I always prided myself on being able to see things from both sides. Working in Corporate Communications/Public Relations it was a great skill to understand what people were going through, what they wanted and how I could reach them. I thought my ability to empathize and see things from all perspectives enabled me to understand what others may be going through and that helped me not be judgmental. You never know what others are going through right? As long as they are not hurting anyone they should do whatever brings them joy. Life is too short to not find your bliss. Etc. etc. etc.
So, why do I judge myself?
Recently I came to realize that while I do not judge others, I do judge myself. Others are allowed to make mistakes, fail at things, but for some reason I had set it upon myself that I had to be a great mom, great wife, patient, kind, helping others, all the while making sure my children enjoy every aspect of their childhood… it goes by so fast right? But was that really what was happening?
Hold yourself up to a mirror
One morning, like most it was hectic, and the ever-looming threat of missing the bus hung over our heads. Then I heard it. Well I heard me. It was me, yelling. Turning red in the face while trying to make healthy, zero-waste lunches, doing homework that didn’t get done the night before due to hockey, and realizing that my other childs permission slip was due and I hadn’t gotten cash to pay for the trip. I always hated myself whenever I raised my voice at my kids, I didn’t want to be ‘that’ kind of mom.
When did I become the crazy yelling mom? Wasn’t I better than that? Then I realized I wasn’t and didn’t really want to be. I had thought I had to do everything for everyone, school, kids special classes, kids sports, clean healthy, getting my husband to eat healthy, exercising, getting my husband to exercise, getting my husband to spend more time with kids, getting kids to stop fighting, when they did stop fighting making sure they gave back to the community, had great memories, had friends, had the right friends and the list goes on.
Why wasn’t I able to do those things? Everyone else did right? There must be something wrong with me that I couldn’t get those small things done… hell I couldn’t even get my kids to clean their room. Surely it was me who was failing. Then I just stopped. I took a long look at my life and thought about what matters.
1- What kind of children to I want to raise?
2- What memories do I want to make with them?
3- If I was hit by a bus what do I hope they remember about me the most (I know it’s morbid, but it’s what I thought).
The reality is my kids both have obstacles in their way, whether ADHD, Dyslexia, anxiety, or who knows what else will come their way. No matter how hard I think I am working to help them, they are working even harder. They deserve a better version of me. They deserve a mom who doesn’t yell. A mom who doesn’t judge herself that clothes sat in her washer for so long she had to rewash it… twice! They deserve a mom who doesn’t judge herself and expect things from herself that she would tell others they were crazy to expect.
Most importantly I wanted t make sure my kids didn’t think they should expect the same things from themselves when they grew up. They need to see a strong example of being a mother, wife, friend, who sometimes makes mistakes, messes things up but always loves them.