Thursday, December 17, 2009

Self Awareness

Now, lest anyone be deceived by my "I love being a mom" posts, and if my "The truth" post was not descriptive enough, let me just say that I am no where near being a perfect mom. I do LOVE being a mom, but that doesn't mean I'm perfect at it.

Not even close.

I wouldn't even say I'm a great mom. I'd say I'm right around the level of a good mom, with frequent dips to the level of "wow, you've got a lot to work on."

Well, lately I've been on the "wow, you've got a lot to work on" level more often than not. I have to say that it's in large part due to hormones, (need I say more?...), but partly because patience is a gift that I was not born with.

I had one of my most (if not THE most) gut-wrenching experiences of motherhood today. I won't go into detail, because frankly, I don't want to have to read the words ever again. (It's bad enough to have it replaying in my mind constantly.) Suffice it to say that one of my children said something to me today that made me instantly more self aware than I have ever been.

She did not yell, or scream at me.

She just sat there, in the rocking chair, and told me in a small voice how she felt.

And I was horrified.

It froze me where I stood.

Tears stung my eyes as they began to fall. They were drops of acid shame.

At first, there were no words. All I could do was hold my little girl and cry for the pain I had caused her.

And then, through our tears, we talked.

It made me realize that I have been seeing myself from my own critical, overly analytical, perspective, and making allowances for my hormonally imbalanced and sometimes completely irrational behavior, by saying it will pass and I'll be able to make it up to them later.

But what about my little ones?

They don't see things that way. They don't see the world in terms of "later."

What my daughter said to me today made me realize, as nothing has before, how deeply impacted my children are by my attitudes and behaviors, for good or bad.

And that if I would try to change my self-awareness - to be able to see myself from their perspective - I would be a much better mom.


  1. Oh Michelle,

    Don't beat yourself up. Sometimes us moms aren't perfect, contrary to what our children make think of us most of the time. We all could use improvement somewhere. Being a mother is one of the most fulfilling yet challenging things I think there ever will be. You are a great mother, wife and friend. I understand the whole hormonal thing. It gets even worse with pregnancy! I love you Shell. Thanks for always being there for me.

  2. Ah Michelle, I can't wait to see you in a couple more weeks. I'm afraid that more of us moms can relate with days like this than not. Whoever knew that motherhood was so challenging? Did you have any idea? Because I certainly did not! I love you my friend!

  3. Okay, so this post is just plain scaring me! I really have no idea what I am in for, do I? It's a good thing I have great examples like you to look up to! I love you Shell. Can't wait to see you soon!!!