Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Own Mean Mommy

Yes, I had a mean mommy. Sometimes she was mean, as in not nice. I think that, sometimes, she didn't know how to raise a kid. For example, she would encourage me to "be myself"--to do what I enjoyed and not let anyone tell me that I couldn't. By "anyone", she must have meant only my peers, because if I did something she didn't like, she wouldn't hesitate to tell me I couldn't do it.

For example: when I was little, 5 years old or so, I had a toy drum. I banged on it, a lot. Now, my mom and dad were probably the ones who bought it for me, or, if it came from someone else, they allowed me to have it. One day, I was playing a big drum solo, and my mom decided she didn't want to hear it. She may have given me a warning or three, but, I was a little kid with a drum. I didn't want to stop. So, she stepped on--and in and through--my drum. It was ruined. There was no taking it away, no making it an outside toy, nothing. Just elimination of what she considered the problem. Certainly, her solution was drastic, and not well thought out, because the destruction of my toy caused a huge temper tantrum, which must have really sucked for her (sorry, mom, you are not getting any sympathy from me).

There are a lot more incidents that I remember vividly, and which influence my own parenting decisions.  I have high expectations for my kiddo, but I realize that my job is to help her meet them, as well as the expectations of society as a whole. The key word is help, as in guide, facilitate, assist...not trample, destroy, and talk out of both sides of my mouth.

Perhaps I went through a bitter period when I was angry at my mom for not being kind and sympathetic when I needed her to be*, but remember my post about "The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe"? Seriously, that was my grandmother. My mother learned by example, and didn't really know how to relate to a little kid. She might have benefited from parenting books, mommy groups, etc, but they weren't prevalent back in the day. So, I have chosen to find my own parenting techniques and not model mine after hers.

For the record, my kiddo has a drum, and it is intact. It has been taken away numerous times and even hidden, but she still has it.

*Luv ya, mom!

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