I would like to think by now that I have this parenting thing all figured out, but I don’t. And while that’s not a bad thing, I don’t like to think of it as a good thing either. It seems that as a mom the guilt can come so easily to the point that it is astounding. One wrong move and I feel as if I will be the cause of my kids ending up in therapy. I have a horrible tendency to be a yeller (I am working on it though), and there were several times that I yelled at my kids for stupid reasons, that I wish I could just do over or at least erase from their memories.
1. Not providing my children with same opportunities as one another: Alyssa was spoiled, I mean spoiled rotten. The one thing at this point that I truly regret is giving Andrew the best head start with education that I gave Alyssa. She went to a wonderful private school that fostered a great atmosphere for learning, and it really set the bar high. By the time Andrew was able to enroll however, I had lost that job an wasn’t able to afford it. Now I know that education starts at home. But I felt time and time again that no matter what I did at home, it wasn’t good enough. I could never understand why he wasn’t like his sister (come to find out there were other issues going on). Overtime however, he began to love learning and as a third grader is doing very well with in school. So although it took time, we finally got there.
2. Yelling: Although this should probably be #1 I am going to stick it at #2 just because. I hate yelling, I really do. I am slowly getting better and learning how to control my temper, but I can say the lack of sleep and my bi-polar disorder aren’t helping any (and that’s not a crutch, it’s the truth). I love my children dearly, the last thing I ever want them to associate me with is yelling. While I don’t yell nearly as much as I used to, I still feel as if I have a ways to go. We are doing very well with communicating instead of yelling or getting upset. For any family (or relationship period), that is important.
3. Neglecting my husband for my children: There are a lot of people who say that you should put your children before your spouse, while I believed that at one point in time I no longer do. For one without my husband I wouldn’t be able to make it through the day. If I continued to neglect him and put the kids needs first, then in turn he would eventually grow resentful towards me, causing him to not want to meet my needs. It’s an entire cycle that’s really not complicated to understand but for the second of time I won’t go into on this post. Just know that, for at least 4 years I put the kids above the husband and it did cause a strain on our marriage. Now that I have put him first I can honestly say that our marriage is better as we are both able to adequately be the support one another needs.
It’s very hard as mother to admit your shortcomings (and boy have I been doing that a lot lately), but I have found that sharing it with others has helped me to realize I’m not the only one. I’ve received so much positive feedback and many stories from other women, that I am empowered to share when I am not at my best and working through it, in hopes of helping others. Learning from our mistakes is what life is all about.
Love of impromptu dance parties, 80’s cartoons, and horizontal life pauses (aka naps); Natasha Brown is a stay at home mom of 4 kids, and wife to one lucky guy! In her spare time, she is co-editor of Grits & Grace, as well as editor for The Mother Hustler Blog and Creative Director for the Mother Hustler podcast.