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Natural Parenting Carnival – Role Model
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Natural Parenting Carnival – Role Model

by admin on May 11, 2010

Welcome to the May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Role model

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have waxed poetic about how their parenting has inspired others, or how others have inspired them. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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I’ve never considered myself to be a great role model, although that is something that I aspire to become.
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I just don’t have it in me to be perfect. I realize that good role models don’t have to be perfect, but the people that I personally look up to far exceed me in so many realms. That is my problem. I’ve always admired people who are “better” than me.

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How do I define better? Well, someone who is smarter, kinder, less irritable, prettier, etc… It’s obvious that I’ve struggled with self esteem issues. But, now that I have a growing boy in my care, I have started to view the world and the people in it differently. I can only improve myself through hard work and commitment, not through being jealous of others.

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My main problem is that I am constantly guilt ridden about this, that, or the other. I never think I am doing a good enough job. When I do actually give myself credit for something, I immediately feel as if I’m being proud, and I shut it out.

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On the surface I believe that I am a good mother to my son, but deep down I honestly feel like I’m doing a pathetic job. I know that this an unhealthy way to view myself. It’s hard to change, though, because I am so adapted to this type of thought pattern. I really want to love myself, so I can become a great role model for my son. At this point I am too afraid, and in turn, am not at my best for my sweet Axel.

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People tell me, “oh, you’re being too hard on yourself. You can’t do EVERYTHING that you want to do with your kids, it isn’t possible.” That’s not the main problem for me, though. I just feel wrong deep in my heart, like no matter how many natural parenting behaviors I practice, or how many activities I do with Axel, I will never be enough. I know where these feelings came from. I’ve had them for such a long time. I’ve been smothering them for years. I do think that confronting them has finally started to point me in the right direction, though, which is a good start.

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I just want Axel to know that I am trying my hardest to be a good mother, and I want nothing more than to show him that. I cannot, and will not allow myself to have a pity party. I am determined to prove to myself that I am a loving and caring mom. If God be for me, who can be against me?

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by the end of the day May 11 with all the carnival links.)

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Amber May 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm

I lack confidence, too. But I’ve come to realize that while perfection isn’t possible, it also isn’t necessary. Just by showing up every day and doing your best, you’re a great mom. That’s it. That’s all we have to do, and it sounds like you’re doing that and more. I’m sure that Axel appreciates it, whether he can tell you so or not.

Thomasin May 12, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Sounds like you and I both needed to read Arwyn’s post on this subject. I completely understand. But I think you’ve touched people in positive ways even if you aren’t sure. Your blog’s readers attest to it. Will it ever feel like “enough”? I’m not sure. I hope that someday there will be a peace. Either it will descend or you will choose it. Either way, you’ll know you’ve done a good job. Because it sounds like you have–you just need to grab the title!

Sarah @ OneStarryNight May 12, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Ah yes, mommy guilt! I think, especially with little ones, it’s hard because they aren’t able to articulate “you are doing an awesome job at raising me”.

YOU ARE an awesome momma!

Maman A Droit May 12, 2010 at 1:31 pm

It’s amazing how tough it can be to convince ourselves to feel that what we know logically is true, really is. I think both your dedication to parenting well and your courage in talking about very personal feelings are inspirational! I love the quote you end with, “if God be with me, who can be against me”. Knowing that God loves me no matter what always helps me feel better about myself when I start feeling like a lousy wife/mother/person.

admin May 11, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Thank you for for the sweet comment, Mrs Green :), you are very kind. I hope I can at least inspire my children some day.

admin May 11, 2010 at 6:32 pm

It does bring out the best and worst- that’s so true. I know we are our own worst critics, and it really is hard to escape that mentality. Thank you for the sweet comment.

admin May 11, 2010 at 6:32 pm

You ended with “it’s a work in progress,” just like hobo mama. Haha. You two must hang out a lot. :) I think you are exactly right. He will model me, so I can’t feel guilty all the time. Although, thinking that almost makes me feel more guilty for feeling guilty. Ugh. I’ll get better. Thank you, Dionna.

admin May 11, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Boy is it, I just feel like the work will never end. And you know, it won’t! Thanks for the encouragement, Lauren, I appreciate it.

Lauren @ Hobo Mama May 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Oh, sweetie, it’s hard, isn’t it? I’m always feeling like a failure, too. I don’t know if it helps to know you’re not alone in feeling this way or not. I don’t have any solutions. I would only suggest hanging onto the way your son loves you and responds to you — he thinks you’re wonderful, yes? And then just continue to be real with him as he grows, modeling how to apologize, forgive, try again, and love yourself. It’s a work in progress.

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama May 11, 2010 at 6:12 pm

I can empathize – I, too, am hounded by the guilt monster. I think one thing that has really helped me now that I am a mother is remember that Kieran will learn how to deal with his emotions/problems by watching me. I don’t want HIM to feel guilty for everything. I want him to be able to resolve things and move on! In order for him to learn that, I need to model it. It’s a work in progress.

BluebirdMama aka @childbearing May 11, 2010 at 4:36 pm

I think we are all our own worst critics. I judge myself far more harshly than I judge any other mothers I know. I read somewhere recently that being a mother basically brings out the best in us and the worst…and you know, when we are focused on self-improvement and trying to be our best for our kids, it is easy to focus on all of the little ways we fail and to forget to applaud our successes. But from the outside, others looking at us, I think it really is the opposite. I’m sure there are people out there that admire your parenting.

Mrs Green @ littlegreenblog.com May 11, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Heartfelt stuff. I want to give you a (((HUG))). Thank you for speaking so openly about something I think a LOT of us feel. Many have childhood memories of not being good enough, of being abused, but it takes an evolved soul to want to be your best when you’ve endured something like this. I admire you and you ARE a role model for not wanting to enforce this belief onto the next generation. You want to love yourself so that you teach your kids how to love themselves too. All power to you …

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