Approval Addiction

You read that right… I have an approval addiction. This means that I care about what people think of me. I wish I could be those hard ass moms who don’t give two cents about what other moms think of them…or even what their own kids think of them. But I do.

This summer, I beat myself up because I spent almost two months of my summer off from teaching, moving our family of six and remodeling our new house. I was home, so why not knock it out? I guess I assumed my four kids would be okay with helping me move, paint, decorate, clean, etc. But I was wrong. Once I stepped out of myself for a minute and realized I had totally dropped the ball this summer, I completely beat myself up. It was when my 14 year old daughter looked at me and said, “I have been helping you all summer and now the summer is almost over” that I realized I had let them down.

Some of you are thinking… who cares! They are kids! It’s good for them to help out! And I agree whole heartedly with all the above… so then why am I still caring??? Why do I get so upset when I feel I have let them down.

I don’t know about other moms out there, but I actually fear that my kids will grow up and say how much I screwed them up. I will just die if they talk badly about me to other adults and laugh at my mistakes when they are adults.

But I guess that only worries me because I do that now……

Despite my parents’ shortcomings, they were wonderful and loved me dearly. It’s not my place to judge. So I should stop.

Back to my hot mess moment. This morning, my youngest (6) threw a fit because she thought a basketball collectors card was hers and not her 11 year old brother’s, who actually collects basketball, baseball, and football cards. Hmm…. no sweety, it’s not yours. Enter tears and massive hysteria. We were supposed to be leaving to drop everyone off in five minutes for school. Awesome.

Several seconds later she explodes with, “You’re mean! Why do you have to be so mean all the time!” So what do I do? I scream. Like totally scream. I know it doesn’t help anything. I even attempted to swat her booty, which I missed and only made her more upset that I would even attempt to. But for the love of pete, she cannot talk to me like that. We are both in tears by the time I pull up to her elementary school. Great way to start the morning. I just set the mood for a stressful day for my first grader. Awesome job Mom.

So I left in tears and called my husband. He says we have been yelling at the kids too much and need to re-evaluate things because it’s not working, but rather making it worse. Ugh… I hate it when he’s right. So now I feel like a total heal and need to think twice before I open my mouth. So what if my teen son is extremely annoying right now with his smart ass comments and argumentative babble. So what if my teenage daughter gets easily overwhelmed and stresses out over EVERYTHING. So what if my 11 year old son has ADHD to the max and is probably the hardest kid I have ever had to parent. So what if my 6 year old daughter throws fits over everything and knows everything and will argue you to the ground.

I shouldn’t yell. Nope.

So…. now what?


One thought on “Approval Addiction

  1. Awww – so your kids learn that parents are human too. I think as long as we are willing to go to them and say, “I’m sorry and I was wrong” then it is ok. Parenting is a learning process. I’ve been parenting for 32 years tomorrow – and every day I’m still learning. Every day I’m still beating myself up. Every day I think I could still do better. And every day I get up and try again and just stick with it . . THAT is the most important part of all!


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