Thursday, November 9, 2017

Making Mountains of Molehills: A Hideous Parenting Moment

I'm posting this post again. I first wrote it in 2014.
 I recently had a conversation with a dear, dear friend of mine 
and our conversation brought the idea of this post to mine.
I hope you enjoy it.

I remember a hideous day from years ago when Elizabeth was just a few years old. It was while we were potty-training (Oh geez, she is going to hate it that I posted anything about this time!) and I was just beside myself with wondering what to do. I had no idea what I was doing and I was concerned that I was totally messing things up. She was about four years old, maybe. I know that I had a newborn at the time and he was born when she was three and a half, so yeah, about four years old. 

She just didn't want to stop wearing a the darn disposable. And when I asked her why she told me very simply and practically that she didn't want to stop playing to take the time she needed. It seems like such a small deal now but then I was just a mess about it for some reason.

I have to admit that I owe some of my anxiety from this time to a woman that I was hanging out with, I'll call her Betty. She and I had known each other a bit before having children and our daughters were the same age. I often talked with Betty about what I might do to encourage my daughter know...

WHY I asked Betty for guidance I have no idea. She is one of the most truly neurotic people that I have ever had as a friend. She was a mess.
I wish I hadn't listened to her.

Betty's advice to me was that, each time Elizabeth would not go potty in the potty, she was to get a bath because it was dirty to go potty in her pants. UGH, I cringe just thinking about it.

Well, I only did it one time. There she was, my very beloved daughter, standing in the cold bathtub and I was shaming her with my words for not sitting on the potty; she cried.

Elizabeth doesn't remember it at all while I can't forget it!

While I have generally forgiven myself for what I did, what I still struggle with sometimes is making a mountain out of a mole hill. What things that we are struggling with today will become the mole hills of tomorrow? That's what I want to know. 

I realize now that another other thing that contributed to my behavior then was that I was concerned how my daughter's diaper usage somehow reflected on me and probably how these friends of mine would view me. I can say that now. I wanted to be a Good Mom and I didn't think that a Good Mom would have a daughter that age still in diapers.
So, yes, I did have alot to learn.

Today I know that a Good Mom does not need to explain herself to friends around her, doesn't compare her children with any others, and most importantly, a Good Mom is comfortable with her children as they are, not as someone thinks they should be. She also finds friends who share in her way of thinking rather than wallowing in self-doubt and confusion. 

It was a tough lesson. But I think I learned it.
And it didn't hurt to break up with that shaming friend of mine!!!


So let's say that your children aren't on time with tasks and skills. Unless a professional tells you different, here is what you need to do:  RELAX.

Few teenagers walk around wearing diapers. Few teenagers still suck their thumbs. Most teenagers can walk, read, talk to people, eat their veggies, tie their shoes, say their Rs right, kick a ball, and all of the many things that you, that WE, worry about. 

RELAX. It isn't a race. 

RELAX. The only thing that truly reflects on you is your happy child, sitting or standing, pierced or not, speaking in public or not, listening to inappropriate music or not, wearing inappropriate clothing or not, getting great grades or not, sexually active or not, giving into peer pressure or not, making immature choices or not.

All you can do is give them the tools to build their own mountains and, in the end, they usually do that:  build their own unique mountains.

Can You Relate?

I know you get it that this post does not speak to serious or dangerous practices.

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