Oh, Ladies. I have tears in my eyes. I know this probably isn't the right place for this, but I can't help myself.
My parents definitely weren't GD. My mother was a gentle woman at heart who allowed herself to get overwhelmed with a house FULL of foster kids. My father was 45 when I was born, was sick of having kids, wanted to be done (He had four when I was born, there are 5 younger than me, 4 of whom they adopted.)
My father was not physically abusive. But OH could he yell. Hmm, wait, he WAS physically abusive. I guess that's why I chose to write this hear. I've just come out of the closet. I have denied this uuntil today. My father smacked my younger sister around for years, but never me.
The point of this wasn't for me to come out. It was to tell each of you that you're holding yourselves to a very high standard. That's a good thing. Except that you don't realize just HOW high a sstandard you are holding yourselves to, and you berate yourselves when you fail.
I am always suspicious of those mothers I read about here, or see in my very alternative town, who claim to use GD and AP and all the rest. Come on! Everyone must yell, dont' they? Even those gentle, loving, whispering-reminders-in-the-kids-ear, mothers. Don't you suppose they go home and lose it from time to time? Or throw a pot? Or maybe they take all that frustration out on their hubby?
Honestly, I live in a town that should be renamed after our favorite magazine (Mothering, silly!). MOst of the mothers wear long skirts and big boots (What's up with that?), Mothering is sold at the local tiny store, should the one room library have loaned out its' copy, CHildren nurse on the Common at our OLd Home Day until they are 5 or so without ever raising an eyebrow.
But every one of those families whose kids are grown, now that I think about it, are either divorced, have decided they are lesbians, (I swear, not knocking gay parenting, fine with me. But I think it's rather awkward once you have a few teen age sons. ) or have kids that you wouldn't let in your house for fear of what they'd take. THe kids have no sense of social responsibility, are often getting arrested, and aren't the people I'd like to admit responsibility for.
My point is not that GD is bad, or that we shouldn't strive to be better parents. I have tried to adopt as much of the GD info as I can. But WHO DO YOU KNOW, IRL, who has raised their kids as perfectly as you wish you were? ANd what was the outcome? Are their kids fantastic people? Did they, maybe when you weren't there, occasionally yell, "What is wrong with you?!" or worse?
I think the problem with an online commmunity is that I can SAY I've never yelled, or hit, or freaked out. ANd I can say, Man, my kids rock, you'd all love 'em. And what do you know? Maybe I do have stellar kids who are fantastic people. Maybe their little jail birds. In fact, they could all just be figments of MY imagination.
I think we should all strive to be good parents and to raise healthy, loving adults. I also think we should cut ourselves some slack. If you scream and throw a fit, oh well. After you calm down, go to the kids. Tell them you're sorry you freaked, and that you just had all this...frustration boiling up inside you, and you exploded. Tell them you'll try harder , starting now. THen remember, they love you, they'll forgive you. Forgive yourself. Know that the mothers who never raise their voices or lose their cool do not necs. have perfect children.
to doing our best, and forgiviing ourselves.
Now back to your regularly scheduled topic.