How do you know if you're a bad mom? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-08-2012, 09:32 AM
 
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I hereby officially declare my love for you because of this: 

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Originally Posted by Jen Muise View Post
 I remember once with my first child, I had convinced myself that the baby wasn't crying enough because she felt so neglected that crying was pointless (i guess watching the documentary on romanian orphanages was ill advised).  I hate to think what I'd have imagined if she had colic.  


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Old 03-09-2012, 08:24 PM
 
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I once asked a mom who successfully raised 10 daughters (who all sing her praises) how do you tell if you are a bad mom she asked "are you children coming to you when they have a problem? Are they asking for hugs and kisses? Do they come to you when they are hurt?" She said if you answered yes to these questions than you are doing your best and your children know it.. I always feel like Im being a "bad mom" because I don't feel I do enough with my children.. If you asked them they would tell you they have the best mom in the world. You really are your own worst critic.


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Old 03-10-2012, 03:34 PM
 
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I remember I once saw an article that pointed out that companies are always asking their customers for feedback ("How can we serve you better?") but parents just about never ask their kids for feedback ("How can I be a better parent to you?"). Well, I know a lot of people on this site frequently ask their kids' input in search of solutions to specific problems, but has anyone tried making that into a regular practice? I'm curious to know how it works.

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Old 03-11-2012, 03:42 PM
 
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idk, when I've asked my kids what I could do to be a better parent the give me stuff like 'Let us eat more chocolate chip cookies" and "let us watch allllllll the tv we want".  I try and use more specific questions (like, remember this afternoon, when I yelled at you?  what do you think happened there?)  and observation to evaluate my mad parenting skillz.

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Old 03-11-2012, 07:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jen Muise View Post

idk, when I've asked my kids what I could do to be a better parent the give me stuff like 'Let us eat more chocolate chip cookies" and "let us watch allllllll the tv we want".  I try and use more specific questions (like, remember this afternoon, when I yelled at you?  what do you think happened there?)  and observation to evaluate my mad parenting skillz.


yes, I also think it is just a bad question. When my children were smaller, they seemed happier when I appeared to know what I was doing. I think it gave them a sense of confidence. I think that asking this question is poor parenting.

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 03-11-2012, 09:31 PM
 
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I also agree. Looking back, I know my mother did the best she could with what she had; she was raised in an alcoholic, physically and sexually abusive home, and she raised 4 kids without us ever seeing her drunk or being spanked or really allowing anything bad to happen to us, ever. Although I was often let down by her quick temper, insane perfectionism, and overall disconnection from us that ultimately led to a very close relationship with my Dad, and almost none with her, she did her best. Now that I am an adult, and a parent, I really love and like her, and appreciate what she was able to do raising us. Looking back to my childhood, I feel that my Mom always appeared desperate to us. She'd freak out (FREAK OUT SCREAMING!) about a messy room, then calm down, come up with a plan to organize it, we'd work all day til it was completely perfect, and then later that night she'd want us to 'snuggle her on the couch'. And we'd just stare... like, really? And sensing our reluctance, she'd then break down crying and ask what could she do better as a Mom? And what did we really need her for anyway? I can tell you, as a 6-11 y/o with a sister 4 years younger standing next to me... it was like headscratch.gif. How should we know! You're our MOM, you're supposed to know these things?

 

 

Okay, a bit of a ramble. But all in all, my point is that I will not ask my children how to be a better parent. They can't know that, they're children. Instead, I'll ask MY parents, and DH's parents, and our grandparents, and the MDC community, and books, and research, and my intuition when I'm in a calm, good place. 

 

 

FWIW, every few months, I have a week or two that leaves me wondering, "Am I a bad Mom?" When my 3 y/o goes on an insane potty regression/strike that I can't explain while simultaneously my 1 y/o goes from mostly STTN to waking 10 times a night, and my 3 y/o starts wandering around saying "You know what's bad?"......... I find myself pulling out hair and asking where I went wrong. And once I finally come down and calm down, I realize that it's not me, it's just child development. And the word on the street is that the early years (and the teen ones) are the hardest. Don't be too hard on yourself.

 

 

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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


yes, I also think it is just a bad question. When my children were smaller, they seemed happier when I appeared to know what I was doing. I think it gave them a sense of confidence. I think that asking this question is poor parenting.

 


 

 


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Old 03-12-2012, 06:56 AM
 
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I think there has to be a balance between confidence and emotional honesty. You can't be an approachable mom, or a reliable mom, if you are obviously worried that you aren't approachable or reliable, yes. You have to be confident that your child knows you love him or her and that you know what's important.  

