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Author Topic: Why all this mom guilt?  (Read 5961 times)

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Nora

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Why all this mom guilt?
« on: August 06, 2010, 11:43:50 AM »
Anyone else have smart, beautiful, happy, welladjusted kids and still feel like a bad parent regularly? It's so tiresome! He's the 4 y/o winner of mister congeniality as far as I'm able to judge. He can't draw anything, but speaks 3 languages. He eats most vegetables, except for raw tomato, but I too think norwegian-grown tomatoes taste of sadness, dead puppies and crying. He sleeps well, is helpful and affectionate. But I keep managing to convice myself that I'm going to screw him up accidentally in some fabulously stupid way.
I've read enough developmental psych books to see I'm not creating a serial killer, but other than that I'm just winging this whole parenting thing. It's exhausting.

Who needs the adrenaline rush from extreme sports, when you can have the adrenaline rush of mom guilt convincing you that whatever you just did/decided/said probably made your kid weird for life.
Just because someone is offended that does not mean they are in the right.

gramma dishes

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Re: Why all this mom guilt?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2010, 11:49:05 AM »
Stop reading the psych books!   ;)
Every parent, no matter who he/she is, has to "wing it" because absolutely no two children are ever alike.  They have their own personalities from before birth and their own time schedule to do things.
Just enjoy him!

MrsJWine

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Re: Why all this mom guilt?
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2010, 12:00:59 PM »
Totally.  I don't ever read parenting magazines.  Why?  Because they'd have me believe that every free minute of my day should be spent mentally or socially stimulating my child in some way.  My daughter plays on her own for a good quarter to half of her waking hours, and she's quite happy.  She's shy, but once she's comfortable with other people, she's a little social butterfly.  On days when I'm not paying her enough attention, she lets me know.  Of course there are areas where I know I could be a better mom.  A much better mom.  But I think I'm doing okay, overall.  I sometimes wonder how the human race ever survived during the centuries when basic survival took up every waking minute, and mentally challenging the baby probably took second place to putting food on the table and fending of angry bears.

And yet I still feel guilty.  All the time.


I have a blog.  I hate that word.


Utah

ginlyn32

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Re: Why all this mom guilt?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2010, 12:16:32 PM »
Yep. I never read Mommy Media or Parenting books.

Oops...I lied...I did read one. It was by Dr. Dobson from Focus on the Family.

But anyway...yeah. Read too much Mommy Media and they will make you want to kill yourself. Don't eat this or that during pregnacy. Eat this or that or your a bad mother. Buy this super-expensive baby gadget or your a bad mother...enroll your kid in super-expensive pre-school and 12,000 activities or (you guessed it) your a bad mother...It's exhausting!

I say let kids be kids! Thousands of kids grew up without having every second of their lives planned and scheduled and they turned out fine.

Learn not to sweat the small stuff. If your kid is as happy as you say his is, you're doing fine.

Now I just wish there was as much advice out there for Mom's of Teens as there seems to be for babys, toddlers and pre-schoolers. It doesn't get easier just because the kid is in High School. It's almost harder because they are usually bigger than you.

ginlyn
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Nora

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Re: Why all this mom guilt?
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2010, 12:21:59 PM »
I don't have a choice about the reading, I'm in University studying psychology. I'm basically stuck reading the results of every possible way of raising kids. You can't unread stuff like that.
Just because someone is offended that does not mean they are in the right.

ginlyn32

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Re: Why all this mom guilt?
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2010, 12:25:53 PM »
Maybe balance it out with some "fun" reading?

I used to get Erma Bombeck books from the library. She'd write about what motherhood was really like. (being that it's not a orange juice commercial). It's light-hearted and funny.

ginlyn
Don't Tread On Me!!!!!

2littlemonkeys

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Re: Why all this mom guilt?
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2010, 12:39:00 PM »
Maybe balance it out with some "fun" reading?

I used to get Erma Bombeck books from the library. She'd write about what motherhood was really like. (being that it's not a orange juice commercial). It's light-hearted and funny.

ginlyn

My mom has several of her books.  Now I know why, LOL

I've been meaning to pick up "I Was A Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids."  But I've been too busy painting their walls in stimulating colors and looking for food with educational packaging.   :P

gramma dishes

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Re: Why all this mom guilt?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2010, 12:44:09 PM »

My mom has several of her books.  Now I know why, LOL

I've been meaning to pick up "I Was A Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids."  But I've been too busy painting their walls in stimulating colors and looking for food with educational packaging.   :P

LOL!!!  Well, one thing is for sure.  You haven't lost your sense of humor and that's a good sign!!! 

Corbin

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Re: Why all this mom guilt?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2010, 12:51:49 PM »
I have worked in health care for a long time now, on an ambulance and Pediatric wings and now at a Childrens Hospital. The one thing I keep reminding myself is this "Nothing I do to my kids on accident could be nearly as bad as what some people do on purpose." It's terrible, I know. But when "mommy guilt" gets me thinking that working 40 hours a week is neglect, and not having money for the newest greatest thing is abusive, I remind myself that I have seen what true neglect and abuse are.

