August 21, 2014

"I'm Trying. And That's Good Enough."

I've been kind of in the dumps lately, for the same reasons that loom over me (as probably a lot of other mothers as well) all the time; Trying to perfect this whole mom thing. I have mentioned in a past post about being present with my kids and letting all the other things slide. Like cleaning, cooking, even my appearance for example. I've been doing just that because summer is near an end and I want to enjoy every single moment with my kids. Let's be honest, not all moments are enjoyable. Of course there are (many) days that Noelle just pushes all my buttons and I don't know how I can stand one more second, or there are hours in which Halle will just not stop crying. I am patient, but I am not God. I cannot endure everything. However, I try. I try, a lot. I try, very, very hard.

I've always prided myself on my patience. I almost (key word) never get mad. Like Joey will say, it has to be really bad for me to lose it. Anyways, that's one of my things. Being a patient mom. Even if I can't get anything else right, I can usually keep my cool with my kids. I love those monsters more than anything. They are my world, even if everything else is falling apart.

This morning we were at the store and I had to say on a scale of 1-10 (10 being perfect angel) Noelle was probably being a 7. That's pretty good. I mean, she's not having a tantrum, she's not whining, and she's not causing a mess. She's not exactly listening to me, or following my orders, but hey, nothing dramatic was happening. Halle was also being an angel in the Baby Bjorn. No crying. No fussing. I was pretty pleased with how our morning was going. Until this lady kept on looking at me. The first time she looked, I knew right away she was judging. She was judging me because I didn't have my daughter glued to my side. God forbid, Noelle was one aisle over from me, touching things in the store and picking things up. I blew it off. My kid's 2, we're just lucky she isn't throwing things. The lady glared at me again. Fine, I thought to myself. I'll get my kid over here if it will make that lady stop judging me with those eyes. I asked Noelle to follow me, in which Noelle ignored me. Pretty typical. I tried a few more times to coax her to follow me down my aisle and she refused. I wasn't even close to losing it yet. I'm that patient. I started to use a little 1-2-3 warning, when the lady looked at me again. I was about to lose it now, but on the lady, not my kid. What is she looking at? If she looked at me one more time I was going to ask her if she needed my help. Well, she beat me to it, because when I told Noelle that we were leaving the store because she wasn't listening to me, and that "mama is leaving now. You can come with me" the lady decided to interject and say "I think you need parenting classes."

"Excuse me?"
"Yeah. You need them."
"What would you be doing right now that's different than me?"
"I would take her out of the store."
"I'M TRYING!"
Lady proceeds to shake her head at me like I'm just disgusting her.
I then continued, "What do you think I'm trying to do? I also have her too!" As I gesture to Halle strapped to my chest.
Lady laughs at me in that condescending way, still shaking her head.
At this I bellow "Thanks for the unsolicited advice!"

I had to try to lift Noelle up without hurting Halle as we left the store in a rush. Now she was in tears, and so was I. Yeah. I'm not a perfect mom. But really, did she have to suggest that I was a bad one?

Everyday of my life I try so hard not to judge other parents. Every situation is different, all children are different, and you never know what that parent is going through. For me, it's been a real struggle to let other parts of my life slide to be a good mom to my kids. We can't afford for me to be a SAHM, but we also can't afford for the kids to be in full time daycare. So I am with them half the day, and then work the other half. I am exhausted. I have a 4 month old that still cries and nurses all night. I have a hard headed, independent 2 year old that I am trying so hard to discipline in the best way possible. I'm trying, I'm trying, I'm trying. I'm already disappointed in myself for not keeping up appearances, the household, the menu, and letting relationships slide. The one thing I want to get right are my kids. They are the sole reason why I've given up everywhere else. So, what that lady said to me, was the meanest, most hurtful thing a person can say to me. "I think you need parenting classes."

I tried really hard to keep myself together and not let Noelle see me cry. I didn't want to scare her, worry her, or make her ask me why mama was sad. I tried to keep most of my dignity in check until we got home, where I put on a cartoon and then I cried. I was shaking from crying so hard.

What I had to learn today was that I'm trying, and although I don't usually think it, that's good enough. There are mean people out there. And they are going to judge. And they are going to hurt me. But I need to stay strong and know that I am the mom. I am the mom to my kids and I know what's best for them. I am trying and I will continue to try. I am not perfect. But I am trying and that's good enough. No one has a right to make me doubt that. My girls love me and I love them. I am doing what's right. No, I don't yank my kids out of stores, I don't yell, I don't threaten, I move forward with patience. It may not always work, but that's what I do.

I love these two more than life. I'll continue to give them all my patience and love.

It's my hope that instead of blaming each other or judging others' choices, we can recognize that we are all doing our best to be "good enough," even when that falls short of perfect. - Rebecca Wolfenden

2 comments:

  1. Oh no that sounds like a very rude woman! Don't worry, Diana. You are a rockstar mom!!! http://materialworldsingapore.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/material-world_unsolicited-parenting-advice.png

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  2. DUDE. Are you kidding me with this?! And I thought my Splash Pad experience was bad. I can't believe she had the balls to actually say something. I mean, we've been stared at for 5 years because of Elliot and still only had 2 people actually say something. Honey, we've both come to this conclusion now, there are a lot of assholes out there. You keep doing what you're doing because you know your girls. They aren't her girls, she has no idea what kind of discipline or explanation works for them. You are a fantastic mother with amazing patience! I could only wish to have half the amount of patience as you do. You are one of those moms who was born to be a mom from day 1. Don't change your tactics for anyone. It's none of their business anyways.

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