Role Model

I have three mistakes to admit today. In my anger and haste in dealing with the frustration, I had allowed myself to model a bad example for Emma.

I was tired. Emma wasn’t napping. So I got angry. She kept taking her binky out of her mouth as she babbles in protest. Then, I snatched it from her hands and walked away, thinking that It will make her cry it out for awhile and then sleep. She did cry when I took it away from her. I gave it back after 5 minutes. Eventually, she fell asleep. But I realized … How could I have done that? Two years down the road I will be wondering why my toddler is rude with other children or people and snatching things from them.

Emma has been rolling over alot. But she doesn’t know how to roll back onto her back. Or maybe she doesn’t want to. So again, I was tired and frustrated. She was not cooperating with me during naptime. I had to keep going to her after awhile to turn her on her back. Finally, I got mad, and restrained her from doing it. I held down my hand against her head and body quite firmly to prevent her from rolling onto her tummy again. She cried real hard in her attempt to rollover. Then, I let go. I walked away, crying. Guilty and angry at the same time. How did I allow myself to use such unwarranted violence against her?

Then, there was the stranger anxiety issue. I am weak. Sometimes, I think I am too sensitive aginst other people’s opinions, and worry about them more than what is more important in front of my eyes – my baby’s needs. Emma was just not comfortable around my cousins and Uncle. Of course, everyone is excited to hold her and play with her. I should have listened to Emma. I should not have reprimanded her for acting the way she did. She cried, feeling afraid, wanting me to pick her up and hold her close. Instead of responding to her as a loving mother, I showed her anger and disappointment.

These three incidents occured separately over the past two months. I haven’t had time to write about it now that Emma is getting more active in the day. However, as I ponder about the moments Emma and I have shared prior to the New Year, I am reminded of these disappointing mistakes I have made. I hope it is not too late to correct them. I promised myself that I would be a good mother. While I grew up with spankings and scoldings during my childhood, it just doesn’t seem right to me to do the same for my child. My mother commented the other day that I am too soft with Emma. What was that suppoze to mean? It confused me even more and I am hurt by these constant projections of how I should parent my child.

It is not easy to be a role model for your child, especially when you want to teach her the best moral values. We ourselves as adults have to practise it first. Children look to us as examples. They learn from us. And they are very observant too. Sometimes, I look at the way Emma listens and watches as she learns something … it scares me. She is like a blank canvas, and we are the painters. We can easily become destroyers of the painting too. This is why I felt guilty with how I reacted to her. I believe it was more of me trying to vent and solve my anger rather than to teach her obedience. This, I admit, was my mistake. Forgive mummy, Emma. Mummy is trying to be a good parent to you.

Never abandon your parents. They gave life, milk, love and shelter to us. So why are we complaining about them now that they are older and require attention, care and some company as the days grow older?

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