Some of the biggest things I have learned about being a mother is to enjoy the moments spent with my kids as much as I can and to not get angry or upset over the little things. Of course it is still hard at times not to get angry or upset but I have been trying my best. Little things such as getting mad over my daughter being messy or not wanting to clean up after herself or when my son makes a huge mess and dirties his whole outfit when eating. After all I’m still going to have to end up cleaning the mess so why stress myself even more by getting upset and yelling.
One of the most difficult things I’ve dealt with since becoming a parent has also been how to deal with my children throwing tantrums in public. I still get stressed out and embarrassed here and there when my 2 year old throws a really bad tantrum when we are out shopping or eating at a restaurant. I love the fact that the majority of times I’ve had other women or moms tell me “oh its ok, it’s normal he’s only 2”. Or “oh honey it’s alright I have been there, I know how it is”. And then there are those other women and moms who look at you like you are not a good mother because you can’t control your child. Their look alone makes you feel judged and criticized and there have been a few times that I have felt so overwhelmed that I have cried in the car.
One worst memories that I have of being mommy shamed is when my daughter when she was 2 years old and I took her to the dentist for the first time. As soon as we went to the back they put us in a separate room so that the dentist could check all her teeth for cavities and boy oh boy did she go nuts. I thought well this is normal for most kids her age right? Because most kids (even older kids) are scared of the dentist! Well she had her sippy cup and threw it and begin to kick and scream. I will never forget the dental assistant told me in Spanish that I needed to learn how to control my child and not let my child control me. I was in awe :-(.
I was actually so shocked she told me that because if anything, I thought that working in a pediatric dentist office you would understand that with working with children this would happen. I didn’t reply I just grabbed my daughter and walked out of that dentist office. I burst into tears in my car and I remember getting angry with my child because I felt embarrassed, I thought is it true am I not being a strict enough or good enough parent. I called my husband crying to tell him and after a long talk I was able to calm down and drive home. I never returned to that dentist office.
It was at that moment that I vowed to myself to never be that type of mom. The type that judges or criticizes other moms. I have realized that not every child is the same and not every parenting style is the same either. But just because someone else’s parenting style isn’t like mine or mine isn’t like theirs doesn’t make either of us wrong. So I can only give advise without it expecting to work on every child. To all the moms out there, please do not judge other moms. Not every mom nor every child is the same.