I feel like parenting is one big game of dressing up all the imperfections to make them look like a tv sitcom. Social media makes us feel like we need to be perfect. We hear (or read) about people getting judged for parenting decisions we have all faced at one point or another. As a matter of fact, we see people getting judged for things that are totally ridiculous and not necessarily a conscious parenting choice (like Victoria Beckham kissing her daughter on the mouth - something my son does to me and my husband both). So we paint this picture of perfection. I'm guilty of it too!
This means that we feel like everyone around us is perfect. So we feel less-than-stellar when our kids do things they aren't supposed to do. As a matter of fact, we feel downright embarrassed and as if we have somehow failed at this parenting thing.
A few months ago, Caleb started hitting. We had never hit him, so I'm not sure where it came from. It seemed it was born of frustration, and he would just smack me over and over and over again. When I got upset, he would stop, grab my face, and kiss me (square on the mouth - I'm looking at you, Posh Spice haters). The first time it happened around other people, I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole. Then it kept occurring.
So I posted in this Mommy group I'm a part of on Facebook, and asked for "No judgement please." And guess what?! I didn't get judgement - I actually got multiple versions of, "Oh dear Lord I'm so glad you said something because I thought I was the only one going through this." At least ten other moms in that group were going through the same thing and were also feeling embarrassed about what their child was doing.
And in that moment, I realized it. I'm not alone. My kid is not the first, nor will he be the last child to hit his parents out of frustration. And instead of being embarrassed, I should definitely seek out help and advice from other parents who have been through the same thing.It made me realize how silly it was for me to feel like my son and I had to be perfect, all the time.
A few days later, I ended up realizing that he only hit me when he was overtired, so I try not to let him get to that point anymore, But in the meantime, it served as an invaluable lesson. No matter how embarrassed I feel by my child's behavior - there is always someone out there who is more embarrassed by something their kid just did than you are.
We're all in this together, Mommas.
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