This Mama’s Got Drama, Too
A friend of mine who reads this blog said, “You know, you come across as the perfect mother. You give us other moms something to aspire to.”
Most people would take that as a compliment, but something about it rubbed me the wrong way. “If only she were a fly on the wall in my house,” I thought, “she’d see that I’m FAR from perfect.”
As much as possible in these posts, I try to demonstrate the lessons I’ve learned through the mistakes I’ve made. I struggle with the same things everyone else does: sibling squabbles, homework hassles, bedtime battles, morning meltdowns. I get triggered easily and yell at my kids. I get distracted too much by my phone. When I focus on using the skills I know to remain calm and connected, I feel great because I’m at my best.
But rest assured, dear readers. I have my fair share of family drama, too. (There’s a reason I named this blog what I did).
Here's a note I once got from Marissa:
A former student of mine once remarked, “I wonder what you’re thinking when you see other parents dealing with their kids.” And I told her, “I think, ‘I’ve been there. I know what it’s like.”
Yet to say that I'm free from judgment would be a lie. The other day in the library, for instance, a mother very clearly said to her daughter, “You're allowed to check out two books. You never read all the books you get, so you're only allowed two.” She held up the number two with her fingers. When the daughter brought her five books, the mother simply said, “Ok.” I thought, “WHAT? Did she actually just do that?”
Another time I witnessed a mother waiting in line for customer service with her 2-year-old daughter, who suddenly needed to use the bathroom. The mother asked, “Can you hold it?” When her daughter said she couldn't, she let out a sigh of exasperation and said, “If you make me lose my spot in line, I'm gonna kill you.” SERIOUSLY? I wanted to punch that mom in the face.
Sometimes when I have those critical and judgmental thoughts, though, I try really hard to find compassion for the parent and understand where they're coming from. I've certainly said things I regret, reacted too harshly, and made empty threats, too.
Since I’m in the business of helping parents, I use this blog to give examples of times that I’ve learned from my own mistakes or had success overcoming challenges, and to share ideas that have been useful to me. That's my goal — to share as much as I can about what's worked and what hasn't — for me — which may or may not be the same things that will work for you.
Lately, my biggest frustration is dealing with my daughters' constant bickering with each other. So, I've re-read Siblings Without Rivalry, and I'm experimenting with different ways of managing my irritation and helping them resolve their own problems. When I figure out what works for us, you can be sure I'll share it with you.
What's your biggest family drama right now and how can I help? Either leave a comment below or feel free to e-mail me directly at email@example.com. Remember, we're all in this parenting boat together.
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