Sunday, April 02, 2006

MamaSaysOm - Blue


Dear Britton,

It's after weekends like these that my heart feels black and blue, bruised and tender. It's after weekends like these that I wonder if I'm cut out for this. I wonder if you're not better off with someone else. I love you more than anything. I'd give my life for you. But you deserve more. You deserve someone who doesn't get so angry. Someone who doesn't scream so much. Someone who isn't so overwhelmed that she can't get out of bed. You deserve someone who'll laugh with you and play with you and take you on grand adventures and it just seems that anytime I try to be that person it always falls apart. I have the best intentions in the world but somehow they never seem to play out the way I'd imagined.

We started our weekend off on the wrong foot. Daddy was out of town and I was really looking forward to our special weekend together. I bought tickets for Sesame Street Live, we had Kalysta's 6th birthday party, and I'd planned a photo date. But before we could even get out of the parking lot of your daycare we were fighting. Ten minutes later we were at it again because while driving down a busy access road you opened your car door. We butted heads a couple more times before we finally made it to Kalysta's party. Once there nothing seemed to go your way and because you were tired you became a little too grouchy, whiney and rebellious. I ended up having to make one of the hardest decision of my life, a decision that broke your heart. After getting in trouble several times for not minding and being put in time out twice, I had to make you leave the party. You cried so hysterically that we had to sit in the car before going home because I couldn't get you buckled in the car seat. You have never been so crushed and heartbroken.

Honestly, I'm still second guessing my decision. Was it the wrong choice? Was it too harsh? Did it break your heart so badly you'll never forgive me? Will it leave an indelible mark on your psyche? Did it wound your spirit? I've been wondering about these questions and part of the reason for my wondering is because I know some of the motive behind my choice was more about me than you. You see, I've had a lot of voices telling me what is and isn't good parenting. Since Kyler was about 1 (Kyler is my sister's oldest child and the first grandchild of the family) I've heard all about being a good mother. Everyone (and I'm guilty too) has talked about Karee behind her back--she let's her kids run wild, she doesn't discipline them, they're out of control, she doesn't give them enough attention, she doesn't care about them, she's doesn't listen to their needs, she doesn't protect them, etc. All the different opinions of her parenting has indirectly formed a "good mother"/"bad mother" image in my mind. And I know part of my decision to leave the party was so I wouldn't be accused of letting my child get away with unacceptable behavior. I'm guilty of basing my decision not on what was best for you but on what I thought was best for everyone else. I didn't want to be the one talked about--"there was a house full of shrieking 6 year olds. As if that weren't wild enough Michelle let Britton whine and cry and misbehave." The irony is that by making you leave the party and breaking your heart they probably talked about me anyway. If it's not the lack of discipline it's the harsh and unreasonable treatment. You can't win either way. And Friday night I certainly didn't win.

I remember all the times before you were born when I'd see a mother with a screaming child in Wal-Mart. I never remember thinking, that poor woman, I bet she's had a really lousy day and she's exhausted and doing the best she can. No, I always thought, when I become a mother I'll never let my child act that way in public. Judgments really do come back to bite you in the butt. Now here I am, a mother myself, and that voice is still ringing in my head, dictating my actions. I'm constantly wondering about everybody else's opinion, wondering if they're thinking, my god why can't that lady control her child, she's letting him run wild. I feel the pressure to be perfect so that others won't think less of me, so that others won't think I'm a "bad mother," so that others won't be inconvenienced. And I'll be honest with you, there have been times I've been so angry with you because I have looked like an inadequate parent. I know I'm supposed to let go of those voices but I don't know how. They are so loud and overpowering and controlling.

They say children are resilient. They bounce back and forgive so easily. It's true. The morning after the birthday debacle you were all smiles. When I told you we were going over to Karee's to have breakfast with Kalysta and her friends you said, thank you mom. I won't cry. I'll be good. How could you thank me? I broke your heart, made you cry yourself to sleep, and ruined an evening you'd been looking forward to for days. I don't deserve that. And promising me that you would be good further bruised me heart. I never, never wanted you to think that you were bad. Maybe you were grouchy and irritable and whiney but you weren't bad. You're not bad. You are everything that is beautiful. The fact that you thought you were bad broke my heart and I can't live with knowing I made you feel this way. I tried to explain but I'm not certain you understood and I fear all you'll remember from the evening is that I made you go home because you were bad. How do I help you understand the difference between who you are in the core of your being and your behavior? Certainly they are intertwined but they are also separate and that's a concept your almost-three-year-old mind just can't grasp yet.

