Have I actively strived to teach my children the skills they need to survive in this world?
Are their basic food needs met?
Green dye #4.
Given some toys to play with?
Safe environment for kids?
An active father in the picture?
I meet all those requirements. So why do I think I am a bad parent?
Who set the standard within me?
My mother did.
Above all I wanted to be a better parent then she was. I know perfection is an unobtainable goal, but I just wanted to do a better job then she did.
and I have failed...
I hold my selves to a higher standard. I cut my self no slack. I know how messed a person can get when they are not raised and cared for right. I see her everyday in the mirror.
As the years of my twenties unfolded and I enter therapy and was re-parenting my selves, one thing came up. Why didn't my mother get me help with my depression and anxiety? I, with adult eyes can clearly see that she suffered too. Why did she never talk with me about it and pass on some coping skills?
Do I do that with my children? Yes. I try to help them learn healthy coping skills, if I can. I don't want them to have to wait till they are adults before seeking help. I keep their doctor in the loop. The kids and I talk about depression and anxiety and the other stuff they might be facing.
I work hard in that area.
I had dreams of being my son's teacher when I was pregnant with him. I couldn't wait to teach him and be a strong advocate in his education. He absolutely doesn't like to learn form me. I used to sing the ABC song to him while breastfeeding. The first thing he did once he got use of his hands was to reach up and cover my mouth.
shut up mama...
Tried to teach him so many things. He shut me out.
Hells bells I couldn't even teach him how to talk for heavens sake. I could see the intelligence in there, but the profound speech delay just robbed us of so much communication.
I had to at some point let go of the dreams of being a creative fun teaching parent. I had to learn to be the parent of the child I did have.
That was hard. That wasn't the parent I wanted to be.
When my daughter rolled into the picture I again had to wrestle on a deep, deep level. I wanted two boys. I didn't want to be a parent of a girl. That one took some work. Soul draining work.
Two children and neither one wanted or needed the parent I was all prepared to be. I had to adapt. To take my cues from them and re-invent and become the parent they needed.
...that is why I feel like a bad parent.
Maybe I not a bad parent, maybe, the word I am looking for is..._____?
I do know that at 49 its tiring to parent. My farm kids got the best years of my parenting. I was young and physically mostly all there. I wish I could be the athletic parent I was with them.
Parenting is sure different then I imagined and dreamed. There I times I want to give up, the work load is too great. Times I have renewed patience and strength. Times I realize that the things the teachers compliment about my kids is nothing I taught them or gave them....its just who my kids are.
Last summer when I was jobless, my family got 100% of my attention. The difference in my parenting was amazing. For the first time EVER I was able to give my kids 100% of my attention every day. No work stress, no watching the clock cause I had to go to work. It was a blessing to just be able to flow with them and do things. Much easier to do my primary job with out juggling so much.
I wish I could find a way to pull that parent in me forward.
I still want to change the parent I am. I am not at peace where I am.
I want to give my kids more.