For this mom, the struggle to find balance remains a constant one. Of course. What else is new?
And, well, alright, while I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a tiger mom, I feel like sometimes I push my daughter. Maybe a little too hard. I’ve tried to find the source of why I do this. My Dad had a bit of this tendency. He tried to show me that every action had a consequence and that there were
some a million lessons that could be learned in the course of an average day. I suspect that another factor that has contributed to my propensity to ride her about everything was the fact that I wasted a lot of time and made a lot of mistakes in my youth and early adult years. Maybe other people feel like this, but I feel like I really had a lot of catching up to do once I became an adult. And, let’s be honest, as an old mom I feel like I am just busting with knowledge. AHAHAHA! But, really. I think you know what I’m saying. I want to impart all of the knowledge gained from mistakes I made and encourage my daughter to soak up all of the delicious experiences that life has to offer. This sounds innocent enough.
But sometimes I feel like I’m being mean.
I signed my daughter up for a kids’ run a few weeks ago (my idea) after she agreed to participate. We like to run together now and then (her idea) and she calls me her running buddy. This makes me very happy, FYI. So I thought this would be a good idea. She immediately started whining and I immediately found myself giving her a guilt trip — insisting that she could not quit and she should be grateful that she is healthy and has legs that work. There were lots of tears and I felt pretty bad. But she finished. This past weekend we went to her second race. A little hesitation on her part in the days leading up, but she did an awesome job and was so proud of herself. She even brought her medal to school to share. Results like this fuel my bad behavior.
Same with soccer. She loves to play with my husband and I and is actually pretty good. (Says the Mom.) Anyway, when Saturday mornings would roll around, the whining and complaining would commence. But we insisted on her sticking with it. And now we’ve signed her up for futsal and basketball. Chances are pretty strong she’ll hate both.
I try to fit lessons in everywhere. I try turning everything into teachable moment: responsibility, taking care of your things, gratitude, self-acceptance, acceptance of others. I find myself quizzing her on math, spelling, science. My husband looks at me sometimes with that look. The one where I’m going too far.
And just for the record, this is not me saying, “Hey, I’m a great mom!” It’s more of me realizing, “Hey, I’m an overbearing mom!” Sometimes I just feel like I’m non-stop. Like I’m going to make her anxious, or feel as though she’s just not doing well enough. I mean, she’s FOUR.
I guess I just want her to at least try things. I don’t want her to say “no” before giving something a shot. I don’t want her to give in to her fears and not experience something that she may end up loving. I want her to learn EVERYTHING. I want her to WANT to learn everything.
I mean, what can I say? I love my kid. ROAR.