell our children;
"What do you need? I'm not a mind reader!!"
You want to hear so examples of my not-no-stellar parenting you say? Well you are in luck, there are plenty to choose from.
1. Telling the boys to stop whining and go to sleep only to find myself later cleaning a vomit soaked bed and child. I guess THIS time that sore tummy was legit. I now tell the story if the boy who cried "sore tummy".
2. Bribery for pretty much.....everything. Enough said.
3. Calling the boys into the lounge room on a Saturday afternoon to watch "this great movie" that was on only to have them covering their eyes begging me to put on something else. I guess "Jaws" isn't the movie of choice for 4 and 6 year olds.
4. Dragging Carter onto the Madagascar roller coaster because he is going to "have so much fun!" He ended up screaming the entire ride:
"STOP! I don't like it!!!!"
5. Putting the boys to bed late because I can't be bothered getting up and tucking them in.
6. Putting the boys to be at 6:15pm because I want to go to bed.
7. Numerous fairy bread sandwiches packed for school lunches.
8. Telling the boys there is supermarket security guards who look for children who aren't sitting in the trolley or walking alongside the trolley holding on. Thankfully I was able to "prove" this to my skeptical children when I pointed out the parking ticket ranger. No further questions have been asked.
9. Both our boys got a wrapped up potato for Christmas. We explained that their sometimes poor behavior had turned one of their toys into a potato. They were not impressed.
10. Locking myself in my room to 'fold laundry' (read: watching a DVD for 20 mins in peace).
These are just the first few that came to mind. I mess up A LOT!
You have a life in your hands and no idea what you are doing. But new parents do it everyday. We fumble and mess up, but we keep these little people alive, and on the good days, we feel like we can scrub out and know we have done a good job.