Mom Confessions: Struggles I Hide from My Kids

  • Mom Confessions: Struggles I Hide from My Kids 1 of 7

    I Feel Like I'm Faking It

    The one struggle I really try to hide from my kids is all about them: Maternal Imposter Syndrome. You know what I'm talking about: It's that fake-it-'til-you-make-it feeling. The sense that any minute now the Real Mother will return and wash these children's faces, straighten up their toys, and lay dinner on the table — all without chipping her perfect nail polish. The sure knowledge that a) you don't know what you're doing and b) you're probably doing it wrong.

    I know my kids look up to me. They see me as the perfect being who orders their little world. I'd rather not burden them with the scary fact that after almost 9 years as a parent, I still doubt every decision I make, big or small.

    Read more about Sierra's Maternal Imposter Syndrome

  • Mom Confessions: Struggles I Hide from My Kids 2 of 7

    2: I Don’t Always Practice the Girl Power I Preach

    Girl Power

    My husband and I make a pretty good team. There’s not a lot of bickering about whose job it is to do what to keep the house running smoothly. What I like best about our arrangement is that we sort of play to our strengths. What I hate about it, though, is that the jobs fall ridiculously along stereotypical gender lines. For example:

    He’s trash. I’m toilets.

    He set up our wi-fi. I picked the furniture.

    If something needs to be assembled or hammered into the wall, I ask my husband to do it. If the kids need to see the doctor, dentist, or a tutor, I take them.

    How gross is that? It’s not that I can’t put together furniture (that I picked out!). I just don’t want to. I tell myself that’s no big deal, but I know my girls notice the division. And I don’t want them to think only dads — thereby boys — can handle fire, hammers, and Hefty bags. I spend a lot of time talking to my kids about the messages the media sends — all the pink, supporting-role stuff for girls. All the tough guy, take-chargeish roles for boys. And then I don’t even bother with picking up a power tool. Shouldn’t I know better and walk the walk?

    Read more about Madeline’s efforts to teach her kids gender equality

  • Mom Confessions: Struggles I Hide from My Kids 3 of 7

    3: I Care About My Looks

    I Feel Like I'm Faking It

    One thing I hope to instill in my 9-year-old girl is a positive self-image. The last thing I want is for her to strive to conform to an unrealistic notion of beauty espoused by a society that becomes enamored with clowns like “The Situation.” I want her to know that the most beautiful thing she could ever be is herself. I try hard to show by example that I’m not overly concerned about the way things look. But this past December, I reached my highest weight ever. It was time for action. In January, I recommitted to exercise and a good diet, and I have lost some weight, but I’m still a bit off from where I’d like to be. That’s when the following happened:

    The other day, my daughter caught me examining myself in the mirror after a run.

    “What are you doing?” she asked.

    “Oh nothing,” I answered as I reached for my shirt.

    “I know,” she answered with a smile. “You’re checking yourself out to see if your belly is getting smaller.”

    Read how John got himself out of this one

  • Mom Confessions: Struggles I Hide from My Kids 4 of 7

    4: I want to hide from my daughter

    I want to hide from my daughter

    Once my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter started crawling and then walking, any notion that I could have a sanctuary or a few waking minutes of peace and quiet were dispelled. She’s my stalker. If I leave the room and come back 12 seconds later, she’s like a puppy who greets me like we haven’t seen each other in years.

    In some ways it’s sort of flattering to be stalked. After all, I used to worry that my daughter hadn’t gone through any age-appropriate separation anxiety. “She must not love me,” I cried to my husband. Then it dawned on me that I wouldn’t really know if she experiences anxiety because we are never apart.

    Some mom wrote a magazine article a few years ago about how the only time she ever had to herself was when she was in the bathroom. Those minutes in the john sounded like a GREAT idea. Until I realized the lock on my bathroom door doesn’t work.

    Read Meredith’s theory about the reason her daughter is so clingy

  • Mom Confessions: Struggles I Hide from My Kids 5 of 7

    5: My Marriage Isn’t Perfect

    My Marriage Isn’t Perfect

    Both my husband and I grew up in houses with parents who fought and yelled. A lot. We had no positive role models for relationships. That’s no excuse, but it can hamstring a person trying his or her hardest to make it through the latest lap of the marriage marathon. Each lap is SO different. You can be cruising along on one and gasping for breath the next.

    The aspect of parenthood I find the most challenging is hiding that drama from the kids—the impatient exchanges that Violet so carefully listens to now, my acid-tongued impulse to say exactly what I want to say to my husband. Parents are built to want more for their children than they had, and I would consider myself an abject failure as a mother if Violet and Henry ever look back and remember me arguing with their dad like I remember with my parents.

    Read how Monica feels blogging about her marriage

  • Mom Confessions: Struggles I Hide from My Kids 6 of 7

    6: I still hate leaving him

    I still hate leaving him

    I know I’m approximately the 100-millionth parent to struggle with the question of being away from her most precious human being. I’ve read the research on healthy and happy kids in daycare (indeed, I share it with my readers a lot). I loved my son’s daycare and I love his preschool. So why is it something I struggle with on almost a daily basis?

    For the most part, my struggle isn’t over whether or not being away from me is bad for him, although in my more vulnerable moments those thoughts do knock around in my head. I know that we are a happier family with me as a working parent. But even if I know that intellectually, it doesn’t make me feel better about having so little control over his world for all that time during the week.

    Read when Heather finds separating from her child most difficult

  • Mom Confessions: Struggles I Hide from My Kids 7 of 7

    7: I Worry ALL the Time

    I Worry ALL the Time

    Before I had kids, I rarely thought about catastrophes and world disasters. I was the typical young and carefree person who really believed that nothing bad would ever happen to me, and thankfully, nothing ever did. So I was surprised at how having my daughter turned me into an instant worry wart. Outwardly, you’d probably never know it, but when she was born, I worried about SIDS, her sleep schedule, her nutrition, and if I’d be a good-enough mother.

    Later I worried about falls, head trauma, and sickness. Now that she’s older and on her own, I worry about car accidents and strangers. As much as I would like to keep my troublesome thoughts to myself (and I try very hard to do that), I probably let out my worry from time to time. And then I worry about that!

    I don’t know why or how I got this way after having kids, but I would like it to stop. I would love to be that mother who is laid back, a mom of real free-range kids so to speak, but I just haven’t been able to do it.

    Read what experts say about the amount parents worry

Article Posted 6 years Ago

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