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So I read a lot from and about other moms here on the internet, for better or for worse. It´s an attempt to learn from others´mistakes, to see how what we are doing as a family stacked up against folks back home in the US and usually a laugh as the dramatized versions of other people´s everyday life sound SO MUCH WORSE than anything that ever happens to me. Well, usually. Not today.

Today I read a beautiful post that hit home with me as only words of truth can. It is by a woman named Rachel who espouses her own theory of “Hands Free” parenting, which I think is really interesting, but I´ll let you find out about it on your own. In Taking Away My Daughter´s Smile she talks about her realization that her own stress and negative outlook were being transferred to her children and damaging the lives of the entire family. You can and should of course find out all about it by clicking the link. I learned about her through a group called Positive Parenting on Facebook, they put forward different techniques and writings about, well, just what their name means, really, not too much surprise there.

Back to my eavesdropping on other people´s misadventures online, though, because that is what I really wanted to talk about today. Rachel´s writing touched me in a way that made me for once want to participate in her conversation (those who know me are surely not surprised, it seems like I always want to participate in every conversation I have been in, near, or even heard down the hall. Not always the case in writing though, folks, as I fully suscribe to the theory that everything you ever do on the internet can be recorded and eventually compiled to judge you for all eternity).

I started to read some of the comments and WOW are there a lot of them, it seems I am in good company among mothers who relate to Rachel´s story. So I decided to share (gasp) and write my own epiphany and thank her for sharing hers. Not only did I do so, but she read and validated my story by accepting it, as well as replying with words of encouragement. What an uplifting experience from start to finish! I feel lighter (yes, that´s the Catholic in me having confessed, no doubt about it), bolstered by the thought that people, like this great woman, face the same mood swings, explosions and nerves that I do, and just happy that I stuck my neck out there and added my two cents. Just in case you´re curious (and because you are probably dying to know what shitty thing I did this time, I know I would be…) here it is:

Olivia

 says:

Not long ago I got mad at my three year old. Really mad. He was playing with a plastic sword as I tried to buckle his seatbelt and after getting poked in the face, I grabbed it out of his hand, threw it on the floor of the car and slammed the door. “You have to understand, a sword, even a toy is a weapon and you hurt me with it” I said angrily above the wails from the backseat.
“I can´t do things like you,” he said tearfully “I don´t know how, I´m just a little guy. I´m not a grown-up, Mommy”. His words cut me to the quick. I had to pull the car over, walk around to the back and unbuckle his seatbelt and hug him tight. Truer words have never been spoken, he is a little guy and because I expect so much of him and treat him like as if he were older doesn´t mean that he is. The transferral of my frustrations and expectations to him is unforgiveable and I feel so grateful that he has the linguistic ability to make me see that. I loved your post and am going to start following you as it sounds like the inspiring changes you have made have worked for your family and I hope to learn from your experience. Thank you!

  • Wow. That brings me to tears. I celebrate this reminder that we can ALL learn from–even my children who are not babies anymore are still learning–I must remember they are not adults. I love how you handled this situation. I think you are pretty wonderful. And I love that you courageously shared something we can all relate to. Hugs to you and your very special boy.

In the spirit of getting things off their chest, though I do NOT pretend to be nearly as wise as Rachel, if anyone else has a similar “I´m a terrible mom” moment they want to unload, go right ahead….