Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Regular doubts...
Lately, I've been having my doubts as to my mothering abilities. I'm guessing this is pretty normal, and I shouldn't be worried about it. The other night I was watching Supernanny, or Nanny 911 or something, and something on it made me think I've been slacking off too much lately and I'm not doing a service to my children. At the same time, I was thinking, "Wow, it's gotten to the point where we have to spend more time worrying about a child's 'feelings' and how sensitive we are to their fragile self-esteems that we've gone almost beyond parenting and more toward pleasing them."

So I'm torn. I think about what I can remember of how I was raised, and I know for a fact that it was quite different than how I'm raising my kids. I fought the spanking thing, for one. I did give in and try it for a while, and found that it really didn't work for us here. I think time-out that's longer just works better, and he feels more motivation to avoid that than to get a few smacks on the butt. I decided to pass on the spanking when I gave him one one day and he just rolled back over and went back to what he was doing, as if I hadn't touched him. (For those of you who think I was probably doing it wrong, I promise you, I did it just like I remember getting them) I have to think, though, that a lot from my raising could be good for my kids. I mean, I turned out alright. Most of my issues have nothing to do w/how my mom raised me.

Then I think of even before that. Back in the old days, when people had twenty-seven kids so they could run the farm. I'm willing to bet that those moms didn't stress about making sure that each and every child got their own special one-on-one time each day, or that each word was building and not breaking their self-esteems. I'm guessing the biggest priority was to make sure that the kids were all fed, clothed, healthy, and working their little butts off, while using good manners. That goal seems simple enough (although more challenging some days that it seems!), and I think I could manage that.

Of course, it's not that simple anymore. There's the pressure to make sure your children are constantly learning. They can't watch too much television, or you'll rot their brains and they'll get ADHD. If you don't let them watch television, how will they learn their Spanish (surely not from me!), and about the world around them? They must be socialized well. They must know manners. Better make sure they know how to write computer programs by the time they're four, b/c that's an important skill in Kindergarten. Don't forget to get the housework done, too. Do make sure the kids get at LEAST an hour outside each day, and take them lots of places so they can experience the world they live in. They need your attention. LOTS AND LOTS of it. Make sure you always use your nicest language and build their self-esteems. Always tell them you love them. Each one needs special time with you each day, so they can know they're individually special to you. However, they need time to play together, too, it's good for their social skills. Make sure not to make one kid feel obligated to watch the other kid(s), b/c that kid will feel like you've pawned the kids off on him, and it will upset his fragile ego. You know, the list goes on, and I'm sure I've missed most of the stressors. I feel like this everyday, though, and now I'm getting worried b/c I've decided to have another kid and make it all even worse. I've decided to stop reading all of the books and magazines for a while, b/c it really does make you feel like you could never in your wildest dreams do enough to be a good mom. I'm thinking about moving out to a farm and starting over from there!

So, tell me, is this my hormones on overdrive, or is this something other people feel? I called my mom yesterday, and she said when she was raising us, she thought she was a damn good mom. I want to feel that way. I want to feel like I'm doing right by my kids, and they're not missing out on anything. Sometimes I feel like it's all so overwhelming that I just freeze up and end up getting nothing done!

Anyway, I guess that's enough for now. I hope you all have a great day, and I'll talk to you soon!
posted by Christi at 10:33 AM | Permalink |


  • At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Kurt

    I think a caring attitude goes a lot farther than the specific details of how much special time they get and what activities you do.

  • At 12:30 PM, Blogger Jillian

    That's enough Mommy self doubt outta you woman. You are a wonderful mother. (Like I'm there hawking over your shoulder but I'm sure) All of us parent a different way and that's okay. No one is perfect, that's for sure. You need to do whatever you think is right when raising your children. And honestly, if your kids are going to resent you for anything, they'll find a reason, even if you were the perfect mother. Either you weren't caring enough, or didn't discipline enough, or whatever. So, don't fret about giving them a reason, they'll figure one out on their own if it's that important to them. Just sit back and enjoy being pregnant for now. Take care of the kiddies and quit stressing. It will all work out. I have doubts too, but I keep telling myself that I haven't killed him yet, so I'm doing alright.

  • At 4:24 PM, Blogger Julia

    I agree with Kurt.

    Just so you don't feel alone I worry too much too. I worry about letting Andrew cross the street to play with friends without me and then I get worried that this little freedom and responsibility I give him isn't enough and he'll never be independent if I don't let him go and do his own thing like a lot of other kids do. I let him go, and I check up on him a lot and ask that he stays where he says he's going and I just pray I'm doing the right thing. I could drive myself crazy questioning every little decision.

    Am I too mean? Do I spoil them? Am I a control freak? I could drive myself crazy if I thought about it too hard.

    I think it's a good idea to stop reading magazines and books on parenting. It's information overload and it's too stressful. You're right about our parents not informing themselves about every little thing like we do, and they did OK.

  • At 12:36 PM, Blogger Carrie

    my theory is that you have to do what works for you and your family.

    like children, no two families are the same, so you just need to adapt adapt and adapt.

    and honestly... I bet that as long as you try your best to be a good parent, your kids will grow up someday to realize it.

    hang in there, girl. you're doing good.

  • At 11:32 PM, Blogger Anvilcloud

    We don't have mnay kids any more, so I guess that's one reason why we're so into the ones that we do have ... or at least part of it.