Every Tuesday here on Phenomenal Magazine is usually reserved for moms. I usually dish life hacks for busy moms, from water conservation tips you didn’t even know were possible, to how to, say, turn your LO’s old stuff into handy household equipment.
Today, however, I just want to encourage you, mommy, to look within and learn to be the mom your children will tell their grandchildren about in years to come – a super realistic, loving and caring mom. 🙂
So here goes the big question: Does the Mommy Monster show up at your house on occasion? When the Mommy Monster yells, her anger affects the whole family. It is that moment when hell breaks lose and you see red in every single thing your children or partner does and you just…yell.
A little over two years ago, I began to realize she was showing up at my house more often than I was comfortable with. I had just had my last born, my daytime job was slipping away, my eldest daughter needed attention…and of course, my relationship was going to the dogs and everyone knew it. When I examined what dynamics brought the appearance of the Mommy Monster, I realized that my unrealistic expectations were contributing to my craziness. I was not accurately estimating everyone’s actual abilities, especially my children’s. Bottom line: I was expecting too much too soon.
As you can already guess, I was the young mom struggling with this same problem of expecting too much too soon. As a result, I beat myself up all the way to the rock bottom. The rest is history, for now.
In the recent months, I have noticed my frustration with my two-year-old constantly pushing the limits. She is your typical ‘I want my kingdom to come NOW!’ Before this, I’d been trying to potty-train her well before she began to walk and often gave up after a few trials, and run for cover for dear diapers, because I’d be at the verge of pulling my hair out.
Presently, I want the boundary battles to stop, and I want my daughter out of diapers. The problem is that neither of those goals are possible for my two-year-old to reach, especially while tackling them at the same time. So, the well-intentioned mom in me has not been accurately estimating my child’s actual abilities. I have been expecting too much too soon, which has resulted in added stress for me and her.
Many of us overestimate our abilities, for instance, to exercise self-control, to stay focused on a task, and to handle social situations that would help us achieve our goals if we mastered them. Consider this; it’s normal for a two-year-old to get upset if she doesn’t get something she wants. It’s normal for a three-year-old to lose it if there’s a change in her bedtime routine. It’s normal for a nine-year-old to daydream her way into ‘Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse’ in the middle of a creative writing class. It’s normal for a twelve-year-old to be moody. It’s normal for a teenager to be irresponsible every once in a while. It’s normal for you to lose focus in pursuit of your biggest goal. The trick is stay aware of your inner and outer worlds in a way that you can identify the cause of the loss of focus and steer yourself back on track.
Too often, however, we let our own impatience take the lead and we scold with an angry voice because deep down, we expect our children and even partners to act better than they are, compared to other women’s. We lose perspective of what is normal behavior for the children’s ages and stages of development, for instance. We get angry because they don’t live up to our off-the-charts expectations, and then the Mommy Monster shows up full force. Have you watched the Hallmark movie, ‘All Yours’, in which Nicollette Sheridan keeps a busy task board for her children in a bid to be ‘super mom’ and ‘stay on top things’ amidst her lawyer duties at the office and single mom’s life at home? Let’s be honest, most of us do stuff like that. This happens all the way from the toddler years through the teen years and even into the young adult years. . .
Remember, you are the leading expert on your child. It’s okay for you to encourage your child to do his or her best while keeping the balance of not having unreasonable expectations. Even a slight adjustment in your expectations can bring huge relief to a child who really wants to do his or her best, but is limited by his level of maturity. Believe me, my little ones and I have been happier since I ditched the Mommy Monster who never sought progress but perfection, because I was busy comparing my life with other moms’.
Get this; life gets better each day and not only do my children now learn new things they’re always excited to come home and show me, but I also learn everyday – to be patient enough to let my daughter get off diapers when she can (it’s already happening; she asks to use her potty now 🙂 ), for instance, and to let my eldest just be. I can say today; I AM a proud mommy.
Please, mommy, ditch the Mommy Monster and your life will transform in ways you never imagined. This lesson goes across the board – if you cure yourself of the ‘perfection infection’, you’ll be able to reach your goals with a much more clearer head and an awesome, winning attitude. Happy winning, phenomenal woman! You are possible!