Friday, April 8, 2011

Mom Lessons

What is the most important thing you learned about being a mom from your own mother?

When it comes to parenting, most of the lessons I learned from my mother were about how NOT to be a mom. I was so determined not to be the same sort of mother she was that my children learned to call me "Grandma" when they saw something in me that reminded them of her...it was a sure way to make me stop and think about what I was saying/doing.

Don't get me wrong here--I love my mother, and for the most part I had a good childhood. I've been able to forgive the bad stuff, and we've put it behind us for the most part. But when I was going through it, I knew that it was the type of childhood I never wanted to give a child of mine, and I've tried hard to stick to that over the last 24 yrs.

Discipline in our home was a lot of spanking...and in Mom's case, that would often mean grabbing the nearest object to hit me with, whether it was a belt, a hairbrush, her hand, a wooden spoon, a flyswatter, a switch, a yardstick. There was also a lot of yelling from Mom--I seemed to be excellent at setting off her temper, and getting told how worthless and useless I was, how I was "not normal" (mostly because I wasn't a social person, and preferred to stay in my room, reading, writing poetry, listening to music).

The worst part of my childhood started when I was around 12, however. That was when I started to hear, on a regular basis, that I was crazy and/or a pathological liar, and that I was going to end up "locked up" someday because of it. I heard those things so often, for so long, that they stuck with me for years. Ten years later, I found myself consulting a psychologist because I was so concerned about myself...after extensive psychological testing, he pronounced me "normal," and said that my biggest issue, based on my test results, seemed to be allowing someone else to have control over my life. (I asked "Oh, so you've MET my mother?" LOL)

So, as I said, I've made a conscious effort for the last 24 years not to take any of those steps in raising my children. None of them were ever spanked, or belittled, and they certainly haven't been told they were crazy--except in a joking way, which we ALL do with regularity! :) I hope that, as they get older, they will have much more favorable memories of their childhood and their mother.

2 comments:

  1. Stopping by from NaBloPoMo. Great lessons. I am now a follower.

    ReplyDelete

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