Whether it be Chinese-Are-Superior Mothers or French-Are-Superior Mothers, these foreign parenting-commentators point out that American mothers are afraid to be in charge, and that’s why they raise hellions. That is a particular side of the ditch, but it is not my temptation. My husband and I are both rather authoritarian parents, and happy and comfortable being so. My mom was a “mean mom,” not afraid to make unpopular decisions or enforce them. She told me (and I needed to be told), “I am the mom; I am in charge. When you are the mom, then you will be in charge.” And now here I am.
At least, that’s what I tell myself.
But the reality is that that those potential quality moments are easily ignored. I’m here all the time, after all, so isn’t it then too much to interrupt my own plans and projects and thoughts if I get a chance of them? I have lived all my life alongside small children, and I am quite accomplished at ignoring them and feeling too often like they are nuisances who really should just leave me alone already.
I spent about a year mentally arguing and fighting with myself over the strategies I am only beginning to implement. I finally caved, knowing they were the right things for us to do, whether or not I wanted to. Giving up your own rights and expectations is, after all, the beginning and the end of love. And it is loving my children that I need to do more and do better.