Me, “Be an impeccable and fabulous role model.” Tip 11
I think the “parent truthfully” premise can be suspended for this point. I don’t feel I was impeccable or fabulous, but children are a little easier to fool, their optimism has not been tampered with. Regardless of how imperfect a Mom is, from the beginning their children already believe them to be great.
There are some mixed opinions on the topic of how Moms should behave. Some believe in being real; me, not so much. Actually, not at all.
Maybe Moms who aren’t as messed up as I was, they can be real. As for me, the “real” me was not pretty and should never have been unleashed in front of a child.
I was terrified, negative, insecure, underdeveloped, immature and at the risk of sounding harsh, clueless. I felt the world was out to get me and it was winning. I wanted Michael to have none of it. I acted the opposite. I did all the things I didn’t want to do.
I don’t believe your children should see your pain, the depth of it, but should know you have feelings. If you can’t repair your dysfunction, hide it. Your issues should not become their issue.
Kids need to know, “You got this!” As Karlee (Mom #85) said, “Mothers are heroes.” You are their rock, their compass, guiding light. Get over it or contain it, whatever it is.
In my case much work was need to get me close to impeccable and fabulous. I let go of old friends and quit drinking and drugs. I didn’t gossip, swear, or even shake the salt. I went to school, to church, to counseling, to the library and to the playground. I showed up in every way.
I smiled when I was angry. I acted strong when I was weak. I demonstrated confidence when I was petrified.
I asked for help when I wanted to be alone. I talked to others when I hated everyone. I pushed through loud and nasty voices and let go of loud and nasty people.
I felt each of Michael’s days should remain great, forward focused and child-centered. Michael’s day should not depend on my issues, internal or external. He should no know of, or carry, my resentments. I believed Michael should not know what kind of day I was having. I was his Mother first, and a broken individual a close second.
Because I acted opposite to most impulses, my son had an opposite childhood, upbringing, life, future and outlook. His childhood was as impeccable and fabulous as it could be, although delivered by a deeply flawed and damaged Mom.
Being real was not an option for me, not in front of my son.
I did find many opportunities to be real with others, with adults. Doing so gave me the strength to be fabulous and impeccable for Michael – as assessed by me. I do realize Michael may feel otherwise; however, he was unaware of the battle. I know how fabulous my behavior was in relation to my internal self, happily he does not.
Now that Michael is all grown up, he is not so easy to fool. These days, I’m far less fabulous and never impeccable. My secret is out, I’m flawed and imperfect.
I am amazing though!