That mom who has it all together? That's not me. But I can pretend with the best of them and make you think I have it all together.
When I know eyes are on me, watching me interact with Nixon, I'm ON! It's go time. I use my gentle voice, I'm attentive to what Nixon wants/needs and I even feed him the healthy snacks!
But when I'm OFF... it's not like I ignore him let me set the record straight about that right now. It's more like I encourage him to be free-thinking and self-dependent. I'm comfortable at home with Nixon doing his own thing. He's almost 4, I need him to be resilient enough to not always need me to be his playmate. As an only child this is one of his biggest stereotypes to overcome. He's not always the center of attention in our home.
WHAT?!?!? An only child who is not the universe to his parents??
No, that's not what I said. Nixon is my world and beyond, but I owe it to him to let him take his turn, teach him manners, make him share (not just toys, but attention too) and *tell him "no".
*This is my weakest point! When I'm around friends or other moms, I'm good with the "no". But when it's just me and Nixon, I'm not as strong. I'm too quick to reward good behavior in public, to the point its almost an expectation than a reward.
Why can't I be the pretend mom all the time? Why do I beat myself up for not being a "good' and health-conscious mom all the time? Why do I feel guilty when I see Nixon happily playing by himself? Why do his imaginary tales that make me giggle in awe at his thoughts, also make my heart hurt because sometimes it seems he's so deep in his own head?
I can teach him everything I want and still feel inadequate.
How is that possible?
I'm a mom. Moms around the world know, there's no bigger critic than yourself. There's all these "mom wars" from birth, but there's no critic like the voice inside your head. She's the one telling you you're not good enough. She tells you you are not doing enough for him or you're not letting him or enough. You can never make that voice happy and there's no shutting her up!
I wish daily I was the perfect mother.
I want to do right by Nixon and at the same time I want to disprove every single only child myth there is. I want people to see Nixon and judge him not because he's an only child, but instead when they find out be shocked and awed by him!
But more than anything, I want to freeze that voice in my head's mouth shut with her negativity and nagging ways. Seems the only way to do that, is to be a better mom.
Here's the mom I am: I feed Nixon fast food, I let him skip a bath (more than a couple nights in a row), I hug and kiss him hourly, I let him watch too much tv and encourage him to read occasionally, we play outside sometimes, I let him do his own thing most of the time, I sneak extra z's by bribing Nixon with his favorite tv shows on dvr, I spank him when he has done that ONE too many times thing I've warned him about, it's hardly a spank more a tap on the ass but his tears break my heart!, I yell too much and cuss too much, I don't do enough educational play with him and he's just now learning how to dress himself but he's been picking out his own clothes for over a month now.
The mom I think I should be: makes organic meals from scratch, takes daily nature walks together, doesn't even own a tv and wouldn't dream of taking moments away from her child by sleeping in, never spanks and hasn't uttered a curse word...ever. She makes everything educational and doesn't long to go back to work because she wants to homeschool!
I'll never be ^^that mom! But you know what? Nixon doesn't care, Mac doesn't care so why do I? Because I'm judging myself harsher than anyone.
Why can't I be happy that Nixon is kind, caring, affectionate, loving, strong-willed and healthy? For some reason it doesn't seem enough. I feel like he should be more than all that. I can say, while I feel that way, I never push him to be more than he already is. My issues are not his and if I have my way, they never will be. I want him to be free to be himself. Despite or in-spite of me I want him to be himself.