September 18, 2010
Warning - some swearing in the clip.
As moms we can do this to each other, intentionally or not, well meaning or not. I have never in real life met a mom like the over the top exaggeration of this video. I have met some parents who have made similar parenting choices, I personally have made some similar choices. I laughed at the video in parts. I related to the video in parts. I cringed in parts as I wondered if that is how people viewed me.
Through the many years of blogging I have gone through multiple phases of self reflection about how I present myself and my family. If you only know me through this blog you don't really know me, you know glimpses of my family's best moments we choose to make public. You don't see how scattered I arrive at the homeschool coop where I teach the great classes I write about. You don't see the mess in my kids room - or my own for that matter. You don't see me on the days when no one wants to school, everyone has a rotten attitude and we are all picking at each other. That is a good thing but it can also be a bad thing - I am coming to realize over the years the way we present ourselves in our minds is not always the way people hear us in real life. Just as we listen to our voices in a recording and wonder how we sound like that when we sound so different in our heads - I sometimes wonder if the same is true in real life. Well meaning phrases come out sideways in the mind of the listener. I hope you have never felt judged here as you read, I have never meant that toward anyone and would be saddened to know if that had occured.
Of course there is the flip side of this. There are really some moms who want to compete with each other through their kids and their parenting styles. Them I have met in real life. I have really never seen anything good come out of these types of competitions. I have seen hurt, misunderstanding, judgement, superiority, and a myriad of other negative emotions be a result.
I can remember being a young mother with a very compliant first child who was not prone to mischief. I can remember thinking to myself "where are the parents that we need all these kid locks?" God gave me my next child who would drink bleach while sitting next to me, require me to lock all chairs away in a separate room because he was using them to climb on everything and it was dangerous, and he loved electric sockets and cabinets. I realized quickly how wrong headed my thinking was and I became far more understanding and sympathetic.
We all need to think about how we come across in our communication, in what we say and how we say it. As woman we can build each other up or we can bring each other down through our words and actions. In the end we are all mothers trying to do the best job we can with the particular situation we find ourselves in. A little compassion, kindness and understanding can go a long way in loving each other rather than competing with one another.
Posted by Tenniel at 11:24 PM