 

At the same time, it's not bad to say out loud, "I really wish I hadn't said that to you in the way I did--it didn't convey the message I wanted to convey. I would like to take it back and say it again, better this time." It's good to model being able to handle mistakes, because then your child learns to handle them. I don't think it's possible to be in a close relationship with someone without sometimes losing your cool, and you have to have a way to deal with that. I also think it's OK to expose the intentions behind your parenting choices. 

 

This could, however, be a belief I've developed from having a very thoughtful kid, who responds well to  this sort of thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Old 03-12-2012, 10:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post

I think there has to be a balance between confidence and emotional honesty. You can't be an approachable mom, or a reliable mom, if you are obviously worried that you aren't approachable or reliable, yes. You have to be confident that your child knows you love him or her and that you know what's important.  

 



I agree with this. I think I tell my 3yo ds I love him about 10x/day. It might be overkill, but I attack him with kisses and hugs and cuddles and tell him I love him every chance I get. He knows, he tells me how much he loves me, and that really helps when I have a bad day and we just aren't connecting like we do normally. He's an only, so of course this would be harder with more than one kid - but making sure that you actually say it out loud every single day is important I think.

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Old 06-14-2012, 09:05 AM
 
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wow! so glad I found this site this morning. I was feeling like the crappiest Mom in the world, I have been so sad about it, I just didnt know what to do. I still know I wont be getting any Mother of the Year awards. I came from an abusive, alcoholism, home with two very emotionally disturbed parents,my mother was institutionalized when I was a child. She has never told me she loves me and my stepdad wanted to love me too much. When they weren't flying off the handle in unexpected physical and verbal rages- they were often emotionally and physically absent. I left home at fifteen, with no self -esteem, thinking that I was totally unlovable and without value.

 

I love my children more than anything they are the joy of my life, but I do not think that I should have had them when I did. I was not emotionally healthy enough to have children. After having my first child out of wedlock, 2 marriages, and one stalker who beat me bad enough to go to prison, and 3 children 6,2 and 8 months at the age of 26. I realized that something was wrong with me and I wanted to fix it for my children so I began my long journey of therapy.

 

I never became an alcoholic, although i did drink and go out w/ friends sometimes for periods once a week sometimes and I feel horrible about that. I went years and did not go anywhere. I never did drugs. I never beat or abused my kids, left them alone with no one there or in dangerous situations, I never let them be sexually abused, in fact my second husband would wrestle with my oldest and ugh get excited...I promptly kicked him out the day I found out and divorced him.

 

i never received child support and did not pursue it because having been idiot enough to choose my mates so poorly and now having had enough counseling to realize it-( but still not enough to make better relationship choices), I felt that forcing the exes to pay child support would only further subject my children to more exposure to a Father who were not good for them. I had an open door policy for visitation and neither man ever bothered.

 

I worked a million hours in sales but also supplemented nights as a bartender and once even as a dancer for short periods before my oldest turned 11. No i did not tel them. I even went to work dressed in office clothes so no one would know. However one of the Mothers of my eldest daughters friends was kind enough to tell my child after our friendship had a falling out.

 

We moved alot in the beginning but always stayed in the same neighborhood -so the kids didnt have to change friends or schools. I had very little money or credit- so I bought my first small home on a lease option, it needed ALOT of repair- i did the work myself sold it and made a profit which I would put aside-I kept doing this until I was able to purchase the 2 story brick in a very good neighborhood that we live in today. I was never on assistance of any kind not even food stamps or medicaid, but that also meant we couldnt run to the DR. or Dentist unless it was very serious or chronic. I believed that if I always maintained at least a lower middle class standard of living for my kids they would never accept less for themselves when they grew up.

 

I was often over tired and stressed all though every in else thought I was bubbly and outgoing, this made me a fun Mom, who played on the play equipment with my kids, had food fights, water wars, stood on the kitch counter singing old Motown into spoons with the kids. But there were also times, espescially mostly when my oldest started her adolescence- where I just didnt know how to cope and would blow up and yell after sometimes up to 2 hours of debating with her or what Ifelt to be utter disrespect.

 

I was not always consistent with my discipline. I did tell them daily I loved them and was proud a million times a day. After I would lose patience or blow up and yell- i would go in and apologize for yelling and ask them if they understood why i had gotten so angry.

 

I dont know- my biggest thing that makes me a crap Mom - was my inability to make good choices in all of my relationships, including friendships, What good is 7 straight years of therapy with 2 diff. therapist, lifelong monthly therapy, christian counseling, parenting, books tapes etc. If i never got it right until too late and i damaged my children?

