Can Bad Moms Inspire Us to Do and Be More?

Can Bad Moms Inspire Us to Do and Be More?

One of my biggest fears as a mother will always be that I will damage my child permanently in a way that she will be resentful forever. Last week, I watched a story on 20/20 about Shirley MacLaine's daughter and how she felt her mother chose her career over her and still has abandonment issues to this day because of it. Now, I am no famous actress. And, I am a stay-at-home mom, so there aren't a lot of parallels in that regard, but there was one thing in this interview that struck me and made me re-examine the time I spend with my own children. Especially my daughter.

The article says:

"In the book, Parker writes that MacLaine was always happy to see her for about four hours, and then suddenly she became a burden.

Four hours?

"Pretty much," Parker said."

My first thought was, "How sad!" Then, I thought of my own daughter. Does she ever feel brushed off, or set aside by me? Does she ever feel like she doesn't get any time with me?

Now that she is in school, she is gone until about 3pm. She comes home, I greet her at the door with hugs and kisses and "How was your day?" I try to pry from her lips any struggles or triumphs she had at school today, and usually get the typical "I don't know" responses. We head downstairs and I hop back on my computer to do my work while her brothers are usually still asleep and she has some time to unwind. She usually chooses to watch TV while I'm on the computer.

Then brothers wake up, I have to get off the computer and work on getting dinner ready, and cleaning up messes upstairs that I didn't want to do while the boys were sleeping. The kids entertain each other. Daddy gets home. She is overjoyed (as every child should be). Dinner is eaten. Homework is done. Baths and then bed. That's the usual routine during the week. Where is my time with my daughter? Truth is, it isn't happening.

Maybe bad mothers can inspire us to be better mothers to our own kids.

After thinking about this routine for a bit, I couldn't help but think that I only get about 4-5 hour with my daughter on school days. Am I using it wisely? Do I take time to focus on her? Play a game? Snuggle? Talk? Paint fingernails? Not usually.

Many days, the kids are entertaining each other, and I'm doing my own thing. Gulp. Am I no better than Shirley MaClaine?

Of course I am. I haven't even read this woman's book, but the interview alone shows that I am better than that. Yet, I can't help but feel like I could do better. And I need to.

One of the biggest challenges of being a mother is overcoming ourselves. Setting aside what we want to do (ie, clean the house, blog, read, etc.) in order to spend time with our children. Quality time. Time they will remember.

I do not have a single memory of my Mom "playing" with me. Not one.

I remember not too long ago when I sat down and played UNO with her. She loved it. And, I was, frankly, a little bored. But, in a way, I had fun because I could see how much she loved doing something with me. I played several games in a row, and then moved on to something else that "Mommy had to do." Was it enough? Will she remember it? Did she feel loved and focused on in that moment? Probably. Is she good for the next week? I doubt it.

Playing Uno
Credit: ulaahmed.

I want to be that kind of Mom that my kids will remember as not just always being there but one that is there for her. Always.

Related Posts

Can I Ever Be Enough for My Kids?

“Mommy? You come sit with us? You come sit with me and Michael and Maggie on couch in the living room?” Matthew asked me a few nights ago. His tiny voice hit me like a freight train. I looked down at the floor beneath the table, covered quite liberally with leftover birthday cake crumbs. Where are you, Mom? Why aren’t you with us? “In a minute, honey. I’ll be right there, Love. Just finishing up cleaning the kitchen,” I said, hastily sweeping the crumbs into a pile. I felt awful.   Read more >

Taking Mommy Time Outs Will Ruin Your Children?

Our absence in the early years, even as little as an hour here and there, could lead our adolescent children to believe that ignoring someone else's needs to get their own needs met will make them treat others terribly. Wait. What? I won't lie, I raise my eyebrows when a new mom of less than three months is out without her child. It's weird to me -- because I could have never done that. I understand that feeling of frustration that comes with being the primary caregiver, and I know the way you cry when all you want is a 20 minute shower without hearing a cry, or being asked to do something.   Read more >

Baby, I'm Amazed By You: Why Parents Feel Their Kids Are So Special

Yesterday, as I stood leaning against the kitchen sink watching H play while I made dinner, she locked eyes with me and broke out into her biggest Cheshire grin, the one that reminds me so much of her father. As she smiled her sneaky smile and shook herself silly in the exersaucer, my mind was absorbed by all of the amazing things I have seen (and have yet to see) her do. There are hundreds of these tiny moments that just catch me by surprise. Where did she learn to smile like that? How does she know to clap and dance the moment she hears music on the radio? I'm amazed.   Read more >

Comments

In order to comment on BlogHer.com, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.