I have a tendency to be what I call, a “self-flogger.” I probably could use some serious therapy for this, but I take responsibility for things that could not possibly be controlled even with karma. There could be a wildfire spread out of control in the remote mountains of Yosemite, and I will link that with the grease fire I started in the oven on Thanksgiving of 2015. The silver lining here is that I am so ready to admit my wrong doing so I can do better the next time.
We all want to look just dandy, Czar-like in our kids’ eyes. Yet, we forget that teaching them that we are human will generate more and better coping skills as they become adults. Unfortunately, part of this is admitting our own fallibility and being able to admit defeat, and accept mistakes. On three separate instances, I can recall, I left a kid either at school or day-camp and totally brain-farted that they weren’t even in the house … until I got the call. I felt like doo-doo mamma. I was retching in front of my husband that I was a failure as a parent and they will now have abandonment issues forever. He laughed each time … ” Did you abandon them in a mine field…? or a school?” That kind of put it into perspective.
Grownups make mistakes, and teaching the underlings it’s okay to be wrong, but more importantly it’s okay to move on, and say “I’m sorry,” is really important. Parents sometimes feel they must demonstrate omnipotence on a daily basis while donning gold Wonder Woman winged anklets and a Marie Antoinette crown. “Because I said so, and I am never wrong,” are a few of the mantras I have been exposed to, which were acceptable in 1922, but you have to ease up in the new Millennium.
Try not to water down discipline, either, by saying “I’m sorry, I am so sorry, I am really, really sorry,” after we feel like ca-ca for yelling or putting someone in time out. The key here is balance. Your main role as parent is “life guide,” not wishy-washy school chum.
“My Bad” is a place to chuckle over our mistakes, and share so we can be in a better place as parents. It’s good to vent. I have so many stories … I want to hear yours!