Children may be resilient but mommies aren't. They remember. They carry the bruises on their hearts. Every time I yell at you I hate myself and I never let myself forget it. Every time I make a choice I regret it latches onto my heart and weighs me down a little more. Every time I fail you I become a little less confident in myself and a little more certain that I don't deserve you. I just wish I didn't fail you so damn often. The really awful thing about parenting is that there isn't any kind of manual to help you along the way. There isn't any book that will tell you exactly how to handle the different situations we'll encounter. So I'm stuck muddling through in the pitch dark making some of the most disastrous mistakes of my life. Most of the time while I'm busy trying to decided what the right course of action is it's already escalated to such a horrific degree that I'm screwed. The situation is out of control and I can't find my way out of all the gray...and another mistake is made. I just can't help but believe that you deserve so much more than my mistakes and failures.

Perhaps one of the lessons to learn from parenting is how to rest in the powerlessness (because god knows I feel completely powerless.) Maybe I'm supposed to be learning that in the powerlessness is my strength. Maybe I'm supposed to be learning to accept my inadequacies and embrace the part of myself that doesn't have all the answers. But there isn't time for that when I have to keep you from dodging out in front of cars and being taken by a child molester. Instead of resting I'm wrapped in all my fears of what could happen. So I find myself becoming the crazy woman in the street yelling at her child because he was almost run over by a car. And I never wanted to be that woman...and I certainly don't like that women...and yes, there are so many critical eyes turned towards me, wondering why this woman doesn't know how to control her kid.

I know I've said it a hundred times but I just want to say it once more: I'm sorry. I'm really, really sorry for every time I've lost my patience, for every time I've yelled, for every time I've been so enraged that I made you feel less than beautiful. And I'm sorry for anytime I've hurt you. Those are my darkest moments and that is never the mother I wanted to be. I want to be the one person you can always count on. I want to be the one person you never doubt loves you with everything she has. I want to be the one set of eyes that always light up when you enter the room. And I know I fall short of this. And that is why my heart is black and blue. I love you more than anything but I'm learning that that isn't enough. Loving someone is a great start but it just isn't enough.

Please remember you are the love of my life...even when I'm acting like a crazy woman,
Mommy

40 Comments:

Blogger yaya said...

My Mummy passed away nearly 7 months ago. A few weeks before, she had apologised for being an awful Mum: for having to work all of the time, for making me do chores, for being too tired to be a 'good mother'. Most of all she was abhored at the smackings and the yelling and the punishments. I told her I could not remember any of that - I only remembered her smile, her cuddles, her wonderful laugh and how she made me feel like the most beautiful, special and intelligent girl in the world. That's how I will always remember her. Please forgive yourself, your baby boy already has.

11:49 PM  
Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

Michelle, being a good Mother is being a Mother who second guesses every move she makes; Being a good mother means you will have days and days of feeling like you are wrong. Being a good Mother will make you think you were a bad Mother, because there is always room for improvement, and good Mother's thrive on thinking they can be better! Being a good Mother is a work out, a constant choice, questioning everything over and over, reading labels and doubting, and doubting and doubting and then worrying that what we did was all wrong and it could be better.
Michelle, you are an honest caring good Mother, as you see being a good Mother is not easy. It is not just cupcakes, ice cream and lotsa kisses. It is hard work and double guessing.
Believe in yourself, and calm those voices down inside you.
Michelle welcome to the Good Motherhood Club.

12:16 AM  
Anonymous Irene said...

Michelle, you're such a wonderful person and a great mom. if only you could sense how much love and light you bring into our lives. I'm surprised I did not have a heart attack yet.

12:19 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

Michelle, I think you are flailing yourself unnecessarily. Parents and children spend a lot of time figuring out where the boundaries are or should be. The best long term strategy for a parent is 'consequences'. "If you don't play nicely, we will go home", "If you throw a tantrum I will leave the groceries in the trolley and go home", "If you don't put your clothes in the clothes basket, they wont get washed" etc etc etc.

