Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Good Mommy/Bad Mommy

The other day Lilla was reciting a list to me of all the things she wanted to be when she grows up. It went something like this, "A ballerina, a doctor, someone who tells people about God, a rockstar (because, you know, she totally knows what THAT means) and a mommy."

This is what ensued next:

I asked, "You want to be a mommy?"

Lilla, "I do. I want to be a mommy when I grow up."

Me, "Why do you want to be a mommy?"

Lilla, "Because you are a mommy."

Me, "Oh, do you think I am a good mommy?"

Lilla, "Sometimes. Sometimes you are a bad mommy."

Me, (crushed, mind you), "Why am I a bad mommy?"

Lilla, pausing, "Weeeeeelllll...sometimes you yell at me."

And with that, she went back to her play kitchen and started cooking up something for me.

I, of course, had the wind knocked out of me. How much more in perspective could life be than when your four year old tells you you are a bad mommy when you yell at her?

I grew up with a mom who yelled at me. ALL.THE.TIME. It was the main method of communication in our home. Or miscommunication, if you want to get all technical. Lots of fun memories with that, as you can imagine. Now, I want to follow that up with saying, I love my mom, I think she did the best with what she could. She has many stressors and never learned to parent well. But, I also believe she would even tell you this. She was a yeller. It was a coping mechanism, I suppose.

Growing up I swore I would not do that, and I will admit it is not nearly the extent of my own formative years. However, my heart hurts to think this is the way my own daughter thinks of me. I want her to look back with fond memories of cuddles and laughs and songs, not fear or anger or tears. It breaks me that she sees me as harsh.

So, after asking my sweet baby for forgiveness, I am on my knees. That is all I can do. Beg a Saviour who sees and knows, who created me to be mommy to Lilla and Anna, who loves them and loves me. And He...He is capable of change.

Lamentations: 22It is because of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions never fail. 23They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

9 comments:

gail said...

How this entry gets to me! My baby girl, age 30, asked me to stop yelling just today! Mind you, I was not yelling! However, my tone of voice was yelling. Yelling isn't necessarily about volume.

I have repeated some of my mother's mistakes and have made some new ones. However, my children love me and beating myself up doesn't do any good - but I still do - beat myself up that is.

Keep on praying, Mama. It's the only way to get through!

~Melody @ 6 Feet Over~ said...

You could remove your name and slap mine down as the author of this post. I hate yelling. I grew up with it non-stop in the house. I hate it. I find myself doing it now after swearing I wouldn't. Did I tell you I hate it?

I've been thinking lately more and more about how to stop. I really am a fun, goofy, loving, caring mom...I just yell when I have to say something 5 times. I hate this.

I will change. Now.

Thank you for this post. My daughter will be 3 next month...if she could form her sentences better, I'm sure she would say the same thing. I'm hoping to change her mind.

~melody~

Kristin said...

Oh, ouch, I would probably be hearing the same thing if my son had the right words. I'm a yeller, I know this. I keep telling myself I need to tone it down, and this post really makes me think. I guess realizing you ened to change is the first step, right?

Thanks for this post and for your honesty. :)

One Love Mama said...

(hugs) I grew up with so much yelling, I know exactly where you're coming from. At 26 my Mother STILL calls me and yells! I hate hate hate it. My Daughter is only 10 months, so I haven't had any reasons to yell yet. The important part is you now recognize how she feels and you can make an effort to not yell. Best wishes Mama :)

Heidi... said...

Thanks for your encouraging comment on my blog about being real. I really appreciate it!!

I hate that I yell too! The only positive is that it drives me to my knees. I need to pray more first and then I will yell less. Much to work on in my own heart!

Blessings!
~H

Amanda said...

Amen to you and your faithful servant heart!!! Great lesson!

Blessings-
Amanda

Heidi... said...

I left you something on my blog!
withthankfulhearts.blogspot.com

~Heidi

Laura said...

You're so right -- His mercies are new every morning. No, we moms aren't perfect, but He gives His grace.

One of my older sons told me how much it meant to him that his parents could admit they were wrong and apologize. And then we just keep looking up, don't we?

Come on over for some mom inspiration and encouragement.

Christine said...

Awe. Don't beat yourself up too much. We all (well, most of us) lose our patience sometimes and yell. She loves you so much and you trying to be better makes you that much of a better mom!!