Does Anyone Out There Actually Attain The Gold Standard Of Parenting?
I woke up at 5.30am today to meditate, be with myself, write in my journal and prepare for the day. Yummmmmm!
Creep out of bed, quietly, quietly. Go into a room and q u i e t l y close the door. Don’t want to wake anyone up ‘cos then I’ll lose this precious opportunity. My mind is already settling into stillness, I can feel this is going to be a good meditation. I’m excited for this snippet of peace before a child-filled day.
My 3-year old needs a filling in his tooth and the dentist wants to put him under full sedation in a theatre. For a filling! Really? Google the dangers of anaesthesia for a toddler. Go on, scare yourself!
So today I’m taking him to someone who is good and who’s attitude is, “If he can co-operate we can do it without sedation.” Co-operate? My little guy is in a defiance stage – he’ll do it because you told him not to. Oh the joys. Now I have to take him to lie in a scary chair, open his mouth for loud drills and injections…
I’m going to need my wits about me this morning. There’s a lot riding on it. If we can’t do it he goes into theatre. FOR A FILLING! Not gonna happen.
After that I need to shop with the little guy, fetch my wonderful visiting relative, feed, cart and contain four children under 7 from school to playdates, socialise, be nice, remain functional…
So I need this quiet time. Reeeaally need it.
But what’s this? Little feet padding up to my carefully closed door.
Oprah says a child looks to see if your eyes light up when they enter the room. Mine sure light up but not for the right reasons.
What damage did I cause when my first response to seeing my beloved son is, “Oh for %#^*$ sake’s! Not you!” (I don’t think I actually said it out loud but it’s all a blur…)
I literally feel sharp pain in my heart when I think of how that must have felt from his side – but it was one of those moments when something really good is taken away from you. That moment when your ice-cream falls out of your cone and hits the dirty floor.
And I try to repair. Barely containing my surge of rage and pain at losing My Good Thing I tell us both, “Mama needs some time alone. I especially woke up early to do it. You know you’re not allowed out of bed before 6am. Go lie with your dad for a cuddle until then. I’ll be back. I’ll be with you all day but right now I need some time alone so that I can be nice.”
Screaming , shrieking, whining, tears and clinging in response – him this time, not me. But after a while something about my angry desperation seeps in and he gives me a sweet hug and reluctantly compromises for his adoring father instead of his volatile mother.
So here I am, alone at last, taking my #%*^@ quiet time!
Adrenalin pumping, guilt, shame, anger and self-righteousness hosting a WWF championship inside me…
So much for meditation.
I want to just love them, I really do. I want to be that calm, nurturing, all-accepting, never-ruffled mom person thing but they make it so damn hard sometimes!
And it’s not even their fault. I’m sitting here now feeling like a selfish, bad mother because I wanted some alone time, especially got up at 5.30am to get it and became angry with my child for wanting his mama.
Mostly because I got angry with him about it.
Is there REALLY a mom like that out there? The one we all fantasise about and compare ourselves to? Do some parents manage to contain their irritation and weariness at ALL times? Parents who GENUINELY don’t EVER mind attending to the never-ending demands regardless of their state of well-being or health? Is it only about my issues, my wounding?
Do you ever wonder, does anyone out there actually attain The Gold Standard of Parenting or are we all shaming ourselves over a fantasy?