A couple examples that come to mind is a week or so ago when I wasn't feeling too hot my kids thought they'd surprise me by rearranging my living and dining rooms. Well a proper mom would have come home and raved about all the hard work and the beauty of the new decor whether she liked it or not. Me? I enter....they say "surprise!" I stare in horror. They say "do you like it mom?" I say truthfully "no, not really. I liked it the way I had it". Their faces fall and their hearts are broken. The damage is done. I still somehow cannot help myself but to say "I do not like the couch here because.....and the table should be turned this way....etc etc." Only when I finish and they are unusually quiet do I realize that I have hurt their feelings. And that the better approach would have been to say excitedly "I Love it! Thank You!"
Another example is report card time. Marlon returned home with less than desirable grades. We were discussing his D's and his take was, and I quote "a D is passing." I hate when my kids say that! I have told them if they try their best and get a D then a D is fine but if they skimp by and end with a D then that is not okay. I knew that he had not worked his hardest and I was trying to explain my problem with the D. I did try the "you are so much smarter than a D, and you can do it approach!" first but that was getting me nowhere He kept saying "well a D is passing." I got irritated and told him "no a D is for Dumb, Dummy, Deadbeat, Didn't do shit all quarter!" and a few other D examples I could think of. Yes, I know that is completely inappropriate. But I was so aggravated and disappointed. (another D word) I have a really hard time saying things that I really don't believe. I just always prefer to be straight up but I know with kids you gotta pretend sometimes. I just really struggle with that.
My latest failure was this Christmas. Mason who is 9 and makes about $10 a month in allowance because he's kinda lazy,(see I did it again) went Christmas shopping with dad and returned home so excited he could barely contain himself. On Christmas morning he could barely open his stuff because he simply could not wait for me to open my gift from him. When it was my turn to open it I really put on, (we were filming) how much I loved it. It was a watch. A watch that was of the brightest teal color with gold trim and teal diamonds.
The watch is huge, does not latch on, is more of a bracelet style and I, not being a big fan of accessories, thought it was so not me. No problem I'll put on that I love it, wear it around him a time or two and then all will be harmonious. Mason wanted me to wear it Christmas day. Problem is I am a silver kinda girl. Most of my rings are platinum or silver and very modest. My Christmas outfit was grey with silver trim so a gold and teal watch would've stuck out like a sore wrist. I explained to Mason that it didn't go with my outfit and I would wear it some other time. The RA watched this conversation in horror. He then pulled me aside and said "Really? You are not gonna wear his watch today?" I explained to him the fashion side of it and he felt the "mother side" should outweigh the fashion side. I knew he was right but I just did not want this gawdy huge watch sticking out on my arm all day. So I didn't wear it. Later that night Mason came and asked me if I liked the watch. I said "Oh, I love it!" "Why won't you wear it then?" He asked skeptically. "Oh, I will when I have something to go with it." "Whatever" he replied. He put his head down and walked away. I knew I had hurt him. So I immediately put it on and made a point for him to notice. He was not impressed. When I pointed out how much I loved my new watch. He said "it doesn't matter now everyone's gone and no one will see it but me and you." I felt horrible. Horrible. What the hell is wrong with you? I said to myself. Where is your motherly empathy? It bothered me for days.
So today I am wearing the watch. It is huge, heavy, and since it is a bracelet style its slides all over my arm Uncomfortable! He saw me with it on and smiled the biggest smile I've seen in a while but truthfully I could not wait to get to work to take it off. I am a bad mom. The worse kind. I really have to work on being more sensitive to my kids feelings. I really had no big resolutions for the new year but I think I will make this my goal. I truly know better. I just can't stop myself sometimes. What is your biggest downfall as a parent? Please, come on make me feel better.