Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I'm Not a Bad Mom; My Kids Just Make Me Look That Way

Today is Tuesday. I hate Tuesday. Because Tuesday is the day I take my daughter to gymnastics class. And at gymnastics class, she makes me look like a bad mom, just like her brother did when he took gymnastics at this age.

My kids are generally very well-behaved and pleasant to be around, but something about gymnastics class sends both of them into screaming, whirling dervish, misbehaving, mom-embarrassing mode. Their gymnastics teacher is incredibly patient and understanding, but even she has admitted that my children are the worst-behaved kids she’s ever had in class.

They make me look like a bad mom.

Or, at least, they make me FEEL like a bad mom. After all, what kind of mom can’t control her two-year-old for 45 minutes? What kind of mom raises a hellion who won’t sit down for even 30 seconds to listen to directions? What kind of mom has a kid who screams so loudly that no-one can hear the teacher (a teacher who is used to making herself heard in a GYM)?

I’ll tell you what kind of mom: A mom who disciplines her children, who teaches them to use polite words, who makes them say, “excuse me” when they interrupt a conversation, who puts them in the naughty chair when necessary, who reminds them to listen with their ears and not their mouths, and who does not put up with tantrums. In a word: Me. And yet, when my daughter gets to gymnastics, all that discipline and all those good manners go right out the window. And there I am, tossed once again into “Bad Mom” territory.

I hate it. It’s embarrassing.

But you know what the worst part is? The worst part is that it makes me spend more time worrying about what the other parents think and not about what my daughter could be getting out of the class. I want to quiet her down not so that she can have fun and learn something, or even so that the other kids in the class can have fun and learn something, but so that I won’t look bad in front of the other parents. And that kind of does make me a bad mom.

So today, I vow to take off my bad attitude when I put on those yoga pants, and to bring my daughter to class with my head high and my expectations low. Today, my goal will be for my daughter to have at least 5 minutes of enjoying the class between tantrums. My goal will be to think only about what she’s thinking and not about what the other parents are thinking.

Because BEING a good mom is a lot more important than LOOKING like a good mom. 

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