The hard part is carrying out the consequence. But if you don't then they learn that you wont. And that is worse. It does not mean that you don't love them, it means that life has rules, best learn about them.

2:25 AM  
Blogger EmergingCrone said...

Michelle...

You don't have to be a "good mother" just "good enough" and you surpassed that before your son was even born...

As I read your reflections... I wondered how does Michelle mother herself? What imagery or self-soothing techniques does she use to shower herself with the deep love that she shines on her boy-child?

Do you love yourself enough to accept all the parts of you?

Do you love yourself as much as you love your son?

This cames to mind as I was reading...

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.


MARY OLIVER
Dream Work

Love to you both...
Julie in Virginia

3:30 AM  
Blogger Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

I just found you from a link at Blogging Baby.

As so many other mothers probably can, I really relate to how you feel. Somtimes I have made decisions that I regretted or at least questioned and then I just feel so guilty about it.

And there are other times when due to grumpiness, I am just not the parent I want to be. This afternoon was one of those for me. He was tired and whiney and I was getting so frustrated. I was grumpy and stern with him and I felt so bad about it.

What honesty adn humility you shared here.

But remember - you are being hard on yourself and you are probably doin a great job as a parent. How do I know? No bad parent would be so in tune with their childs emotions and needs, nor would a bad parent be going over it all in such a detail. You obviously are trying to be the best mom you can - and you are just human.

Nice to meet you,

janice

4:07 AM  
Blogger susan said...

oh dear, i hope you are healing yourself here and realize that boundry exploration is part of the process. it hurts a lot. but in the end, you have children who respect you, respect themselves and feel confident where ever they may roam. doesn't seem like it now. i know exactly how you feel. but the challenges just get harder as you both get older.The only thing that grew for me was my patience. ... being able to choose which things were most important. good luck -- i know you can do it because you are already doing it right. -motherly hug-

4:40 AM  
Blogger The Whole Self said...

xo

5:11 AM  
Blogger Living Part Deux said...

Michelle, you have been blessed with a boy who has a strong will. Along with that blessing comes a huge responsibility to teach that will boundaries so your son can contribute to the world in all the wonderful ways he was born to share. Fighting those toddler battles is completely exhausting - and there is not one mother who doesn't sometimes (or continually) feel overwhelmed and crummy for coming down so strong on her sweet baby. It's just part of the package. I so relate to the motivation that sometimes creeps in to want others to think you are a good mother. I lived that too. All you can do is get quiet and look at your motives and commit to doing what YOU think is right for Britton - every day is a new day, and grace comes with every new day. I'm on the other end of the process - and now I look at my wonderful, beautiful, powerful, intelligent, responsible woman daughter and think - how did this happen in spite of my mistakes? But in my heart, I know I must have done some things right, too. And what she remembers is the love. Lots of love!

5:40 AM  
Blogger Toni said...

Children need to know that certain behaviour is not acceptable and there are consequences. I don't believe you were wrong in removing him from the situation. I think we have been made to feel guilty for upsetting our children when sometimes you just have to. I have two grown (21 and 22) children and I don't think I denied them enough. But, it is hard to hear them cry as if their hearts are breaking in two. It is hard to say no five or five hundred times. I was a single mom (ex was in the Navy) and often had weekends like you have described. But, my kids are not broken, they are not depressed, they thrive and they tell me that I was a great mom.

5:53 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

Michelle,
I had a mom who didn't have a lot of patience.I had a mom who when she got angry "yelled" and "yelled" and "yelled". I had a mom who at times I had to be the parent.

You know what... she was and is still my best friend. I never hated her, I never questioned her. I always loved her and all that came with.

She still has a hard time with the guilt she feels for how she parented. And as her child I wish that she would release that guilt and stop carrying it around. She was a great mom. So so mom's yell and good moms discipline. And at times I deserved it. But she never hit me, she always shared her feelings with me and she always loved me with everything she had.

You did the right thing. And even if it were the wrong thing, it's still ok. There will be more birthday parties. And if they are important to Britton he will behave at them . Special events like that are a privillage. They are not a place to act up- even if other kids are. You taught him a wonderful lesson!!!! Even if it doesn't feel that way.

