I have had a great 24 hours of reconnecting with college friends and their children. Last night it was dinner in Atlanta with friends from the Charlotte area. Today it was lunch with friends in Birmingham. I loved being with my friends and seeing their sweet children, but I am annoyed at myself because of how stressed out I get over what kind of parent I look like in their eyes.
Please don't crucify me in the comments. I am just being really honest and vulnerable here.
It is not that I want my friends to get an impression of me that is different from the truth...Anyone who has read this for long knows I am quick to point out my own flaws and shortcomings. I am the same way (if not moreso) in real life. I think it has more to do with having the chance to step back and see my life (parenting, especially) through the eyes of someone who is not around all the time. I just wish I were more patient, loving, kind, wise, gentle...
There is a constant subtext going on in my mind. Do I sound too harsh? Do I baby him? Am I too strict? Should I have addressed that behavior? Do I not intervene enough? Do I intervene too much? Does it appear I am playing favorites?
Is this just the Mom Guilt and second-guessing that is common to us all? I think honest assessment with the desire to improve can be a good thing, but sometimes it exhausts me. I strive to give great grace to others--why can't I give it to myself?
I am praying about this tonight.