Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Why I Tell My Daughter I'm A Great Mother
I noticed my bad habit about three weeks after my daughter was born. You know, that point where the adrenaline is wearing off, your nerves are a bit more frayed, your much more sleep deprived, and the enormousness of the reality that you are completely responsible for another person's well-being and upbringing really starts to set in. No pressure there.
It started harmlessly enough. Maybe I'd realize that a bottle was a bit too cold, and I'd make an off-handed comment like, "Oh no, Mommy didn't warm up your breakfast enough. Bad Mommy!" Or perhaps errands ran a bit longer than expected leaving me with a grumpy, fussy pants. I'd quickly quip, "Uh oh, Momma took too long. I'm so, so sorry babycakes! Momma messed up!"
Before long I found myself pointing out all of my daily flaws. To my infant. At some point I realized just how wrong all of this was. Heck, there are hundreds of people out there, and thousands of websites, who are just ready to pounce and point out all of the things they believe I am doing wrong as a mom. Somewhere along the line parenting techniques became decisive, and it became ok for everyone to voice their opinion on how you should be raising your child. You know, the child who provided you with endless days of morning sickness, the child you worried about since the day you found out you were pregnant, the child you birthed, and the child you are responsible for raising into a caring, responsible adult. The child you know better than anyone else in the world.
Those people can talk all they want about what they believe I may or may not be doing wrong, because I could care less about their opinions. But I do care about the opinions of my daughter. Because sometime in the future, she will most likely be a mother herself. And if I've raised her right, I know she will be a great mother. And what I will want more than anything else, is for her to recognize that in herself.
So I've changed my tune. Now I spend my days telling my daughter what a great mom she has. I give myself verbal pats on the back when I give her cuddles that stop the tears, or sing her songs that make her laugh. And I'll continue that tune when she needs me to kiss the boo-boos to make them all better, or help mend her broken heart. Because one day, she'll realize that I'm not a perfect person, but that doesn't mean I wasn't the perfect mom for her.