You know you do. I know you do. If I’m being honest I definitely do and far more than I’d like to admit. So… what do I mean by “over-mom”? It’s the act of being unable to settle for good enough and constantly chasing excellence for your child.
Wait, is that a bad thing? It certainty stems from a great place. And even if you can’t personally identify, I know you’ve met her. Shoot, 9 times out of 10 I am totally and obsessively her. The classic offender looks something like this: the kids are perfectly groomed, pressed and ironed, food is as close to organic, healthy and “whole” as one can possibly get while still getting them to actually eat it, school assignments are always completed and the children prepared for their day.
While this sounds like the utopia for which we all strive, it is when you as a parent, get as close to the goal as you can and because it doesn’t exactly meet your standards you can’t just let it be. It’s the inability to control your need to groom that one last stray hair into place, straighten a collar or get one more (or sometimes three more) kisses or hugs before they start their day. Don’t misunderstand me, all of those tendencies come from a warm and loving place. It’s not the urge to nurture I’m referring to, it’s the inability to see past your personal urges and recognize the effect your doting has on your child.
Textbook “over-momming” means you struggle to allow your child to move forward independently. It’s driven by a desire we all innately have. It’s the unwillingness to settle for nothing but the absolute best for these precious people who have come into our worlds and shown us unconditional love which ultimately causes us to over dose our child.
Children need the chance to learn from failure. Without a sense of independence, they will never have the courage to try. As a parent, it is our job to help our children be their best. Read that again, it is our job to help our children be their best. Their best is not our best and in order to really learn a child must be given the opportunity to try. The opportunity to try to get dressed by themselves, the opportunity to work on that class assignment on their own, the chance to learn to remember their backpack because they know what it feels like to have left it at home. Just like when they learned to walk, we had to let go so they could move forward, just like when they learned to ride a bike, we had to let go so they could learn to balance. For children to learn, we as parents must let go (at least a little bit).
To their success and yours,