Jann Arden wrote:
I’ve got money in my pockets,
I like the color of my hair.
I’ve got a friend who loves me,
Got a house, I’ve got a car.
I’ve got a good mother,
and her voice is what keeps me here.
It’s hard to be a good mother. What makes a good mother? I have a good mother but she is an unorthodox mother. She’s encouraged me to dream big, accept what I can’t change, and look ahead not behind. Of course I don’t usually listen but isn’t that the way of mother/child relationships? I don’t expect my kids to listen to me either thought it would be nice if they could at least until 16 before deciding I haven’t got a clue about what I am talking about.
So what makes a good mother? Is a good mother June Cleaver? Should a good mother be perfect at all times? Never yell, never curse, never express frustration while your child pushes your last nerve?
I love my kids but they push my temper sometimes. I have been honestly trying to change how I approach my kids because I love them and I want them to have the best mom I can be. However, the other day I lost my temper at Nathaniel and Ashleigh. I understand that I lost my power when I couldn’t be a mom to them because of my hips. Kevin was running the show but here I am 2 years later and I still feel the imbalance of power when it comes to discipline and respect. I’m trying to figure out how to get it but loosing my temper doesn’t get me respect it just creates fear and as Kevin pointed out to me later..fear is not respect.
Nathaniel is an amazing child. He doesn’t realize the potential he has and of course he woudln’t he’s going to be 7 next month. Potential isn’t something he can tangibly understand though Kevin and I often tell him that we know he can be anything, go anywhere and be anyone. He reads at a Grade 4 level, his math skills are at least Grade 2, and he catches on to things like social issues. He thinks he can negoiate out of anything and often tries. I see all the good in him and frustrates me when I see him shortchanging himself. He brought home an amazing report card just last Friday. His November report wasn’t good and he had made such strides and changes. We celebrated with dinner at the restaurant of his choice, Hooters, and I told everyone that we were there to celebrate his amazing report card. I hugged him, I praised him, I told him how happy I was with his report card and told him that was what I wanted to see. Text book positive re-enforcement. Not 12 hours later we are bumping heads over his damn Nintendo DS. He’s an amazing kid but he is the most like me and thus when we bump heads I feel like I am fighting with myself.
Ashleigh is determined and stubborn. All traits that will serve her well as she gets older but right now it just makes me grey. I see her as the teenager that you can’t tell her anything…hell I can’t tell her a damn thing now. We bump heads pretty regularly as she has this habit of regressing into crying to try and get her way, to try and get out of things, hell that girl would cry if she thought it would make it rain ice cream. One thing I can’t stand is women who manipulate and when I see Ashleigh still using tactics to manipulate it makes me crazy. I know there is a school of parenting thought that says kids can’t manipulate. It’s bull. Ashleigh will turn on the tears if she thinks it will get us to change our minds and we can’t figure out why she continues to use it since we don’t usually bite. I loose my temper if I get too many of her performances in one day.
So am I a good mother? I’m never sure. I want to be one, I want my kids to look back and say I had a good mother even if she was unorthodox. I want them to know they were worth the sacrifices I have made so far but somedays I struggle to keep myself in check. I want them to know that I love them and I never want them to think that I never loved them. Even if I fight with them, even if I yell at them, even if I cry to express my anger. My greatest victory will be the day I realize that they did something because they trusted me enough to know my perspective comes from a place of knowledge.
Of course I could be 90 before that happens and it will be just as much a victory then too.