I received an email from my good friend Lindsay after she read my last post. She reminded me that “Motherhood is the Great Equalizer:” Here is what Lindsay had to say on this matter:
“You know, I read that line in a book somewhere and it resonated with me. It just means that the experiences and emotions associated w/motherhood are universal. Every Mom has changed a disgusting diaper. Every Mom has been puked on. Every Mom has been told by their child that they “love you.” The equalizing part is that CEOs, poor Moms, educated Moms, White Moms, African American Moms, European Moms all go through the same things…
The bottom line is: Those Moms who act like they have the world by the tail and are Moms, are lying to themselves and the rest of us. It’s hard for everyone no matter who you are.”
Lindsay was attempting to encourage me not to be so hard on myself, and it seems this is something Moms tend to do. However, I do feel it is very important to take note when the seemingly normal reactions become more serious and perhaps more damaging to a child. And believe me, I have often wondered how much damage, be it physical and/or emotional, my yelling has done or will do. My intermittent self-inventories help me to determine exactly where I stand.
So in an attempt to lighten things up a bit, and to prove to my good friend Linds, that yes, I can be hard on myself, but that I can also recognize the universality of the challenges of motherhood, I have devised a small checklist which will help me and hopefully others know where they stand regarding their parenting techniques.
- Yelling, in and of itself, does not make you a bad mom…yelling profanities and insults loud enough for the neighbors to hear does.
- Time-outs are acceptable forms of punishment…time-outs in the snow while barefoot are not.
- Taking away toys can sometimes teach a child consequences…taking away food and water is WRONG.
- Sending your child to bed earlier than normal is sometimes necessary…sending your child to bed right after toast, juice, and a nutritious bowl of yummy Cheerios is extreme.
- Asking your kid to play in a different room is ok…telling your kid to play in traffic is frowned upon.
- Grounding a child for using foul or obscene language is acceptable…making your kid gargle Zest is not.
- Feeding your child a well balanced diet will assist said child to grow up to be a healthy young adult…fruit snacks and peanut butter and jelly are fine too.
- Forcing a child into a car seat is safer than allowing said child to be thrown around like a rag-doll during impact.