Yes I was a negative Mom. Becoming a positive one has been a process but I am trying.
I was a negative Mom. That Mom at the store that had the toddler throwing a tantrum. You know the kind that only gets louder and louder the more you try to explain why they can’t have the toy they want. However, I was that Mom that taught my child that he couldn’t have everything he wanted.
I was a negative Mom. That Mom at the grocery store that other people were glaring at because I said no to my two year old because he wanted to eat everything I put into the cart. However, I was that Mom that was teaching my child that he can’t just open everything that goes into the cart. We shop, we pay, we go home and choose one box to open.
I was a negative Mom. That Mom that upset my child because I said she couldn’t take a toy into the car, not because it was just more for me to carry up from the garage, but because I realized my daughter was testing me. However, I was that Mom that realized that the few times I did say yes, that toy never made it into the car because she just forgot it.
I was a negative Mom. That Mom that my child screamed “I hate you” at. Why? Simply because it was nap time. However, I was that Mom that sat down later on that night and explained why those words should never be said. I have not heard them since.
I was a negative Mom. That Mom that made a complete fool of herself at the dollar store because I said “I don’t know why I thought I could shop with the two of you” not only too loudly, but that I said it at all. However, I was that Mom that pulled out some great positive experiences from that one failed shopping trip.
I was a negative Mom. That Mom that cried more nights than I can count because I felt like I failed. However, I was also that Mom that realized I did not fail. I taught valuable lessons that day.
I was a negative Mom. That Mom that gave her kids boxed mac N cheese because I was running around doing errands and attending appointments all day. Enter guilt. However, I was also that Mom that realized I was just being too hard on myself because I realized my kids ate every bite of it and they didn’t die, tomorrow will be a healthy meal!
I was a negative Mom. That Mom that let her child go to bed with no dinner because I didn’t want to give in to snacks, even fruit, because I was trying to teach my child a lesson. However, I was that Mom that only had to do that for a few more nights because now my youngest will eat 2 more bites or 3 more bites to get a snack.
I was a negative Mom. That mom who made both of her kids cry when taking a lollipop away from them because they weren’t listening when I asked them three times to not run with it in their mouth. However, I was that Mom that was trying to avoid a hurtful accident and they got the lollipops back after their nap.
Were you ever the negative Mom? Where you pick yourself apart each and everyday at all of the things you did wrong instead of focusing on the things that you did well that day. I’m biologically a negative person. A person with low self esteem some would say. I can also say that I know I’m a good Mother, I just battle it during certain situations. I’m that Mom that looks back on the events of the day and now tries to pull out the positive parts so I can not only learn from where I went wrong but so I can also see the good in a sometimes not so good situation. The inspiration behind this post came from a situation I like to call “The Dollar Store Situation.” It was like a bulb went off not even later on that night, but just a few short hours later when the kids were in for their nap. I call it my Ah-Ha moment of stop comparing myself to “I was That Mom.”
We needed to pick up party favors for my daughters birthday party. I like to buy a bunch of little toys and let the kids pick something from a large bucket when leaving the party. The negative in me, went into the store already expecting the worst. My oldest behaved for the most part, at 5 she can clearly walk beside me and help me shop. My two year old on the other hand, well if you don’t know him, you don’t know that you don’t like to cut him loose in his own house never mind a store. I asked him if he wanted to sit in the front or the back of the carriage. He wanted the back. We started down the isles and as we rounded the first corner of the next isle he almost fell out 4 times, grabbed a bunch of stuff and threw it in the cart and refused to sit….very loudly. The kid in him just wanted to help like his big sister was. I said “OK buddy, I’ll give you the chance but you have to stay with Momma. So out he came with his favorite truck and he pretended to drive the truck down the isle. OK, all is good. Wrong. I turn my back for a second and he’s gone. I said “Where is your brother?!” I ran to the next isle. As I was running to the next isle another Mom saw the panic on my face and said, I think he’s in the next isle over. I rounded the corner and their he was pushing his truck along the isle. I snatched him up and said “sorry buddy you have to sit in the front of the carriage you didn’t listen to Mommy.” He of course gave me a hard time by straightening his legs as I put him in the front of the cart. I managed to shove him in there and continue on my way as my daughter for the 100th time asked for a toy we were not buying. “No honey we are here to buy gifts for your friends who are coming to your party.” After my son finally settles down from me insisting on him sitting in the front, after he finally gave up and let me put his legs into the cart (imagine him being very loud and me saying “I can’t believe I thought I could shop with the two of you.” Loudly). We finish shopping, check out and head home. After I put the kids in for their naps/rest time I wanted to sit and cry.
Instead something amazing happened. I learned a few things about that shopping trip. Yes, one of them being, don’t give Drew the choice of where he sits. He sits in the front, end of story! Though was was beautiful was I sat down and thought….and thought. When my son disappeared to the next isle, when I did find him, he wasn’t reeking havoc in the store, he wasn’t destroying shelves and throwing things. He was simply playing with his new toy truck on the floor. There were times when he would have been destroying shelves toy by toy. I did something right! I taught him throwing toys and destroying them in the store is not ok. Positive!
Though I was so frustrated with my daughter that she wanted every little thing in the store, and continued to ask for all of those things over and over again what I didn’t realize at the time was when I kept saying “No honey we are hear to buy little gifts for our friends that come to your party.” She accepted that answer and moved on! No tantrums, no I hate you Momma, no nothing. I did something right!! I taught my daughter that she can’t always have what she wants, I said no to my daughter enough in toy stores without giving in so she has learned! Positive.
Lastly what I learned about my Ah-Ha moment was I only made a complete fool of myself by making the comments that I did in the store. My kids were being kids and I was teaching them lessons. I could have made that shopping trip way more successful by not huffing and puffing through the isles, by accepting that my kids were being kids, maybe not perfect, but kids. Good kids. My kids.
My question is this. Why can’t we pull out the positive while they are actually happening? I don’t have the answer to that question. However I do know this, I’ve come a long way because it used to take me weeks if not months to pull out something positive to a situation that may have upset me in the past.
So I leave you with this. Yes. I was that Mom. I was that real good Mom.
I was that Mom that said yes to one more episode of fire and rescue before bed because it made my daughter so happy and I got an extra snuggle.
I was that Mom that stopped randomly as I walked by my daughter who was quietly playing just to kiss her on the top of her head. Knowing that it makes her smile.
I was that Mom that put the phone down. Jumped in a pile of leaves with her children because they just longed for my attention.
I was that Mom that let both kids get up at the counter and help make dinner that night, even though the mess usually causes me to always say “Nope, OK we are done.” For once, I just enjoyed it and now love including them.
I was that Mom that said No to a tubby that night because sometimes the extra story time is just more fun.
I was that Mom. That Mom that realized she just needs to be more positive and believe in herself a little more.