Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad" Mom...

Image processed in LR4 with Alice in Wonderland preset and in Photoshop with "Alice" texture from the Flypaper Metallic Set.

I was waiting for our eggs to cook this morning (add lots of milk to your scrambled eggs and they are light and fluffy) while reading Beryl's post "I'm not good enough" mommy mindset" and it really struck a cord with me.

I have see the looks stay-at-home moms, work-at-home moms, and work-outside-of-home moms give each other.  We have heard all sides argued. Stay-at-home moms sacrifice everything to take care of their kids.  Working moms sacrifice everything to support their family and make sure food is on the table.  Stay-at-home moms realize work will still be there when their kids get older.  Working moms have worked hard for their position and they love it and realize it could be gone if they take time off.  Stay-at-home moms are putting themselves in danger because if something happened to their spouse they couldn't support their kids.  Working moms might miss their baby's first steps.  Stay-at-home moms are clingy and too protective and often get burned out and their kids turn out to be "strange".  Working moms put their jobs in front of their families and their kids become wild.  Stay-at-home moms have extra time to cuddle and play with their kids. Working moms realize time is short and spend every free minute they have with their kids, being their loving moms and not their (sometimes terribly, horribly, grouchy) teachers.

If you are a parent you have heard all of the arguments.  I know I have.  It makes your head spin and second-guess everything you do as a mother and a woman because you know deep in your heart there is no right or wrong way, just the "best-for-your-family" way.

I am a stay-at-home, work-at-home, homeschooling mom and I have to tell you that I have just as much "mommy-guilt" as any full-time working mom.  I made the decision that was right for our family, but sometimes I regret it because I can't blame anyone else (like the schools) if my children don't turn out as I hope.   Friends and relatives that have not been completely supportive of my homeschooling the boys will go "Told you so.  Your kids are losers and it is all your fault because you didn't do a good job teaching them."  I know they really wouldn't say that to my face, but I can predict them thinking it.

Ultimately a child's education/moral compass rests on the parents whether you stay-at-home, work, homeschool, public school, etc.  But there are days I sit on the couch staring into space while the boys are wrestling at my feet and wonder if I am doing at least a "good enough" job.

"Mommy-guilt" is a part of being a mom and no matter what paths you take to raise your children you will never feel 100% sure that you are doing the right thing.  You can argue environment versus genetics and try different methods of raising/schooling your child, but life unfortunately does not guarantee you a wonderful adult child.

I read this great little e-book about anxiety and it stressed that really all you can control is your perception of your life and your decisions.  And once you make a decision the results of that decision is beyond your control.

As a self-proclaimed control-freak that is a scary thought, but it has helped me realize that I have the power to decide whether I am happy, and I will make decisions on raising my boys with my best intentions.  I just have to have faith that things will work out and be flexible enough to make changes when it doesn't.  And be comfortable with the fact that I probably won't ever be a Super Mom, but I will do my best to be a Good Mom.  :-)

Do you ever struggle with your decisions on raising your kids?

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  1. Yes Rita, I struggle every day because as a full time student I missed every field trip my kids had so far...but I'm doing this (my studies) because I want to have a better paying job so that I can help supporting their needs.
    If we do our best in showing them love and support, they will know it an appreciate it.
    Sometimes doing your best is all it takes!
    P.S. Thank you for all you do here on your blog. I visit it on daily basis.

  2. I was a stay at home mom and raised 3 children - now 32, 30 and 27 years old - and the same argument was going on that many years ago. I could never understand why mothers didn't support each other more. We all choose what's best for our families, there is no "one size fits all".

    You're a great mom. There are no "Super Moms". We all struggle and some how things come out just fine in the end :)

  3. You're not alone! I worked until January when my oldest turned 6. Now I stay home with my younger 3 and he still goes to public school. I feel bad when we can't do things because we don't have as much money, but I like being around my kids. I also wonder if I should home school, but I fear not doing a "good enough" job at it. Sometimes I think I should go back to work, but I really don't know. Being a mom is tough!

  4. Thank you for bringing out the reality of it all. I am a mom of 2 boys, one being special needs and I am planning to home school next year.
    When you say home school around here people either stop talking to you or are in support because the Core.
    But you brought it to a truth... just being a good mom is the key! thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  5. When I was a new mommy, my husband and I decided I would stay home. This was in the mid-70's and the women's movement was here to stay, but, new. I remember the working mommies looking upon me with pity when I stated that I stayed home.

    Years later, when the children were in school and I had my days free to work part-time, I got looks of pity again, only from the stay at home mommies, feeling sorry that I had to work outside the home. It seems whatever the trend is at the time, that is what gauges others' opinions.

    In both of my cases, I was doing what I wanted and what was best for me and my children. You know what? We made it! We always did and we always will! It may not have been all we wanted, but, it was sure plenty of what we needed!

    You are a pioneer among mommies nowadays! Just like I was a pioneer by staying home. It will all work out!

    Thanks for bringing this up!