I’m a Bad mom

it used to be that parenting was about making sure that your offspring survives to adulthood and does their natural obligations such as procreating and ensuring the existence of the species. That was then. Parenting now is such a complex process that involves implicit knowledge on economics, psychology, martial arts and technology. Well, maybe not martial arts but it’s an important skill to learn so I threw it in there.
I’m really amazed at how parenting has evolved and how it still is evolving. Part of me is quite happy that certain concepts on parenting has changed, and yet there are things that are still in line for a major makeover. I’ve been raised in an unorthodox Filipino household. What that means is that I was baptised and raised in the Catholic faith but I’m not judged if I so choose not to practice it. It means that I’m not judged when I bring home a boyfriend one day and a girlfriend the next but I’m berated for the stupid shit I did for love. You get the idea. Now, what I wasn’t quite aware of at that time was that not all families and people think this way.
I got into major trouble when I was in high school. I engaged in a very heated debate with our “Values” teacher. The quotations are intentional. The subject was about values education: morals and ethics without the influence of any religion. This teacher was very Christian and was adamant about teaching that instead of the assigned syllabus. Unfortunately, he touched on the topic of single mothers and how “sinful” they are. I’m a single mom’s child. A hardworking single mom’s child who barely sees her mother because she is working so hard to earn money so that I can get the best that I can get. The discussion got very heated and the teacher was not able to ask the Holy Spirit to contain his fury. He called my mother a Bad Mom and a Wrong Woman. Well…looks like I’m carrying on the tradition.
I’ve been called a Bad Mom. Sometimes, I think I am a Bad Mom. All moms think that. Motherhood has somehow programmed women to think that they haven’t done enough or done right by their kids. It’s a natural and common thought. Like that time when I scolded the kids for screaming “Shut up!” to each other and encouraged them to be more creative with their words. Two minutes later I hear a child scream “Silence, peasant!!” That being said, here are the top 5 reasons why I’m a Bad Mom.

1. I let my kids fail – Let them lose. In fact, tease them a bit. Gloat if you want. There will be no good that will ever come out of you trying to “make it better” for the kids. This is a fact of life. The sooner that they learn about it, the better they will be in dealing with it. Let them fail. Don’t make them afraid of failing. Make them look at that failure in all its ugly glory because that is a teachable moment that will make them deal with failures from a better perspective. So, they failed. Ask them why they think they failed. Don’t tell them why YOU think they failed. Let them think about what THEY did. This is their failure to experience not yours. Don’t make it about you. It isn’t, so get over yourself. Looking at that experience together and processing it with them makes it a better experience than wallowing in the failure. Give it to them though, let them feel what they need to feel and then sit down and discuss it. By looking at their actions, they can then understand what they did and how they can improve.

2. I’m selfish with my Me Time – I kick them out of my room when I want privacy and want to rest. I take breaks from them and I tell them about it. Let’s get rid of the notion that being a good mom means that you are at your children’s side 24/7, especially if they’re past the age of 7. They need to see, by example, on how one should take care of one’s self. I cannot pour anything out of an empty cup. They need to know when to tell people that they have to take a break or they’ll go crazy. This goes especially to the people they love. I teach them that wanting some alone time doesn’t mean that you don’t love them anymore. It’s about taking a breather and taking care of your mental health.

 

3. I don’t sugarcoat – Santa Claus? Not real. Hitler? Very real. Yes, that’s also me on the internet. My boobs aren’t real. What’s the point of lying to your kids? I grew up in a family that had so many secrets that overtime someone dies, it was like unearthing several skeleton holding closets. There are ways of saying the truth where it won’t require them going to a therapist when they’re 40 because the deep repressed fe…oh, sorry. Point is, don’t lie but don’t drop an anvil on them. Don’t lie, especially about your mistakes and dumb ass moments. Let them see you are human too.

 

4. Related to the previous number, don’t let your kids put you on a pedestal. Sure it feels good to be called the best mom in the world but truth of the matter is we’re not the best moms. We’re barely even making it to okay-est mom sometimes. Don’t let them put you on a pedestal because you don’t want to be worshipped. My kids see me in complete disarray sometimes. They see me struggling to handle simple things like fixing the damn router. You are a human being and so are they. By allowing them to see that you make mistakes but work on a solution, you are showing them how to handle and manage problems. You’re not Thanos; they’re not too.

 

5. I ask for their advice. Not that I’m incapable of taking care of my own crap but because I want them to think. I want them to find real solutions to real world problems. “I had a fight with my best friend. What do you think should I do?” They come up with suggestions like “You should apologise and call her. Real friends will listen, mom” Sometimes, they come up with their own nuggets of wisdom for their own issues. Like that time when my oldest son said that he was going to tell his crush that he likes her, so I asked why he wanted to do that. To which he wisely replied “Life is too short to keep our feelings inside, Mom.”

Sometimes I do wonder if being a mom was the Universe’s biggest joke. Like the Creator is up there going “Let’s make it interesting. Let’s give her a daughter AND twins! Hahaha!” I’m scared shitless everyday.

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