Never say that parenting won’t show you ish about yourself. I swear…these “real life” lessons just don’t stop.
I like to win. I like to win arguments. I like to win with better research. I like to win with good food and wine. I just like to win. It makes me feel better about myself.
Like most people, I worry about how I’m perceived. I fret about being “good.” I fret about being smart. I fret about liking myself. I worry about feeling whole. I aspire to self actualization, despite probably being nowhere near it.
And that’s all ok. I’m guessing in the grand scheme of things, I’m normal, right?
This drive has propelled me to achieve some pretty cool stuff in my life. I’ve done well for myself, but there are certainly still things to achieve.
In comes Hope, my daughter, my sweet girl. Hope is a kid who is a survivor, but has a hollow sense of self, who needs building up in a big way and who has no idea what or who she really aspires to be.
Why, oh why, does my own internal competitive drive and intrinsic need to win, need to win against Hope?
I mean, really? How lame is that? As if this kid doesn’t have enough ish to contend with, she has a mom who just HAS to have the last effing word all the time.
And, why do I feel like I need to win…against Hope? How is it that this is my default setting? How is it that we aren’t always on the same team? And, really, what are we competing for?
Being a mother has totally changed my sense of self. It makes me feel like I have to fight and scrap to be a “good mother.” I’m probably not even really competing against Hope; I’m really competing against my views on motherhood and what I’m supposed to be, rather than what I am—a Black adoptive mom with a teenaged daughter who needs quite a bit of help getting herself together.
My need to win arguments with Hope is really about this underlying belief that Hope is preventing me from being a magazine cover mom.
Ain’t that some messed up ish?
Yeah, it is. I’m horrified that this is really what is below my surface. #shame
I spent some time watching Brené Brown videos (because my dyslexia is making it increasingly hard to read books) and yeah, that shame monster is a beotch. #moreonthatlater
So, I’m working on just letting Hope win—she’s ironically a lot like me. She needs to win to feel good. I hardly ever let her win because my own ego is so bruised and needy. This week, I’m committed to just saying “Ok…” during some of our bicker-fests. It’s ok to just let her win. It’s ok to just stand down. It’s ok to let her feel good, and let her get one over on me.
In fact, it’s essential to heal her own bruised and needy ego. She needs to win.
And if we’re on the same team, then her win, is my win. There are no losers. I just need to learn to win differently.
I’m working on this lesson. It’s important. I’ve had a lifetime of wins, and truth be told, I don’t have anything to prove. I really don’t.
Hope needs some wins to fill her tank. A full tank for her is really a win for both of us.
March 22nd, 2016 at 1:43 pm
I hear you about having the last word, I love having the last word! This also made me think of the old saying about picking your battles, as in picking the thing you feel you must win on vs. the things that Hope must win on. And in the end, as you say, the two of you can win together.
March 22nd, 2016 at 1:52 pm
I laughed when I read this because M1 ALWAYS has to have the last word and I find it so absurd but it truly is a need for her. It is tough though to keep your mouth shut about things especially when you know you are right but you can do it and you are completely right about her needing some wins. Keep at it, you will get it.
March 23rd, 2016 at 11:11 am
I think some of brene’s books are out as audiobooks! I
March 23rd, 2016 at 12:06 pm
Yep, they are at my local library–I’m in line for them! 🙂
March 23rd, 2016 at 5:54 pm
One day at a time!
March 24th, 2016 at 8:17 am
BRENE BROWN. I’ve seen the videos, read the books… Then watched the videos again.
March 26th, 2016 at 2:28 pm
I love this post. What you’ve said here is so important. It’s because you are willing to continue reevaluating and adjusting that you ARE a good mother.