Today Ashley Fitting of It's Fitting joins us for Motherhood Monday. She's talking about the days we all have...the ones where the only question we can ask is "Am I doing this parenting thing right?" She's not alone we all have our doubts and in the end we all realize we aren't as bad as we think we are. Motherhood...we've got this thing!
Oh the difference a few years makes...Where once she was a professional event planner and fundraiser in beautiful Southern CA, now Ashley Fitting is a full time SAHM in a gorgeous-in-it's-own-way, semi-rural cow town in Sonoma County. After a rocky start she learned to embrace the Green Acres, cooking, suburban farming and taking pictures along the way. It may be rural, but at least they have wine, right?
You can find Ashley on her blog It's Fitting as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and of course Google+
When you're pregnant for the first time you imagine all of these wonderful experiences that are to come. You imagine what it will be like to hold your baby for the first time, first steps, first words... all of the beautiful things that make up your first years as a parent. You know that it's going to be a rocky road, that there are things you don't know and that you'll have to learn by the seat of the your pants. (Have you read my posts on post pregnancy?? Try this Post Pregnancy Symptoms or Post Pregnancy Symptoms 2 for a little reality about the horrors of post pregnancy (*shudder*)
But you know that you'll figure it out, that everything will be fine and that you're going to rock as a parent...
But no one told me that there would be times where I think that I am completely.effing.this.up.
We have two little kids. We are trying to raise them to be respectful and kind, good to each other and their friends, aware that they are so very lucky to live a privileged life. We are trying anyway. But it's hard. And after one particularly bad day/week/month with my four year old I couldn't help but start to panic that I had done something wrong. Why did he delight in pushing my buttons? Why was everything a battle? Where was my kind sweet boy that used to snuggle with me and tell me how much he loved me?
Had I done something terribly terribly wrong?
My husband tried to talk me down off the parenting ledge as I cried and sobbed that I had made a monster of my 4 year old. That I had created this little hellion. That this was all my fault and I was a crappy parent. I had FAILED and he was only 4... what was the rest of our life going to be like if I sucked so incredibly bad at this?????
Um yeah. It may have been a particularly dramatic few days for us around these parts but my husband peeled me off the ceiling and calmed me down. No, I was not a parenting failure. I had not ruined my Big Kid, I had not turned him into a sociopath and he was probably still going to be a contributing member of society as an adult. We were just going through a particularly crappy patch of life. Let's face it, 4 is no picnic for us. And there will probably be times again in the future (the teen years? God help me) when I wonder where I went wrong.
The important thing was to stop and re-evaluate. We had a talk about tactics. About what was working and what was (obviously) not. And I tried to change myself and my parenting to adjust to the changes that were happening to him. He was growing up and becoming more independent and testing me all.the.time. But I'm the parent who's home with him and I'm the parent who can't take it personally when he tries to push my buttons to get a rise out of me.
Because even with those difficult moments in life, there are still so many times that we have dance parties in our jammies, or spend hours playing cards or Monopoly, or snuggle in bed reading books at the end of a long, difficult day. And underneath all of the snark, he's still there. My sweet boy who we've taught to be kind and gentle and loving and smart.
And I'm probably not a terrible parent after all.