With two girls, almost 5 and 1, I feel that I’m not progressing as I wanted to be a better mom. I am embarrassed by what I’m about to share, but I want to do it anyway to mark it as the start of something new.
This morning during my run I told myself to be more patient, more flexible, less strict on not important things with Sofia, and stop yelling at her. I’ve been having this nagging feeling that I’m becoming that mom that I don’t want to be. I want her to listen to me, respect me, but not too afraid of me. What happened few weeks ago about her putting rocks in her ears was my wake up call. She was too afraid to tell me what she did, so she had to go through a painful process to get the rocks out. I don’t want this kind of event to happen again. I would like her to want to talk to me about her struggles, her mistakes, even they are embarrassing, even she knows that I wouldn’t approve them. But for that to happen, I need to create an environment of trust and respect, trust so she knows that no matter what she does, I’ll always be on her side and love her even if I don’t agree with her. Respect so she respects my opinion and seeks for advice when she’s confused.
For these to happen, I need to change. Yes, I need to change because honestly she’s the best daughter and 5 years old that I could ever expect. It’s me who’s being disappointing for myself, and probably to her. I know I’ve established authority over her, and she knows when I say no it means no, and no renegotiable. So I don’t need to work on establishing that anymore. Instead, I need to work on building the trust. For that, I need to be patient, and not use every opportunity that it presents to confirm my authority, not those that are not relevant.
So… that was what I planned to do during my run this morning. And then… I did it again.
When we were leaving, all dressed up and shoes on, Sofia wanted to take her shoes off to go upstairs to grab her paintings to take to school. I said no, I was in rush, I didn’t want to wait. But she took the shoes off and started going upstairs nonetheless. I was furious… I said no again and again… threatening on not taking her to school if she didn’t listen to me. She cried and came down with her paintings. I insisted that I wouldn’t take her if she takes her paintings. At the end, we left the house 5 min late without the paintings.
I am devastated. I feel immensely guilty. I didn’t have to say no on that small request. I did it because I wanted to show I had authority over her. That’s what frustrates me the most. Why on earth I needed to prove that? to whom? She’s only 5, soon she will be old enough to not wanting to listen to me, to defeat my authority. What am I going to do by then? And I want to nurture her to become an independent women, with confidence and own thinking. I won’t achieve that if I keep making the same mistake over and over again.
I need to do better.
I need to change.
I need to change for her well being and my sanity.
I know that nobody is perfect.. we all have these moments that we slip away from our ideal self. But I also need to acknowledge that slippage is okay as long as they are not the norm.
I’ll check back in a week. I know I won’t change overnight.. I will still slip … but I hope these episodes happen less and less often as I become more conscious about it and make an effort to contain the urge. I know that it will become easier as I acquire this new “habit”.