Twenty years ago when I began this journey through motherhood. I was filled with high ideals.
I would be a great mum.I had watched my own mum in action,and I was very sure,
I would not be at all like her.
I would always be understanding.
When my child was home late I would listen before ranting.
I would not judge my childrens friends, by the clothes they wore or their attitude.
If my child had difficulty with an exam and did poorly, I would not over react.
There would be no real need for major punishment.
If my child says “My teacher hates me”, I would believe them and be sympathetic.
My child and I would be friends.
As I listen to newer mothers, I remember those days of mothering young children.
Days when I adored and I was adored.
When I had hopes and dreams, and visions of my families future.
I could pick up a tantrum fueled two year old, and remove them from public view.
However eventually the day comes, when the tantrums continue,
but you can no longer just pick the child up.
New skills are required.
Those children who loved us dearly, all, without exception, grow into teenagers.
Experience has taught me, and changed me.
My mothering has changed.
The more my children say, “You’re so mean”, the better the job of mothering I am doing.
If my child is late, I am on the alert.
If my child is enjoying time with questionable friends, I am on high alert.
If my child says “honestly mum, I’m telling the truth”, I say to myself “Maybe, maybe not!”
So even though they think I do not understand them,
I do in fact understand my children very well.
I love them unconditionally…. but do not trust them unquestionably.
I listen carefully to them…so I can hear all they are not telling me.
I am their mother….not their best friend.
I have learned that all children need boundaries.
My childrens job is to push those boundaries, and mine is to hold them firm.
So overall I wear my “You’re so mean mom” badge with pride.
It tells me I’m doing something right,
because sometimes it takes a “bad” mother to be a “good” mother.