 

After being single about 6 yrs- I started dating again which embarassed my oldest child- as she was a teen at the time and none of her other friends had single Moms. I did meet a wonderful man, who loved and treasured me and my children. We married in the backyard of my home- he bought a ring for each of my kids, we finally had a beautifu 'norma"l life. My children adored him. We dated 1 1/2 years before my kids even knew about him, lived together a year got married. I became pregnant much to my surprise as i had endometriosis and our daughter was born 15 months after we were married. He died unexpectedly 10 months later in a freak accident. It has been 5 years and my oldest children understandably often worry about me and their little sister and they are scared that I will "make the same mistakes with her that I made with them" This is mainly my eldest but sometimes I hear her sister who is 4 years younger repeating this. My son who is 2 years younger then her is 18 and still lives at home- he does not think this way- but does internalize everything and have difficulties expressing himself- which i'm sure is a direct result of the way he grew up.

 

All of my children are good kids, no police, drugs etc. All are in college plus working full time as I cannot afford to pay the full boat- I have bought them all cars pay their insurance, medical and help w/ books or emergencies when i can but know it is not enough my girls work so hard and they tell me that they are the only kids they know who have to work like that and go to school. I dont blame them for resenting this, as they feel it is because of bad choices i made. And i would have been farhter along had i not made those choices so they are correct.

 

Because of my mistakes they all have some anxiety issues, are in long term relationships but say they are afraid of commitment,struggle with some insecurity and although they come to me when they are hurting or scared- I can see and have been told by my oldest that they do not feel they can trust or look to me for advice. When i was younger and realized i needed therapy- i questioned whether it was in their best interest for me to give them up- but there was no one to give them to- i have a small family and what there is are less fit than me to be a parent. Having been in a few foster homes when i was little- i know that some can be very bad.

 

I have prayed and prayed for the Lord to fix whatever is broken with me so that my kids do not have to suffer for my short comings. i am crying as i sit here, not for me but for their hurt and how deeply i failed them. I am bewildered to realize what a crappy Mom i was. There are choices i made that I now look at and wonder what the hell i could have been thinking. The only thing that has ever mattered to me in my life was my children. I was determined to be a good Mom. I feel that I have tried very hard. So how is it that i did not realize how badly i was failing at ir? When my children tell me how they perceived some of these things it breaks my heart and i am horrified as to how i could not have realized how it would seem from a childs perspective. I t is too late to fix it, I dont know how. I have apologized. My older daughter- she has a lot of resentment and questions- answering or explaining only seems to

validate how selfish I was to have children when i was such a mess myself.

 

I am very depressed about this today and sorry this is so long, but i dont want my six year old to pick up on my sadness depression and somewhat panic at my realization that i was not a good Mom- I'm so ashamed- so I am letting it all hang out so to speak to you guys. So that i can smile and laugh and act normal for her the rest of the day.

 

I'm sure I will get alot of negative comments and judging- dont waste your time. I deserve it all and then some for letting the most precious gift the Lord can give you my little angels down so disastrously.

 

Knowing there are other mothers struggling with feelings of failure( although you all seem to be good Moms to me) has helped me to think i can live with it somehow .

 

Thanks for sharing your space and letting me ramble. I have no one to talk to( other than my counselor)

God Bless All of you and your children

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Old 06-14-2012, 12:50 PM
 
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All of my children are good kids, no police, drugs etc. All are in college plus working full time as I cannot afford to pay the full boat- I have bought them all cars pay their insurance, medical and help w/ books or emergencies when i can but know it is not enough my girls work so hard and they tell me that they are the only kids they know who have to work like that and go to school. I dont blame them for resenting this, as they feel it is because of bad choices i made. And i would have been farhter along had i not made those choices so they are correct.

 

Because of my mistakes they all have some anxiety issues, are in long term relationships but say they are afraid of commitment,struggle with some insecurity and although they come to me when they are hurting or scared- I can see and have been told by my oldest that they do not feel they can trust or look to me for advice. When i was younger and realized i needed therapy- i questioned whether it was in their best interest for me to give them up- but there was no one to give them to- i have a small family and what there is are less fit than me to be a parent. Having been in a few foster homes when i was little- i know that some can be very bad.

 

Wow, it doesn't sound like you failed at all. It sounds like you succeeded against incredible odds. They come to you when they have trouble, they're in college, and they have long term relationships. That's pretty amazing, considering the rest of your story. 

 

No one can do it all right, but you actually succeeded in all these major ways and hurtled a lot of obstacles. 

 

The next step is for you to tell them that you are very proud of them. That's when everyone realizes that this is a success story. 