And if you want to do Britton a favor. Let go of the guilt. That would be the best gift you could give him. It's the one gift I wish my mom would give me.

Sam

6:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Letting your child open the car doors while in motion is irresponsible... They do have child safety locks on most rear car doors, and sitting a child in the front seat is equally irresponsible. That was something you yelled at your child for...yet was really your fault. Get a clue lady.

6:36 AM  
Anonymous Charmaine said...

Well, I don't know as though I agree with the comment above -- they obviously don't know how quickly little kids move, even with child-lock doors.

I'm sorry to hear your plans for weekend fun did not meet your expectations. I guess it just goes to show us all that we can really want things to happen, but it doesn't always work out that way.

Be proud of your introspection. Your courage and your ability to appologize. Those are not easy things to do.

6:49 AM  
Blogger ArtsyMama said...

Michelle,
Thank you so much for this post. Glad to hear you're doing ok. I know there's nothing I can say to make it all better, but I can say I DO know many of the feelings you are having. I have been there. And I'm sure it will happen again and again. I try to plant as many seeds of love and compassion as I can and try to take a deep breath when things get crazy, but nobody is perfect. As long as you keep striving to be the best parent you can be and I know that you ARE. Those moments have passed, now enjoy *this* moment. Peace to you and your little man:) Take care.

7:16 AM  
Blogger gkgirl said...

oh my goodness...
i actually had a hard time
reading this whole post
because i immediately
wanted to go straight to the comments
and tell you that you are doing the
right thing...
by enforcing your words
and showing consequences
you are doing the right thing
and he will thank you for it later.

in my mind,
(and this is the mind of
an early childhood educator, remember)
(heehee)
people who do NOT discipline their
children are NOT doing them any favors
in the long run...they are only
setting them up for failure
in the real world that does
demand self control and some
degree of attentiveness and listening...

in the end,
go with your instincts and
forget what others may be thinking...
they are only seeing a snapshot
into your day, into your life...
you need to do whats best for you
and what you beleive in...

the fact that he said he would be good
the next day and thanked you for taking him is sooooo good...
it shows that you did the right thing
and he got the lesson...

i always said i would sooner be
judged as the stricter mom
with kids that other people want around
than the lesser strict mom
that other people cringe when
the kids come in...

i hope this is making sense,
see what happens when you get me
all worked up
:)

7:25 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Michelle, I think you are being super hard on yourself, I would have left the party too, hey there are consequences, and this consequence was to leave the party, of course it hurt him, no one wants to get in trouble. So if it makes you feel any better I don't think leaving the party was the wrong thing to do.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Emma's Mom said...

Hi Michelle,

I just got here via blogging baby.

You have put words to my own struggles as a parent as well. The guilt is very very heavy. I struggle with my anger and frustrations. I'm not perfect. I've apologized to my baby more times than I'd like to admit for losing my cool.

But, I think previous commenters are right. It is all part of this tough job of parenthood. If we were truly bad parents, we wouldn't feel guilty and try so hard to be 'perfect'.

Take a deep breath and know you are not alone.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Toryssa said...

The hardest part of being a parent is the part where you teach them, and are responsible for their behaviour, responsible for helping them become productive, generous, kind and GOOD members of society. Britton knows he is loved, he knows he is beautiful, and now he knows that some behaviour is unacceptable. All of those things he knows because of you, and all of those things are things that he needs to know.
Don't beat yourself up for being a Mother. Motherhood is so much more than bedtime stories and tickling chubby thighs, and you are doing the very best you can. Believe in yourself, Michelle!

8:38 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

Michelle, sheesh you had the blog world in an uproar. I am so glad that you are ok and feeling able to talk about what happened over the weekend.

This is why parenting is the hardest job in the world. There is always that delicate balance between not wanting to hurt their feelings but also trying to teach them what is right and wrong.

Just remember that you are the parent, the adult here. Leaving the party was the best memory you could of given your son. You taught him a lesson in self control. And that is priceless.
a.

8:41 AM  
Blogger LiteraryGirl said...

I so appreciate your honesty, once again.

