I am a terrible mother. I tell myself this all the time. I always worry that I have completely ruined my son's life. I'm too tough, or too soft. Too overbearing or too lax. Some days I feel like my son is too spoiled and other days that we just don't do enough. He doesn't eat an all organic diet, I didn't get to breastfeed him at all, we don't read enough to him, the list goes on and on. And it all means several years and thousands of dollars will be required for his eventual psychiatric needs. If he doesn't end up in jail first, that is.
Yes, I am a failure to my son.
But sometimes I need to take a step back and remind myself that I am doing the best that I can. And that all depends on a variety of factors. In fact, no parent is perfect and guess what? We all end up scarred in one way or another from our parent's short comings. After sending little Timmy off to Harvard on his full ride scholarship he may end up on top of the humanities building with a rifle picking his classmates off one by one. Or little Suzie who's mom was a crack whore and who's step-dad used to molest her could turn out to be the next President of the U.S. You never know.
We are products of our environment, and we are each affected by the things we experienced in our youth. These things do shape and mold us, but do they define us? How much of who we are as adults can be measured by who we were as children? My parent's weren't perfect, but they did raise my siblings and me to be fairly well adjusted people. We are polite in public, we have respect for people and other living things, we go to church, we have, for the most part, stayed out of trouble. We are all fairly intelligent people and are pretty well rounded. We are confident to an extent, independent, responsible, and capable people. But we all could probably use some therapy as we all have our own shortcomings.
My son will have issues someday, and he'll have me to thank for them, and it won't matter if I am a tiger mom or a mom who lets him get away with murder. There is no amount of perfection that I can strive to attain to for his sake, he's doomed! And I have to be ok with that. I just have to keep telling him that I love him no matter what, I need to keep trying to do my best to not fail him too badly. I need to instill the values and morals and respect that I believe are necessary for a human to be "functional" and hope that he picks them up. I need to live my life as an example and hope that he watches and learns. I need to find balance when I can, I need to know when to let go and when to be persistent. And I need to pray to God that he never gets robbed by a prostitute!
What can I say? Potty training is really messing with my head, and this may scar both my son and I for life! Never have I felt more challenged as a parent, and this is something that is pretty small in the grand scheme, but how much of this struggle will shape my son's future I wonder?
Waxing philosophic over poop y'all. It's been a long day!