Being a mom with anxiety, I tend to get anxious over a lot of things.
However, I am pretty good at keeping these things internal. But sometimes, they slip out into the open.
I’m going to be honest.
I am a mom that yells.
It’s not like its something I want to do. I hate yelling and I hate repeating myself.
But it seems like my family doesn’t hear me until I start yelling. Which is usually after I have repeated the same thing more than five times.
Yelling doesn’t phase my youngest child…. AT ALL.
However, my oldest. That’s a different story.
You start yelling at her and she looks back at you with such hurt in her eyes.
Which causes the anxiety in me to triple.
Because it is easier to build a child up than it is to repair an adult.
That sentence hits home. Like a perfect hit at a baseball game.
Because, although my mom didn’t yell or didn’t say degrading things to me, my oldest brother did.
I remember I used to love bread. All kinds and forms. Garlic toast, peanut butter sandwhiches, butter toast. You name it. That was my go to snack as a kid.
Until every time I picked up a piece of a bread my brother would comment about how I was going to get FAT. EVERY SINGLE TIME.
Until I stopped eating bread.
Until I started thinking about my size.
Until I started damaging myself.
worrying about my weight.
Now it wasn’t all his fault.
My late grandmother, may she rest in peace, would tell me I was fat too. You see my grandmother on my dads side made rare appearances. Flaunting her money. She would take us school shopping, maybe once or twice in our life. The boys got to go off on their own and pick out two or three outfits that they wanted. I, however being little, had to shop with my grandmother. Of course we couldn’t get cheap clothes like Wal-Mart (I buy my clothes there a lot so I’m not bashing them) No…we had to go to a more expensive store. She would pick out the outfits for me to try on. And when they wouldn’t fit, she would tell me I was too big or needed to lose weight. By the time I was 10 I wasn’t even 70 pounds. I should also note that she would purposely pick out clothes that were smaller than the size I actually wore.
To this day I am picky about my weight. About the way I look. Which is why I am usually behind the camera instead of in front of it. This is the type of pain that is hard to repair as an adult. This is the type of mental issues I want to save my kids from.
So when my daughter looks back at me with those hurt in her eyes. I am afraid that maybe I am causing her the anguish that she will carry into adulthood. The type of anguish that will takes years to repair.
Now my child is in no way hurt. I also know that she knows turning those puppy dog eyes will usually get her sympathy and she won’t get in as much trouble.
How do I know this?
Because she is my child. I did the same thing to my mom every single time I got in trouble. Why? because my mom was a sucker for those tears and sad voice because I was the only girl. So I used it to my advantage.
However, the anxiety in me as a mom makes me question every possible thing.
Am I damaging my child?
Will she look back and only remember the yelling?
Will this cause many therapy sessions?
It is easier to build up a child than it is to repair an adult.
I am an adult who’s husband has been trying to repair her self image for almost a decade.
So, although I am a parent that yells….
I also tell my girls how beautiful they are.
How their eyes sparkle.
How their smile is infectious.
How sweet they are.
How smart they are.
Yes, I yell
But I also reward the good things.
I have popped my childs hand (I know there is a big debate on whoopings) I have never popped them hard enough to hurt them. It only hurts their feelings. I have put my kid in time out. I have taken toys away. I have yelled.
I have also cried. I have spent hours worrying if I am parenting the right way. But what is the right way? I have apologized. I have talked things out with my girls.
I am not set in my ways. I will try any way to parent my kids to become thriving adults. I don’t want them obsessing with money because money will not buy you happiness. It will buy you material things. But those things can be taken away in a heart beat.
I reward my kids with ice cream trips. With toys. With books (but I get new books periodically because I believe reading is important) I buy movies. I allow tv time. I reward with sleep overs.
I am trying to build my kids up so they won’t have to repair themselves as adults.