He thanked you because you set boundaries. I would have done the same thing and yes, it would have been half because of my child's behavior and half because if I stayed, I would lose it, and also fear being judged by others. I have been in this situation and felt guilty because of how upset they were, and been told by others that I was being too harsh, but kids remember big consequences because of bad behavior. I'm shocked later when I talk to my child after the incident how they understand exactly that they were being disobedient and why they were punished. Kids are smarter than we think.

This hits home because we had to walk out of church yesterday because of bad behavior, and I cried all the way home. Parenting is so hard.

I find myself acting out irrationally based on my fears (yelling like a maniac at a child as they run toward the street, getting angry at them when they do something that could cause them harm) all because I had an adrenaline rush of fear that I don't know how to channel. Because parenting is the most terrifying thing I have ever experienced.

Thanks again for the post.

8:47 AM  
Blogger PJ said...

Don't feel bad...you did the right thing! Remember saying "No" and meaning it is NOT defeating your child it is leading it..if they know you will be upset by their rying they will play on it and things will forever be a power struggle. Stick to your guns (I have a almost 10 and 14 yr old..and it really is easy when you set the ground rules and form the solid 'basement' for them- THIS is showing love! Saying yes or going to there every whim esp. at this stage...is abuse because they have too much control...then imagine at 14? I know you love your kids dearly and that will show trust me, but don't be afraid to say no regardless of their reactions. You DO NOT fall short- remember your unhappy at his actions not him...remember to separate that! What deep and truthful stuff and we have all gone through this type doubt, but with my kids ages I'm seeing the results of my hard work of being hard sometimes...and trust me, you can very sloooowly release that as they become more mature in their life. but at ages 0-5 you dictate everything ..it's not up to them-nor should it be! I know it's hard sometimes and we are all here cheering you on!!! be consistant and have clear consequences if it doesn't go YOUR way. (not the childs) That is leading in a loving way! Keep going it will be worth it! (sorry so long!)..I DO know it's hard! God MUST have a sense of humor!!!!!

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh Michelle-- I think you are amazing. and parenting is THE hardest job in the world. HARDEST. It makes brain surgery look like a walk in the park. You have healed so many by writing this post and being so honest.

It made me remember so many times when I exhibited horrible behavior as a child and ruined something lovely that my mother had planned. It hurts so much to remember.

This was such a powerful post.

~bluepoppy

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

I don't think you're a crazy woman. I just don't. I think you're a mama - a smart one - who did the right thing, in my opinion, when your child was having a difficult time being at the party. Sometimes, especially, it seems, when I plan a great day, the day begins to unravel faster than I could have imagined. Little things add up and finally there is an explosion. It sounds like your day unraveled, and the party was the explosion. If you had managed to calm your son down at the party, that would probably have been like putting the lid back on a previously boiling pot of water. it just would have boiled up again. Sometimes, you've got to take the lid off and leave it off. It sounds like he needed you to do that for him, and you did.

Sometimes I forget that it's okay to let my little boy get to the point of total frustration and tears. i try to comfort and fix when what he could really use is a meltdown. I prefer to do meltdowns, if I can swing it, in places that aren't public. Jacob seems to prefer this too. He feels shy about being around people if he's totally lost it in front of them. And he seems to appreciate boundaries when he feels out of control of his emotions.

I know it feels like everyone is watching, waiting to see if we are going to screw up as mamas, or simply people for that matter. The thing is, whether they're watching or not, we will screw up. We just do. That's how we learn. But in this case, Michelle, I just don't think you did. I think you let your little boy feel what he felt and even though that meant he couldn't stay at the party, that doesn't mean what you did was wrong.

xxooJennifer

9:39 AM  
Blogger Deb R said...

As several others have said, I think you did the right thing to make Britt leave the party. And I don't think you should be beating yourself up that he said it was because he was bad. I doubt very seriously that he meant he thought he was a bad person! It was a toddler way of saying that he knew he'd behaved badly and that it was because of that behavior that he lost the privelege of staying at the party! That means you're doing your job as a parent, Michelle. It sucks that being the parent means being "mean" sometimes, but it just does.

