Trying to Not Be “That Mom”


I think I’ve heard, at this point, every last stupid line about parenting known to man.

Not a single one of them have ever really helped me, or made me feel better.  Honestly, when I hear lines about …well nearly any topic out there, I internally roll my eyes and groan.

When I have periods in my day to day where I am utterly frustrated, I can’t hold my temper very well and I honestly can’t think of a damned thing to do to make the situation better, for some stupid reason I’m reminded of all those ridiculous lines people always pull out of their rear ends.

I’ve seen other people who also go through what some people would say is “normal” for rearing children, and some people that seem to skate through without a care in the world.

I wanted to be one of those people that made it look easy.  I knew it wouldn’t be.  And I know for a good portion of my extremely short time raising my one child I’ve had a pretty easy time of it.  She’s been incredibly easy.

But, I am starting to wonder whether or not her being so easy  for this long has left me with an inability to figure the hard parts out.  The hard parts are sometimes so hard in the moment that I wonder if I’ll ever get it right.  And yes, I know that there are plenty of other parents out there that have probably asked themselves the same thing.

I am so stuck between the (rather idealistic) vision of how I wanted to try to make things go (think about the kind of touchy-feely granola new agey crap that makes you want to throw up in your mouth a little) and how things are going.  I fully realize, and have for a long time that I sometimes have very idealistic views and hopes for things.  You don’t have to tell me that.  And if you do, I’ll probably sit there imagining Gibbs-smacking you.  So please, just don’t do it.

I am a frustrated mom.  I’m finding that some things don’t work, and I just have no flaming clue what will.  I’m frustrated because some days it seems like I’m winning some of the battles (and I hate calling them that, but I have no better words at this point) and I get rejuvenated and it all just falls apart later that day or the next.

I feel like some cosmic something or other is getting their jollies off in kicking me over, then laughing as they put just enough pressure on me to keep me from getting up.

And I feel like sometimes society wants to shut the frustrated ones up.  It’s no kosher or politically correct, or not zen enough to be a frustrated person and be allowed to feel frustrated.

And for me, frustration is a very, very bad thing.  It’s one of my worst, most vicious circles.  I get frustrated over something, then I get frustrated for being frustrated, then get even more frustrated when I can’t get myself to not be frustrated…  You get the idea.

And indeed, it’s very much an internal battle between the me that wants to be all zen and happy and know all the answers, and have some kind of magical databank of ideas that I can pull out of an orifice whenever it is necessary, and the me that happens to exist most days.  Which certainly is not the former.

There are so many things that I always swore to myself I would never do if I started a family.  And not even two years into having a child, I’m struggling hardcore with some of those things.  I didn’t think it would be this hard to not do the things I didn’t want to do.

And because of that, I’m struggling to stay positive enough to feel like I’m being the kind of mother I wanted to be.  I feel so beat up some days, so lost, so guilty, so angry.  I know I’m not a bad mother.  But psychology just doesn’t always allow feelings to align with what the reality is.  The rational and the emotional often do battle with each other in this arena for me.  And I’m at a loss at how to go about getting it to stop.  Or at the very least, slow down a bit so I can get a breather and feel like I’m making some kind of progress.

I know that other people will never have the answers on how best to interact with my own child.  I certainly don’t expect them to.  I expect me to.  Unfortunately, I’m just not living up to my own expectations some days.  And that kills me a little.  And I think about it often enough to be fully aware that I need to do something.  But what?  I don’t know what to do.  I try keeping my calm, I try the ideas I hear about.  It’s just so hard to not feel like tearing out your own hair when things just do not work.

I know at some point, I will figure this out, or it will just stop because it’s not me, and it’s just a part of dealing with a growing child and they’ll maybe grow out of whatever the heck is going on.  (Yes, more of those stupid lines.)  Maybe it is just a phase.  Maybe it’s the terrible twos.

But part of me wonders so, so much if it’s something else, if it’s me.  What am I doing wrong?  Why can’t I get it right?  Why is it such a struggle some days?  Why is it not a struggle on other days?  Why does it seem like positive reinforcement isn’t working?  What am I doing wrong?  These are the things that go through my head and once it happens enough times, you really start to doubt yourself.  The negative thoughts come so much more often, to the point where they almost start seeming like truth.

But I’ve been in that place where negative thoughts seemed like reality.  I know that it simply is not.  And that alone keeps me from really falling for it and falling apart.  But when the solution is so hard to find, clawing my way back through everything becomes a heck of a lot harder.

I don’t want to be “That Mom.”  I want to be one of the ones that breaks the mold a bit.  I want to be one of those that doesn’t have to fight with her kid(s) on a regular basis.  I want to be one of those parents that somehow (seemingly like some mystical hoodoo) keep their shit together and never yells, or raises their voice, or behaves in an impatient  and frustrated manner.  Trust me, I know that even those people (as much as they might say they don’t) have their days.

But I would like to have fewer of them than I’m having lately.  Even that would be a big thing for me.  Never is even too idealistic for me.  Less would be good.  Yes, I would settle for less.

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Mary

Wife, student, new first time mother. Crafter and creator. Animal enthusiast. I had a miscarriage in March 2011. But we tried again. March, 2012 was the birth of my first child. Off and on I have been dabbling with small business, trying to get it off the ground since, every so often changing direction.

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