I am not a perfect parent

Yesterday. Target. Arora was lying on the floor blocking a whole isle. She had been pretending to be a snake and had mostly been following close enough to me that I didn’t really care. Then another shopper wanted to get down the isle she was blocking. I beckoned to Arora to move. She didn’t. Then the other shopper gave me the eye. The “I don’t approve of your parenting skills and your kids are going to end up in jail” look.
I was immediately embarrassed and defensive. I shouted, loudly for Arora to get up and move right now. She looked at me and started saying “I am bad” over and over. Ouch. That hurt me way worse then the lady who I will never see again. Arora decided from my shouting, the tone of my voice and I’m sure look on my face that she was bad.

I immediately  got down on the floor with her and told her she was not bad, she was good. I told her I was sorry, I was wrong to shout at her and that she was not bad.
I told her I was upset because she was blocking peoples way and that she needed to listen to me when I asked her to move.

I told her that I would try and not shout at her, that I loved her and she was good. All the while on the floor blocking the whole isle way.

I am not a perfect parent. I need to read this. To tell myself that I am not expected to be perfect.  I don’t expect others to be perfect parents.

Ten minutes before this event, we had been in the baby stuff section. There was a new looking mom, with a screaming little one. I  stopped to ask her how old her daughter was, to coo at her for just a moment. To smile at her and hopefully tell her: I’ve been there, it gets easier, you are doing well!

I am going to make more of an effort to be the smiling non judging stranger in the store. And less of the get out of my way I’m in a hurry stranger in the store.

This post was inspired my my friend Lauren post on the same topic.

 

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13 thoughts on “I am not a perfect parent

  1. This was a very touching story Holly. I didn’t even know any of this happened until I read this post.

    No, none of us will be perfect parents in this life, but in my humble (and completely unbiased) opinion, you are a terrific one. And you are getting better every day. I’m glad you are sharing these experiences with others through your blog.

  2. I love telling mamas in the store how beautiful their children are. Stores are such a difficult place to take a child — so many distractions, so much marketing aimed at them, so many people/strangers with different values.

    No, none of us are perfect parents, but I’ll bet we all wish we were. You’re doing well.

  3. I love your blog so much, Holly. I wish that I had had the internet and blog support of other mothers when I was a young mother.
    No, we are not perfect. Yes, we make many mistakes. But I learned that honesty and expressing feelings was a good way to move past those mistakes. I know my children are not perfect, but I appreciate that they communicate with me and they know that I have feelings, too.

  4. First of all I have to say what is with Target and kids acting crazy. It seems like when we go there the boys decide to act the craziest. Maybe it is the big red sign. Any way Holly you are a great parent. But I know how you feel. I have come to realize that I am my own worst critic when it comes to parenting. I agree with you about the judging thing. I think the best thing we can do as mother’s is not to judge others. It has taken me a while and some wonderful teaching by my own children to humble me. I am thankful we don’t have to be perfect if we were we wouldn’t need to be here.

  5. I think it’s important for parents to read stories like yours. I don’t know why it’s like a reflex action to put the other person over our own child…perhaps because we want to put other people before ourselves and maybe we see our children as an extension of ourselves? But they are their own separate person, and they are just little children. If I was that stranger, I wouldn’t have been giving you “that look.” In fact, I probably would have smiled encouragingly to you, laughed within at the imagination of the adorable child-snake on the floor, and just gone around another way.

    I very rarely allow someone to make me feel I need to change the way I parent for their sake. However, I do feel an annoying tug-of-war within myself when those situations come up. It helps if you’ve already made up your mind that you are going to stick up for yourself and your child.

    • I think the reaction is more of a knee- jerk reaction then actually thinking about being embarrassed. I was back at Target (wrong sized shirt uh) today and there was another look down her nose at me lady, but I held my head high and smiled back at her. Then I loudly said “Arora you are being so well behaved”, which she was. I think people have standards for kids that are way beyond their abilities. So it seems they are always failing. When in reality they are well behaved for their age and temperament.

  6. Seriously. I don’t know why, but nothing gets at the parent part of us more than a rude person in the store, right? Man. Since having Olivia I have really made an extra effort to smile at the people with crazy kids. Because some days it is my kid. And, hopefully, on those days, I’ll run into somebody more like you. 🙂

  7. wow! completely hear ya, been there done that. I’ve had days where I “just don’t care” and don’t get defensive…because I want to make a point about being rebellious that after all she’s is a baby..she’s not expected to do this or that..and my daughter is 2 yrs 3 months old..
    then days where I am “Acting” defensive…very half heartedly *grin* just to pretend to appease..but I don’t really expect my daughter to move. And there are days, where I am jumpy and have yelled at her a couple of times, I try not to do that anymore. Because yes, my tone gives her the impression that she is bad, and she so isn’t.
    But its true, I would like to not have to have this conundrum and playing around to pretend and appease ..that would be wonderful!
    I am also one of those mommies who stop and try to say, it gets better.

  8. I always try my best to extend a smile and kind words to parents with antsy, crying little ones. We’ve ALL been there. It doesn’t help to pretend that we haven’t.

  9. Today I hit maple in the head with my nook! After I got mad and she cried I realized maybe I should not be reading but spending time with her 🙂

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