You seem to have this idea that in order to be a good parent you need to be perfect, and that simply isn't true. It isn't even possible. The very best, most loving parents in the world have times when they're tired and cranky and depressed and angry and have serious doubts about their decisions and wish they could run away. That's not bad, that's NORMAL. YOU are NORMAL and human.

Britt could bounce back from just about anything except losing you because you didn't think you were doing the mommy-job "right". Please try to be more gentle with yourself, ok?

9:43 AM  
Blogger Josephine said...

This is so endearing and unbelievably humane, caring, and selfless.

You are a wonderful, wonderful mother. I don't need to know you personally to know that.

Your mistakes are not so terrible. Truly, your son will learn better how to adapt to an ever-changing world by everything that happens around him. Including when you happen.

No matter what you may believe, you did not break your son's heart. He is a very young child, and his emotions are easily swayed to extremes. On the contrary, you are helping him learn how to self-soothe, how to discern between a truly terribly situation and one that is really, really not that bad.

Hold tight. Keep your head up. Everything you do will, in the end, be something a wonderful mother would do. Because you are.

Nothing will change that.

10:18 AM  
Blogger megg said...

listen to all of the words people have written and know that he is a very lucky boy and you are a great GREAT Mom.

1:03 PM  
Blogger melba said...

Michelle,
I read the comment. Of course the person who writes something negative (and incorrect...where does it say he was in the front seat?) doesn't even leave a link to their email or blog.
That was not constructive criticism, it was just plain mean.
I know those are the comments that stick to us...I hate that.
But try to shake it off.
Motherhood is so difficult and there is no manual. We are all just doing our best...and I think that is the key...to come from a place of honest, loving intention...then I think it all works out.
Isn't it great though that we have this blogging world...I would just go crazy (literally) without all of you!
(((hugs)))
-Melba

1:12 PM  
Blogger M said...

Thank you so much for being so honest with your posts. Being someone who is looking forward to becoming a mom in the future, I need to know about the hard stuff as well as the wonderful stuff. You are doing a brilliant job, as far as I can tell!
Be gentle with yourself, being a mom is a full time, full throttle, full body/mind/spirit job and you are doing as much as you can everyday. Like one of your comments said, he won't even remember the so called "bad" moments!

1:48 PM  
Anonymous samantha said...

I agree so much with many of the people here. I know I'm not a mom yet - no, not even close - but I so resonate with the fact that you're doing things far more right than wrong. You didn't let Britton run all over the place, out of control. You made a decision, and no he didn't like it, but he learned from it. You can't control meltdowns, they happen, but you can deal with them, even if it means removing the kid to a quiet spot (the car, home, etc.) Any person who's ever really dealt with a kid knows they happen - kids get tired,hot or just plain grumpy. It happens. It's not a character flaw, it's just hard on the ears and heart!

I hope you are loving yourself through this, and know that you really are a fabulous mother. Britton is so blessed to have you. And this is the hardest job in the world. Lots of love to you, wondrous woman.

2:46 PM  
Blogger lela said...

i think you did the right thing to leave the party... i would have.
children NEED/CRAVE boundaries. without them they feel lost. i am almost certain that is why he thanked YOU for doing something special for him the next day. he felt SAFE and LOVED.

i almost called you last night. tried to find your number on the internet... i was very worried about you!
email me if you would like...
collagemama at sbcglobal dot net

xoxoxoxo

3:07 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

These are beautiful words that paint how we ALL have felt at some point. Thanks for being so honest with your feelings. It lets us know we are not alone!

But you shouldn't be so hard on yourself for leaving the party. Lela (above) is right. Children long to feel safe and taken care of. That means they need to know someone more powerful than them, who loves them, is in charge. When kids are allowed to stay out of control, it scares them a little. In my past life I counseled kids who didn't have anyone like that to care for them. It is a FAR worse pain, and far worse for them, believe me.
And at her age, one lesson like that is not hurting her at all! It would take many, and much more unfair and much more painful lessons to hurt her self-concept. Instead, she just got to see that sometimes we can get very upset, and still the world goes on just fine! It's a GOOD lesson to learn. People who don't learn this one are very bad off in life!
You ARE a GOOD mom. I can tell. And your baby knows it, too!

3:49 PM  
Blogger Cee said...

