I recently traveled to London for a few days and shopping around Regent street I came across a very common – from what it seems – phenomenon, – moms being exasperated, frustrated, tired and aggressive. I am totally against shouting at children or displaying any kind of abusive behavior whether that is verbal, emotional or physical. I felt angry, at first, and really sad for the poor children who were humiliated and maybe scared. I felt that they were being let down by their own moms and that is one of the worst feelings as a child.
Then, I saw a different reality. One that although does not in any way excuse such behavior but does give an added perspective that exposes an unfulfilled life. These women looked sad, unhappy, down and demotivated. They were tired, had run out of patience, they were joyless. Maybe they didn’t feel loved, maybe they were in bad relationships or marriages or even abusive ones. Maybe they were depressed.
It is so easy to judge mothers or brand them as ‘bad’, feeling all superior and good about our own status as parents which is ‘obviously’ better. Taking problems out on children is NEVER the solution and saying that, not all unhappy moms do that. Some, though, do. Not because they don’t love their children, not because they are ‘unfit’ moms. For most moms around the world, making their children unhappy is not a choice they made when they entered motherhood.
Maybe the next time you criticize your friend or relative for being too harsh on their children, shout at them or always look like they are fed up – offer some support, instead. Try to find out the reasons behind such behavior, practice some therapeutic listening, offer a shoulder to cry on, be emphatic and try to be understanding. I promise you – you will feel a lot better and you might be able to change someone’s life, too.