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Old 08-06-2013, 06:43 PM
 
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you have no idea how close I was to posting almost the same style questions on here! Mommy guilt has been setting in like crazy for me lately. For instance, in the middle of the day, when my little one is at daycare, and I'm done with my errands etc. just being lazy around the house - should I go pick her up? Isn't daycare just for when I'm at work? Is this a form of neglect?

Part of my problem is that I'm a teen mother & I'm already paranoid of what others think about me. Which has always caused me to be on my tip toes about my parenting skills. Lately it's been worse though, especially at night when all I can think about is "should I have done this?" "I probably should have made this for her to eat instead of that" or my favorite, "I should probably put some of those hundreds of Pinterest boards to good use & make some extra crafts & healthy food".

Maybe theres no cure for "mommy guilt" maybe we just need to go with it...learn to live through it...and do the best we can with what we know.

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Old 08-07-2013, 02:03 AM
 
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My mother dealt with three children in three years in a household where they had trouble getting us coats every year, but they raised three daughter that could run their own laundry by seven cook w/ supervision by ten run a budget by 12 and I asked recently if she thought she was a good mother... She said she tried they avoided the mistakes her parents made*discipline that crossed the line to abuse* and the ones my fathers parents made * blatant favoritism * she raised three daughters that she was terrified she was screwing up through depression on both their parts and on a budget w/o give for years she said she made us grow up too soon that she did her best for us... Do your best and ask yourself that question in 20 years your children can't ask for more
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen Muise View Post

idk, when I've asked my kids what I could do to be a better parent the give me stuff like 'Let us eat more chocolate chip cookies" and "let us watch allllllll the tv we want".  I try and use more specific questions (like, remember this afternoon, when I yelled at you?  what do you think happened there?)  and observation to evaluate my mad parenting skillz.


yes, I also think it is just a bad question. When my children were smaller, they seemed happier when I appeared to know what I was doing. I think it gave them a sense of confidence. I think that asking this question is poor parenting.

Continuum Concept talks about this. She says that when babies and little children are the centre of attention it makes them anxious. Because children watch us to learn how they should behave in society. So if we are always watching them they think "why are they watching me? Don't they know what to do? I don't know what to do?" Not, that a baby's thought process is that sophisticated but you know what she means. That's why she says children should be at the centre of activity but not the centre of attention; so they can observe and learn.

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Old 08-07-2013, 06:50 AM
 
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Because of my mistakes they all have some anxiety issues, are in long term relationships but say they are afraid of commitment,struggle with some insecurity and although they come to me when they are hurting or scared- I can see and have been told by my oldest that they do not feel they can trust or look to me for advice. When i was younger and realized i needed therapy- i questioned whether it was in their best interest for me to give them up- but there was no one to give them to- i have a small family and what there is are less fit than me to be a parent. Having been in a few foster homes when i was little- i know that some can be very bad.

 

I have prayed and prayed for the Lord to fix whatever is broken with me so that my kids do not have to suffer for my short comings.

 

 

I think it sounds like you did very well -- especially considering what your own upbringing was like, the lack of a partner to help raise them, and the lack of solid support in the form of sane extended family. I really don't think that we were meant to raise children completely alone. I have tremendous respect for moms who do it -- who just kept showing up and being present with their kids.

 

I believe that how a person turns out is a combination of genetics, upbringing, and choices they make. It is quite common for adults, especially young adults, to blame everything they don't like about themselves on what their parents did/didn't do, but truth to told, there is just a lot more to it than that. Part of how we are is just a crap shoot that was already determined before we were born, and part we decide every single day of our lives by the what we do and how we think about things.

 

We all make mistakes as parents. By the time our kids are teens, we all have things we can look back on and wish we had known/done differently/been less tired for/been more perfect. All we can really do with that is to love ourselves anyway and let it go.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 08-07-2013, 11:13 AM
 
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Whoa, Sunniview! Try not to take your kids criticisms too much to heart! If I'm reading right the oldest is just out of adolecence and that is the height if the "Mom is ruining my liiiife" phase. I still want to cry thinking of the cruel stuff I said to my Mom during that time of life. Stuff that wasn't even in the same neighborhood as reality like telling her she failed by not giving me any younger siblings. Yeah. She was widowed and not dating. How my hormone addled brain thought that would happen is beyond me! I wasn't a bad kid or atypical, either, I remember friends acting the same shameful way.

You sound like a great Mom to me. Yes, maybe you had some bad relationships but, damn, you got out of them fast when they became a danger to your kids! My MIL made the opposite choice and her five kids were all horribly abused by at least seven different men. Instead of looking the other way you protected them.
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