A good enough mum

I’d like to think I’m not a very insecure person but who am I kidding?! We all have our insecurities. For some it’s their weight, for other’s it’s their money. For most it lies just beneath the surface. For some it’s so deep rooted it appears in every facet of their lives and can act as a catalyst for an unhappy life.

Since becoming a parent, I’ve realised that one insecurity I never thought I’d have is with regards to my child. Whatever I have done, I believe I am doing my best. And yet when it comes down to it, I (and I’m sure many parents), blames my son’s behaviour on myself. This evening, we were hanging out with a very close friend and S was being a little rude. It had been a long afternoon and I resorted to bribing him, counting to three and raising my voice. Alarm bells were going off in my head. Why was he behaving like this? What can I do to change it? How can I “correct” his behaviour. What will they think of me?

I didn’t stop to think he was acting up because 1) He doesn’t really know them personally 2) He was over stimulated from being at a Christmas Fayre 3) He’d had too much sugar 4) He was bored 5) He was tired.

There are so many reasons that children play up and a lot of the time, there is an explanation for it. But I was so busy thinking of his behaviour as something I had caused (by giving in to it), that I didn’t consider any of the other factors.

I was chatting to a school mum last week and she was telling me a similar story. She said her son often comes home from nursery and says things she’s never heard before. And she realised that they were things he was hearing at nursery from kids who have older siblings or from his teachers.

Our kids will be exposed to so much out there. And much of their behaviour/words will come from stuff they’ve heard from other people, TV shows they watch, their imaginations. Are we as parents giving ourselves too much credit? And in some ways, too much discredit?

I think the biggest challenge of being a mother is to believe that we are good enough mothers. That we’re doing our best. Even when our children are rude or stroppy, even when they throw tantrums. It’s not because we’re bad mothers (even though a lot of mums will think that), it could be a number of reasons. Although S is 3 1/2, the process of parenting and the lessons we learn is an ongoing thing. We’ll be learning from them/about them even when they’re 20. One of the things I’ve realised I need to consider (remember) is S’s age. While he comes across as very able, he’s only 3 1/2. And I forget that a lot!

So the next time your child is acting up, think about why, before putting yourself down. I’m Natasha and I’m a good enough mum. You should believe you are too!

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