Parenting and the house of broken dreams(4 Posts)
I just read this blog post:
and I think this lady has perhaps really hit the nail on the head.
Do you think that parenting is hard because our expectations are unrealistically high?
Are we in fact being universally Unreasonable in our expectations of parenthood?
(And are our children and society being Unreasonable in their expectations of childhood, and therefore placing more of a burden on us than we can cope with?)
Just wondered if anyone else had views on this. I would love to find a way to make my expectations fit better with the reality so that I could enjoy the process a bit more.
I haven't read that post, but I know I always judged myself harshly for how I parented - I never felt good enough. Part of that is down to low self esteem, but I know I often feel like a failure as a wife, parent, person.
I didn't manage to breastfeed - and I have only recently started trying not to refer to that as my failure to breastfeed, whenever I mention it.
I always wanted to be a wife and mother, and had this dream that I would be really good at both, and I always fear that I am not living up to my own dreams - even when those dreams were utterly unrealistic.
I don't recognise the parenting described in that post. I do not see the small disappointments and irritations that occur daily (hourly) as proof that I am failing, they are certainly no more significant than work-related disappointments, or friendship irritations. I found recognising my children as people with their own likes and dislikes meant that I wasn't personally responsible for their choices.
I agree that parents are usually hugely optimistic, but the writer implies that it is optimism flying in the face of disappointing experience. I feel that it is optimism that reflects the everyday experience of small pleasures and joys of being parent.
I had a short period of mourning my complete lack of earth motherishness and then dh reminded me that I had never even aspired to be an earth mother and it would require a total personality change. I realised that this was entirely true and that my wistfulness was about somehow thinking that there was an ideal of motherhood which I should want to be like, even though actually I didn't even really think it was that fantastic. So I stopped and got on with generally good enough parenting instead.
I do get the cup of tea thing, parenting small children can be relentless. One plus point of going to work when they were little was to be able to have regular undisturbed cups of tea (usually made by someone else too ).
I've always rather enjoyed my children being themselves though so I really don't empathise with that part. I don't recall feeling judged on what they wore, more for what a tearaway ds was. Still that usually got turned into positive comments about what a 'boy' he was, while poor dd gt told how pretty she was.
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