The Joy of Child Rearing

I had to post this. Had to. It’s because it’s what I think most mothers go through to an extent, but their child never realises it. I call it “Chronic I’m-Not-As-Good-A-Mother-As-I-Thought-I-Would-Be”. What I hope Heather realises is that there are other mothers in the world, including me, who would love to be a perfect mother, or at least live up to their own expectations.

Heather writes:

And here’s the part of the newsletter where I usually fail miserably at trying to rein in the urge to get gushy about the extent to which you change my world every hour, except this month I’m not going to do that because I feel instead that I should apologize, that I owe you that more than anything else. Sometimes I worry that the most vivid memory you are going to have of me from this time is the scowl on my face. Often I am ashamed that I am not the mother I thought I was going to be.

Mothers fail, here and there, just like everyone else. It’s hard for us, because inside we want to love and nurture, and we worry that the few times when we are not the parents we want to be, is going to be what’s remembered the most.

I think part of it is that we haven’t learned to appreciate our own parents enough. I give my parents credit for being able to deal with 3 children and all their eccentricities, our curfew jumping, the occasional car rolling (not me!)..everything. Kids can be a handful, and I think we were a big handful at times. I do give them credit, but there were things about child-rearing I just didn’t get until I had my own.

I just have one child. Sometimes she is the one helping me, instead of the other way around. But every day, I love her no matter what, and sometimes I wonder, “How will she think of me” tomorrow or next year or 30 years from now. It’s the thing that keeps me trying to meet my own expectations. That, and that face that says, “Good God… where did THAT come from?” 🙂


5 thoughts on “The Joy of Child Rearing

  1. L

    It is the mistakes you make which create a better person. Who ever heard of a totally perfect person actually having anything realistic or non patronising to say. Experience and mistakes are great.

    I am a mum of two (one is not quite 3 and the other 4 and a half months) I cock up nearly every day but I learn from it, dont let it get me down and move on. Its not wierd to say sorry to a toddler you know.

  2. Shezz

    I feel for Heather as I have felt this way often. I sometimes think thats all my kids will remember me for is constantly yelling at them and telling them off.

    At the same time I agree with everything else, motherhood is the hardest job in the world, everyone makes mistakes and we must learn from them. But I think sometimes you get stuck in a vicious circle with your thoughts as well as with your kids and it can be really hard to get out of. The more you yell at the kids – the more they be naughty – so the more you yell and so on.

    I hope my kids remember me as the mother who loves them dearly and not the mother who constantly disciplined them.


    PS – 3 boys aged 8, 7 and 4

  3. Michelle

    The toughest job in the world. This is a difficult issue for me because of the upbringing i had…or didn’t have, more to the point. Because of it, i made it my lifes mission to make sure i raise my daughter just how i wished i was raised when i was kid 🙂


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