Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Perfect Parent?

I am a person who is constantly second-guessing myself.  Should I have done that?  Did that sound stupid?  What did that random stranger who I will never see again think about what I just did?  It's annoying and I've been unsuccessfully working on it for quite a while. 

Well, I am proud to say that I had a break-through this week!!!  One of the hardest jobs I have ever had (and will probably ever have) is parenting.  It's a doozy.  And as we all know, it does not come with a manual.  As a teacher, I had high expectations of my students, but my patience was sky-high, and I could find an endless number of ways to explain a topic to my little kiddos.  As a mother?  Not so much.  I still have very high expectations, but I can be hard on them- mostly Mia.  She is a super bright little girl and very mature for her age.  It's easy to forget that she is only seven, since she is far from the seven year olds I had in my second grade class back ten years ago.  (Or at least I think she is...) 

Some people have even told me to "lighten up" and that I'm "too hard on her".  There's also the whole "she's just a kid" comment that I always love.  I take those things to heart and begin to question my parenting.  Am I scarring her and taking away her self-confidence?  Is she going to think that everything she does is wrong as an adult?  Oh no!  What have I done?  I'm the worst mom in the world!!!  Ahhhhhhh!  (Yes, I seriously have a wave of panic and those thoughts with every little comment and look I get.)  What's weird is that I feel like it's over basic things like:  eye contact, please and thank you, manners, and basic respect protocol- Shouldn't we all be sticklers when it comes to those things?  I get confused on whether or not to back off.

Then, Friday rolled around... 
Ross had decided to be up most of Thursday night.  At 7:30 Friday morning, I woke up and went into "woke up late" mode (I'm usually up before 6:30).  I rushed into my bathroom and- there was my little angel!  She was dressed, shoes on, teeth brushed, and face washed.  She looked at me and smiled proudly at the look on my face.  "Good morning, Mommy!  I just need for you to fix my hair and I'm ready to go!"  I beamed.  She couldn't contain her excitement and walked over to me with a huge smile on her face and gave me a very long, tight hug.  I told her how proud I was of her over and over.  She had definitely earned a trip to the donut store for a special breakfast treat!  <Insert many more hugs here!>

To top off the morning, I checked my email before Mia headed out to school and saw a note from her music teacher.  We had emailed about Mia and Graham donating their Halloween candy to an organization called Operation Gratitude. (They send it in care packages to deployed soldiers.)  The principal wanted Mia to take her candy to school, where she would be on the video morning announcement, telling kids about why she was donating her candy, and helping get the movement started by the entire school!  Awesome!

Responsible, independent, proud child?  Check. 
Well-mannered, thoughtful, giving child?  Check. 

Finally, it happened- Break-through!  Maybe a small break-through, but I'll take it!  I'm probably not the most perfect mom in the world...Maybe that mom doesn't exist.  What I know, though, is that I don't need to worry about little comments here and there.  All I need to do is focus on the beautiful little people Jeremy and I have created and know it's all been perfect enough for them! 


Cyndi Hendrickson said...

Sometimes I think the mental and emotional battles we have with ourselves are the most difficult parts of parenting. And then Chloe throws a kicking and screaming tantrum because I wiped a crumb off her face ;-) Those good moments mean so much. You stated it much more eloquently than my Rock Star entry last week. This is a great feel-good post. Loved it!

MomInDCity said...

Read this the other day but didn't comment because I was jealous! Sigh...

I know these things go in phases, but I'm ready for Lira to get out of her phase. I'm definitely going to try the whole "consequences" idea. We talk a lot about "choices," but I like your idea better.

Congrats on your breakthrough day with your beautiful girl. Excellent job, Momma!