Setting boundaries for children when they're tired, cranky and irritable - even if they have been looking forward to the event - is a wonderful thing. You're doing the hardest job in the world, and you're doing it extremely well. Try not to doubt yourself so much. As others have said, you're only human. We all grow up with human mothers, and they all shout at us, and regret it - but they also love us, enormously, all-encompassingly, and that is the most important thing. You love Britton. You are raising him to be a wonderful man, and because of your love and mothering (I wish there was a better word for that) he will always count on you.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

Um, sorry I said "her age" in the last post. (blush) HIS age.

Also, that Anon post way up before? What IS it with some peop--Oh sorry(snif.snif) I think I (snif.snif) smell...ASS somewhere around here.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Yummyteece said...

I'm not a mom, so I can't imagine or say what i would do. However, it sounds to me like you were a GREAT mom. You did what needed to be done, without violence or cruelty... but with discipline and love. Kudos to you.

5:19 PM  
Blogger SUEB0B said...

Aw jeez honey, don't be so hard on yourself. You are a good mom.

Kids need boundaries and to know there are consequences for their actions.

8:16 PM  
Blogger twistedsoda said...

I've never been a mom, I wish to be one so so bad. Time is slipping away from me and all I wish for right now is to be a mom just like you! You have love that could fit and fill the horizon. That is all any child could ever dream of.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Bohemian Girl said...

i second twisted soda...you have such a big, big love and it is indeed everything a child could dream of.

i feel like all of the warm fuzzies here in your comments is everything i wanted to say...so i will just nod in agreement (with the exception of the meany at the top) and give you a warm, juicy hug.

xoxoxoxo

10:19 PM  
Blogger acumamakiki said...

Oh Michelle, I want to cry after reading this. Because I've been there too, you know I have my sister-girlfriend. And at the end of the day, I think you did the right thing even though it seemed like poor B's heart was broken. I've had to carry Ava out of places screaming and crying and then the next day, she'll promise to be good, promise to listen and it kills me. Nowadays she'll reprimand herself and say I've been a very bad girl, I haven't listened to you.....and I want to die. Because even though we've NEVER said 'you're a bad girl' somehow the message has been conveyed that she is.
Britton knows you love him Michelle, this is why he acts out in the worst ways with you; because he knows he's safe and loved and that he CAN.
As for all the advice that I doled out before I had a kid.....well, I've eaten humble pie more than I can count. "Why can't you just...." or "I would never...." well, I have and will and probably will continue to, so now I shut my mouth, say a silent prayer and hope that whomever is in the throes of a wild child incident, that it passes for that person as well.

And to the anonymous chicken shit person that wrote the nasty comment, at least if you're going to throw someone under the bus, be a big enough person to identify yourself. It's very easy to judge and feel like you're superior, but until you've walked in the person's shoes you're judging, keep your nasty comments to yourself. No one wants to hear that negativity and you're not a very compassionate person if you can't see that we all have moments like this. Shame on you.

4:58 AM  
Blogger Mardougrrl said...

I'm there everyday myself...the desperate desire to be a "good mommy" somehow and feeling like we're failing on some days. Someone told me something, shortly after I gave birth, that has stuck with me.

You are ABSOLUTELY the BEST mother for your child.

You did what you thought was right at the time...and like someone above said, you set boundaries. It's a tough road at the beginning (and the middle...) but Britton loves you for loving him enough to do that.

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Marilyn said...

I understand why what happened hurt you so deeply and I hope that as Sam said here, you're able to let go of the guilt. Kids ARE resilient (as you later wrote) and they do want boundaries and discipline. I can only speak for myself and those I've discussed childhood with, but I have yet to meet one person who carries memories from their first few years, so Britton may never remember what happened. But YOU will, so it's important for you to heal YOUR hurt feelings. If only it were simple to just live our lives as we see fit, without fearing that others will judge us. We would never think of living our lives to suit the whims of the guy selling newspapers on the corner...but once someone is "family" we give them such extraordinary power over us...and it's so universal. I think from everything I've read on your blog that you're a deeply loving, caring, wonderful mother...and Britton's a very lucky little guy to have you as his Mom. Big hugs.

4:09 AM  

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