Not Quite Good Enough Parent

I felt like I had made humongous strides of maturity in the past decade.
Despite my challenges, I did think of myself as wiser.
I even credit myself for overcoming many of the symptoms of my personality disorder
But ever since Eve , my middle daughter came back to live with us
I feel I have regressed to a more emotional infantile place.
Her criticism and hostility bring me to tears
and make me feel like I don’t want to live anymore.
I know it’s crazy.
She’s just a selfish teen and I have four other children
but she has exploited me extensively over the past year.
Not only has she not apologized but she torments me continuously
regarding my mothering skills
I will be honest
I will never get the mother of the year award.
I don’t cook or bake, I don’t sew or knit, I barely clean and tidy up
I have little to give them in terms of material goods
(though they never lacked anything important)
I don’t carpool because I don’t drive.
I am terrible at discipline
But I have always been emotionally supportive
and accessible to my kids.
I suppose you could say I have been their best friend
and not their mother.
But isn’t worth something in the balance?

We are not going to change our kids
We need to accept them as they are
But why is it so hard for them to accept US as WE are?
Why is it so difficult for them to focus on the nice things we do for them
or the aspects of our personalities that they enjoy
rather than always seek the negative and condemn us for it?
Eve even said that the few things I did for her that were nice didn’t mater,
they were not important.
Yet everything she didn’t get from me is of ultimate important.
Meanwhile, I have been treating her the exact opposite way.
I have accepted her flaws, even downplayed them
and I have celebrated anything positive she did
no matter how small.

I wonder also why it is
that the minute I blunder
no matter how small the blunder
and no matter how rare,
it becomes the only thing that matters
It doesn’t matter that I did a million good things
over the 17 years that I have been her mom.
Everything I did for her is erased.
All that remains is the that screw up.
The one thing I said “no” to.
The one comment that could have been more sensitive.
It’s like what they say about Hollywood
that you are only as good as the last thing you did.

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