Tuesday, 8 September 2009
Lets hear it for the Good Mother Button and not the Mother Guilt Button
Ok tonight it got pressed again, and all the usual feelings rushed through me as to how useless I am, what a bad mother.....
Then I thought, wait a minute that's not true, so doing what I find difficult, I phoned a friend for a chat.... Jenny's children are in their 30s now, and happily married with all their teenage angst long gone. But I knew she would just listen as I poured out my sorrow.
So what happened for these feelings to be doing my head in again? Well have a guess who was involved? I came up with a suggestion for him about spreading his network wider to look for a job, and suggested he should start tomorrow. This of course was ungraciously received, as are all messages like this. I tried to continue the conversation, without raising to the bait of his special nasty voice that he uses just on me.
He countered my attempted discussion by throwing at me.... "You won't have to put up with me, your selling the house so you can get away from me." I rejected this idea saying I was leaving cause it was time for me to have my own life back. He reiterated his comment, announced he was going out and went.
All of this a fairly normal exchange when I try getting Alex to motivate himself. He gets pissed off and resentful and I can end up having many differing emotions. And today as he left the house the button that got pushed was what I call the mother guilt button.
This button is given to mothers when they first deliver their babies, it comes straight from the wicked fairy, as a punishment for what I'm not sure, but it is definitely a punishment.
It's the place mothers go when they don't do what their children want of them. It starts when they are tiny, about two usually, and the little treasures are in the supermarket with us, whilst we try and do the weeks shop. And just when we think we've got it covered, they start wanting something, could be sweeties, could be a toy, could be well anything at all. And suddenly we are the world's worst mother as the little angel has the temper tantrum form hell. Screaming that we don't love them.
Now all good mother's know that this is a passing phase...... Right how did we fall for that line then??? And we calmly explain to the cherub that if they behave, i.e. stop showing us up, then we will reward their good behaviour with a treat. Oh big big mistake, we should have left them screaming on the floor and let someone else deal with them, whilst we go off and have a comforting cream cake and double brandy.
But no, we fall for it anything to please our little precious, they then become like vampire bats, sucking the life blood out of us. If you loved me, you'd let me have those trainers, if you loved me, you'd let me stay up late and watch the TV, if you loved me, really loved me you'd let me go out to the party and not come home till midnight. And all of this before they are three!
And every time we make a stand and say NO, they the little darlings sulk and feel hard done to, making sure that we know what terrible mothers we are. Guess what, we buy it, we hate ourselves for not giving them the earth. After all they are our children,we made them, we have poured our love and care into them. Surely they deserve everything we can give them.......
At this point any sensible mother should give the little dumpling a thick ear and send them to bed with only a bowl of gruel, but do we do that, do we heck as like! No we beat ourselves up for not being good enough mothers.
Now I'm sure there are loads of other buttons out there for fathers, wives, husbands siblings, partners, but tonight it's my Mother guilt button that has been pressed.
It has a direct line to my heart, it is most certainly not logical, it is an emotional wet blanket that wraps its way round me and makes me feel inadequate, as if, I was a good enough mother I'd stay here in this house until my own sweet little treasure is ready to leave.
Thank God for friends who know what you're talking about, who can just allow through talking for the sensible side to reassert itself and say,... Whoa just wait a minute Mandy, you are a good mother you have always been a good mother, even on bad days, you were doing your best.
And this little horror is just using emotional blackmail cause he's scared of standing on his own two feet..... And you staying here would always prevent that happening and that is NOT GOOD MOTHERING!!!!!
Plus it's your time now.....
So taking that button and shoving it back in the cupboard, knowing that it's my job as a mother to always feel guilt for some reason or another. Or more healthily to know that I'm doing the best I can and that is good enough. And stuff the guilt where the sun don't shine cause I'm not going to wear it like a hair shirt at all.
I have to toughen up here,and in so doing this tough love of myself then I can allow my son to develop and mature and stop thinking he's two and can have the bag of sweeties, just cause he can scream louder than me.