The inaugration of this blog. How appropriate then it is to write about the Motherhood Hall of Shame. I felt my walk through this hall of shame this morning.
It was the same old pattern. Sibling rivalry between the lovely kids. Of course, it has to be over devices – Xbox video game, which they play endlessly on, especially since it’s Summer break from school. A loud shrilling scream, aggressive advancing strides by the older one toward the younger one, and crying. It was a reaction from the older one to the younger one’s shooting his Nerf Gun at her in retaliation to something they fought over during their video game together.
Basically, everything that is wrong in parenting has been let loose to happen. And me, the parent, tried my very best to stay calm, be firm, set limits, but end up in an emotional argument, and finally display of anger by banging my hands on the piano. I was telling my children to manage their emotions, but I myself ended up flaring up. Bad, bad parenting.
It is another moment to put a plague up on the Motherhood Hall of Shame. It is everything you know you should do but cannot do. Everything wrong you know of that you end up doing or becoming. It is a blow to one’s ego – a narcissistic injury. The most humbling and humiliating of experiences of the Self. The shame I will have to constantly bear. That is Motherhood.
It is the realization that one is vulnerable, one is imperfect, one is only so human, one can never be omnipotent even if the children and the society expects that of you. That is the shame of motherhood – to be a mere mortal. How dare I, this woman, be simply a mere mortal!
Yes, I know, I should limit screen time and video games, and curate and censor these things. Yes, I know, I should give consequences with the limit setting, and punish or reinforce certain behaviors with cause and effect in mind. Yes, I know, I should not display strong emotions when disciplining. Yes, I know to not negotiate and weaken my boundary setting. Yes, I know to lead by example and not plug into my own devices. Yes, I know, to keep a look out for violent behaviors and not encourage gun fetishes or revenge. Yes, I know, sibling rivalry is developmentally appropriate. Yes, I know to let the children figure out how to solve their own problems. Yes, yes, yes, I know. I am an intelligent woman, an educated mother. Yet I still cannot carry these “appropriate” responses. I still end up being a flustered, impatient, resentful, selfish mother. I end up not being in control. I end up crying. I end up making mistakes.
I end up experiencing human emotions. And that seems like a big No-No in parenting. To be human. I have to be demi-god as a mother. You know what, I am not God. I told my kids many times. I am not God. I cannot be everything. Even if the children thinks I am. I am not. But in this society, if I am not God as a Mother, I will have to walk into the Hall of Shame.
You think motherhood is like this photo? The woman is all dressed up with braided hair and make-up on. Her daughter’s hair all so soft and braided and brushed nicely, with smiles and clean, tidy clothes, and a sleeping baby? Huh!
It is more like this. Get it? This is motherhood. On a daily basis. No photoshop. No photo shoot. Who is in charge here? The baby, that’s what!
THE HALL OF SHAME! Day in and Day Out.
Word Up. Word Out. Lay Low, My Mothas.