So, I know that I am a good mom. I wouldn’t say a great mom, but I think that I do well for my kids. The first two out of the four kiddos were easy to raise thus far. Sure, our eldest son had a bout of depression that was difficult to get through and I had to balance my time between school, caring for my mother and caring for our four children, but I still counted myself as a good mom. So, why do I feel so guilty about how slow our five-year-old is doing in kindergarten? When I first heard how she was struggling in kindergarten and had to have additional help, I felt like I was failing.
I told my husband earlier today that I felt guilty because I had wondered if I should have not put her into bilingual classes and that I was selfish. I was selfish because I wanted our daughter to have a chance to speak more than once language because I did not have the same opportunity. Thankfully, my husband is the partner that was meant to be a parent with me. He told me, "you are looking to give her the best opportunity in life not only now, but in the future." He is correct, I want something better for her life and she will get that by being in the dual immersion program. It is my personal truth that she would have had difficulty in class regardless of where she was. Truth is, our daughter just needs a little extra boost. The 3rd child of four kids means that she gets little attention for herself, a reason I was so adamant that I didn’t want another child after her (yes, I LOVE ALL our children equally). We have welcomed Marie into our life without any regret. However, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have times when each child is lagging a little.
What my husband mentioned was that before, our older two had my attention as our younger children have not had. My heart still hurts, and I feel guilty, but I have begun to think differently as a mother. Going from being a stay at home mom to a working mom is going to have unique challenges. I am going to have to make sure to turn the outside world off and be available for my family. I have even begun to do this by leaving my cell phone in the vehicle when we are out together. I have put off writing numerous times because I need to sit with a little girl who is crying in my arms because she is hurt and tired. I am going to have to fight a tired kindergartner who doesn’t realize that her tantrum has been brought about because she is exhausted and not because she is a bad girl. I have to schedule in time for my children like I never had to before and that is okay.
I am on a mission to change the world, but I have to make sure that I do not forget the next generation that sleeps in a room across the way from mine. I have to remember that feeling of guilt as a motivator for good and not allow it to depress me because believe me, I can get depressed. I have depression where I have no motivation and want to shut myself off from the world, so I really have to be diligent at keeping my guilt in check.
As parents, we have a lot of pressure on us and this can be a good thing. We cannot go backwards to when children were simply seen as a tiny adult who could work in the factory for hours, making peanuts to bring home to their families. We cannot get lacks on the laws that protect our children from not being in proper car seats because these things are better for our families today. However, we have to be sure to give ourselves a little bit of slack. We are not going to feed our children perfectly at every meal. Shoot, I cannot get my youngest to hardly ever eat. So, when she does eat, it’s a mom victory for me. My kids’ hair isn’t going to be perfectly coiffed at each outing or maybe, just maybe, they’ll go to bed without brushing their teeth one evening (gasp!)
I have to allow my guilt to motivate me to be a better parent and remember that mama or papa who struggles is my comrade and not my enemy. When we see other parents struggling, remember to smile at them or offer a helping hand if you can. Until next time, mommy failure 3.0, I will strive to be the best mom I can be.