-itch before I had kids was that I totally screwed myself when it comes to the standards I hold myself to as a parent.
When I am a mom…
I will NEVER let myself wander around Target with crying kids in my shopping cart.
I will NEVER give those kids food while they’re in the cart before I pay for it. What the hell kind of message does THAT send? Freaking take the damn screaming kids home and give them food you already paid for. GAH.
I will NEVER let my kid run in the mall. Why can’t kids just WALK and HOLD HANDS with their parents? How HARD IS THAT?
I will NEVER let my kid have a tantrum in public. Dude, take them HOME.
I will NEVER have my kid out after 7:30, when they should be IN BED. It’s called BEDTIME, folks.
I will NEVER let my kids wear ugly character shirts. I don’t care how much they ask for them. I don’t have to buy them. End of story.
I will NEVER let my kids out in public with food on their faces and clothes. Hello?? Are you incapable of keeping your kids clean?
I will NEVER let my kids cause a scene of any sort, anywhere, in front of anyone like me who might disapprove.
Add to that hundreds more judgemental, admittedly bitchy thoughts I had before I became a mom.
Now, I find myself always worrying about what other people are thinking of me as a mom, of my children, of how we all behave in public. I find myself hovering over my kid more than I should just to make sure he’s not a nuisance to any and all other people around him. I’m constantly correcting my 3 year old’s behavior, quick to scold him, always on the defensive. I’m missing the positive moments when we’re out because I’m too wrapped up in keeping him from pissing the old me off.
It’s not even about reactions I’ve received from others. Sure, there have been a few disapproving looks in my years as a mother, but not nearly enough to justify my constant anxiety over these things. No, it all stems from me… the old me.
I held other parents to such high standards before I became a mother, that I now find myself always struggling to live up to them.
Yes, I get that an effort needs to be made to teach my children manners and what is and isn’t socially acceptable, but there also needs to be moments of learning allowed. I can’t just preach all of life’s lessons to my kids and expect them to get it. They have to LIVE them and make MISTAKES. Many of those mistakes will have to happen in front of others who may disapprove and may judge. I need to be okay with that.
So, this is me telling the old me to fuck off.
Old Me, you would have been a terrible mother, so STFU.
Whew. That felt good. What would you tell the old you?
Leyna is 8 months old and Kendall is 3 years 4 months old, which is how long it took me to get the courage to tell the old me to STFU. It’s silly that it took so long.