I was at a meeting the other day where I had to bring Bridget with me. It wasn’t a professional meeting. It was a PTA meeting, a group of parents (and teachers) most of whom had their own children attending.
It was horrible and my own fault. Bridget had been scheduled to see her favorite therapist for her favorite therapy: hydrotherapy (pool). It was cancelled due to the weather, instead of taking her home I tried to fit in this meeting. Usually Abby meets us, but she was at a school government commitment. That added to no pool equals meltdown.
I should have left. I should not have stayed, disrupting the meeting and putting her temper on display. Of course everyone was patient and kind. It was my own anxiety that added to Bridget’s behavior. It was probably more embarrassing in my mind than disruptive in theirs. I am sure they thought it was “typical kid behavior”.
And it was typical Bridget behavior. Typical (if exaggerated) for her developmental age. But it was not typical for her actual age. It was behavior I never would have accepted in Abby. It was behavior that would have been punished, that would not have been accepted. Even at the developmental age.
I should have left. But I didn’t and I regret it. Small for her age, Bridget typically passes for her developmental age. No one had a problem with how she was acting.
I was embarrassed. I was hurt once again by seeing how other children behaved and how I could not do anything to change Bridget’s behavior. Except by leaving.
But I didn’t.
Instead I judged my own child and found her lacking. It’s not the first time this has happened and probably won’t be the last. How can I ask others to accept Bridget for Bridget if I am unwilling to do so?
It is more that though. All parents get frustrated and once in a while. We all have moments when we do not like our children. Their behavior feeds ours and our behavior feeds theirs. As much as we love them, sometimes they are not really likable. At any age toddler through teen through their 40’s. I know my mom loves me but she isn’t always happy with me!
When do I begin giving myself a break? To show compassion to what I am feeling and to feel okay about failing (more than) once in a while.
How can I truly be compassionate to others but not forgive myself?
I don’t have the answer…but I am trying