bad mommy-ing

With all the jibber jabber these days about it being in-vogue to be a bad mother, I thought my daughter's comment this morning was topical.  "You're Being a Bad Mommy" she said to me through her tears.  It was like she whopped me in the stomach.  Because even as cool as it might be these days to be a bad mom... I actually still pride myself in being a good one.  I know her perspective on the topic is a little different than the rest of the blogosphere's and her rationale for this outburst was that I wouldn't let her watch TV at 5:30 this morning and I raised my voice (ok, I screamed) at her for thrashing about in my bed whining she was "uncomformatable", pounding on the bed, and pushing my face with her feet.  I'm not sure what a "good mommy" would have done in this situation.  I actually think that there is a big difference between a "good mommy" and a "good mother".  I believe the first is from the child's perspective and the latter from the parent's.  My problem is that I'm not sure which I want to be.  The issue in my world is that ever since the words "it's a girl" were uttered from the doctor's mouth all I wanted was to be my new little girl's friend.  And I've been a really good friend to her.  We have real conversations, we share real thoughts, she sits on my lap through pedicures, she shops with me, gardens with me, dances with me...she's my little buddy.  And luckily, for most of her life she's been easy to have as a friend.  But recently, I've started to feel a little walked on and have realized that this girl may need more of a mother figure who sets stricter guidelines and doesn't give 2nd, third, and forth chances before getting reprimanded for her behavior.  I know it's parenting 101 type stuff but honestly, it's just not easy for me.  This is why I wasn't a very good camp counselor.  I just wanted to be the campers' friend - couldn't be their "boss".   But where does this leave me now?  How do I all of a sudden change my ways and start being so stern with her, not letting her do things she is so accustomed to doing and being a totally different figure to her?   Ok, don't answer that... I know the answer.  And I started this morning.  She is actually in her room now, which is where she will be spending the entire day after her horrendous behavior this morning.   I'm not sure how much she's grasping the fact that this is a punishment since she's never been punished like this before and she brought dozens of her toys with her to her room to keep herself busy.  I actually peaked in on her and she was wearing a princess dress and crown, had put 6 or 7 babydolls to sleep in various spots in her room and was practicing drawing butterflies in her notebook.   Didn't look too much like she was "learning a lesson" but I had to start somewhere.   So today, I am a bad mommy, but hopefully one step closer to being a good mother.  And hopefully she can still be my friend.


Anonymous said...

Ah, Becca. These waters are treacherous indeed.

All we can do is what we think is best at the time.

We may be judged harshly by our children later on for our actions, but when they (hopefully) become parents themselves they will finally understand.

BTW, I really like your distinction between the good mommy and the good mother.

Unknown said...

I'm not trying to be preachy but the good mother is the one that all of our children need. It's not easy or fun but that is what our kids NEED. Hang in there, Mama! You only have to be the 'bad' mom one more time than your kid acts out! I highly recommend the book "Boundaries with Kids"-it speaks directly to this. It has helped me a lot!

jennyonthespot said...

So hard... I think most of us hope for that friendship with our daughters... but they do need us to help them learn... It's hard. She doesn't understand now, but she will. Love doesn't always mean what we need to do feels good - for either party, but it's our pure love that motivates us to make the sometimes hard decisions for the benefit of our little ones.

Great post. I so appreciate and respect your openness :)

becca said...

Thanks so much for your posts guys. I know and agree with all that you've said and I'm working on this "good mother" thing... just doesn't come so easily for me and now I'm being tested daily!

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