The bar for mothers is set unreachably high. Yes, it's a hard and important job, and we do need to put real effort into it. But perfection is not a requirement, or even a goal! I think it's important for kids to see that we are people too, and we get frustrated, and sometimes the things we try to do don't work. I think it makes it easier for them when they get frustrated.
"If someone else posted this, I would be convinced they were making it up..."

magiccat26

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Re: Why all this mom guilt?
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2010, 01:10:04 PM »
Time to dive into some humor:

Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank: A Slightly Tarnished Southern Belle's Words of Wisdom by Celia Rivenbark

http://www.amazon.com/Stop-Dressing-Your-Six-Year-Old-Skank/dp/B002IT5OO8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281118060&sr=8-1

I laughed so hard and it made me feel like such a great Mom  ;)
“If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.” — Catherine Aird

2littlemonkeys

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Re: Why all this mom guilt?
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2010, 01:16:48 PM »
Time to dive into some humor:

Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank: A Slightly Tarnished Southern Belle's Words of Wisdom by Celia Rivenbark

http://www.amazon.com/Stop-Dressing-Your-Six-Year-Old-Skank/dp/B002IT5OO8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281118060&sr=8-1

I laughed so hard and it made me feel like such a great Mom  ;)

HA!  I hadn't seen this one before, I might have to check it out.  I have been given the "What? You haven't been to Disney World yet?  Your poor, poor children!" lecture from an acquaintance.  I do hope to get there someday but it's not a lifetime goal.  We'll go if we can and if we can't, they'll probably survive.  If I'm going to shell out that much money, though, I want them to remember it.

Thanks gramma dishes.  I sometimes feel it's all I have left, LOL.

Corbin, thanks for putting it all into perspective.  My kids know they're loved, have a roof and food to eat.  They might not have the latest toy or go on whirlwind vacations or speak 6 languages but they have what they need.

Elfqueen13

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Re: Why all this mom guilt?
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2010, 01:22:14 PM »
I used to read Mommy Media.  I quit when my son was about 4 and bore absolutely no resemblance to the kids in the articles. I figure if I really screw him up at least he'll have something to tell his therapist.
Follow along on my house hunt!  http://ulfrslady.livejournal.com/

megswsu

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Re: Why all this mom guilt?
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2010, 01:31:31 PM »
Gah! I so feel this way right now. Most of the time I don't b/c I'm missing some mom gene. But my 14 m.o. hasn't started saying any words, she kind of says Mama, and she does babble, but I do feel I'm not doing *something* to at least help her start talking. It doesn't help that I'm not extremely talkative, so I totally blame myself a bit. Plus at the year appt her ped wants to see her again at 15 m.o. to check on her mobility (which is fine IMO, she's just taking her sweet time in that dept) and her vocab, or lack thereof. I'm hoping the vocab area improves before then. I'm sure she's fine as she understands what we say, and is developing at her own rate, but still. I definitely feel like a bad mom in that particular area.





MrsJWine

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Re: Why all this mom guilt?
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2010, 01:41:52 PM »
Gah! I so feel this way right now. Most of the time I don't b/c I'm missing some mom gene. But my 14 m.o. hasn't started saying any words, she kind of says Mama, and she does babble, but I do feel I'm not doing *something* to at least help her start talking. It doesn't help that I'm not extremely talkative, so I totally blame myself a bit. Plus at the year appt her ped wants to see her again at 15 m.o. to check on her mobility (which is fine IMO, she's just taking her sweet time in that dept) and her vocab, or lack thereof. I'm hoping the vocab area improves before then. I'm sure she's fine as she understands what we say, and is developing at her own rate, but still. I definitely feel like a bad mom in that particular area.

My daughter started talking pretty early, which is a miracle because I'm not much of a talker unless I have some kind of feedback.  And then I never shut up.  Babbling away at a staring baby is just not something I'm good at, even though I try.  She didn't start walking until 17 months, despite us working with her all.the.time. on that.  So I think a lot of these things depend more on nature than they do on nurture (so long as you're not completely silent and inactive and neglectful).

The weird thing about motherhood is that there's both an incredibly high standard and an incredibly low standard.  People both patronize and criticize at the same time.  Anyone in the realm of Perfectly Adequate Parenting (which I think is most of us) is a freak.  Mothers and fathers must spend every waking minute entertaining their children.  We must have perfectly-behaved little angels.  But we're also assumed to be incapable of cooking a meal or keeping a clean house when we have small children.  Or having a coherent thought.  Or a good night's sleep.  And no wonder, because children are a nightmare!  Poor, poor us.  Gag.


I have a blog.  I hate that word.


Utah

Eastsider

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Re: Why all this mom guilt?
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2010, 02:58:27 PM »
My biggest problem is that no matter what I do, I cannot be a good parent according to all the mommy media.  I'm supposed to have my kids in sports, music, dance, art, and swim so that they are exposed to many different cultural activities.  I'm also supposed eat a healthy dinner with my entire family every night, help my kids with their homework, read with them for 20 min. everyday, sit and listen to them while we have meaningful conversations (with 6 and 9 year old boys really?) and so on.  Oh, and I'm also supposed to let my kids have some unstructured time for creative play.  So, where am I supposed to find time for all of these things?  It's just crazy.  It wouldn't take just a village to raise kids the way we are told we're "supposed to", it would take an entire city (mostly to drive them all over the place).