Truth be told, most moms feel inadequate. It may not seem that way at first blush but let me tell you that it is the truth.
I know this as both a psychologist and a friend having listened to countless stories about what is really going on with your kids.
And Olivia, Frank or Isabella, depending on what your kid's name is who can blame you? We were recently subject to Time Magazine's article "Are You Mom Enough?" and last year to the "kick your kids butt" child-rearing style of "Tiger Mother."
And, now the French are writing about how they expect more from their kids than Americans do. So, what are we to do other than to acknowledge our feelings of inadequacy and hide under our blankets?
I'll tell you what we do. We lie and we omit. Not necessarily big time lies but lies that make us feel like both we and our kids are measuring up.
Let me give you some examples of 5 of the most common lies:
1. My daughter is a very good student. Yes, that may be the case, but did you fail to mention that she was on the verge of failing math,that you hired a high-priced tutor, and that you nearly destroyed your relationship with your daughter while you argued about how much she should study?
2. My son has always been a gem. He's such an easy kid. Really? Then why did you take him to a psychologist at age 5 because you couldn't deal with his activity level? It's because you thought that someone would get hurt if you didn't nip this problem in the bud, right?
3. Thank you, you say, to another parent who tells you what a good student and athlete your child is. You didn't tell her that your son has overwhelming performance anxiety and is a perfectionist, now, did you? That you can't get him to go to bed until 1 AM and that he is constantly exhausted, did you? And, that he won't take driving lessons because the idea of being behind the wheel makes him panic.
Related: Five Ways To Parent A Perfectionist
4. How is your child's relationship with your ex, you are asked? Oh, it's very good. Everyone gets along so well. I really think that we are doing this co-parenting very well. Really? Then, why do you practically have to beg your daughter to go see her father on the agreed upon days? And, you've bribed her too; have you not?
5. Do your own parents help you? Your kids must love seeing their grandparents. You are so lucky to have such nice parents living nearby. Yes, you nod politely. It is truly a blessing to have my parents nearby. Then do tell, why do you get knots in your stomach when you feel like your own parents are undermining your parenting style? Why do you wish that they too would become snowbirds and move to Florida?
What an easier time we would have if we felt permission to be real with each other.
Care to share your own stories?
More from GalTime:
- Can You Identify Your Child's Personality Type?
- Signs Your Child is Being Bullied
- Planning the RIGHT Summer Activities for Your Kids
- The Ultimate Parent Fails
Barbara Greenberg and Jennifer Powell-Lunder are authors of the hit book, "Teenage as a Second Language: A Parent's Guide to Becoming Bilingual." They've set up an interactive website for parents and teens to listen, learn and discuss hot topics and daily dilemmas. You can find it at www.talkingteenage.com.