Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Am I a Helicopter Mom?


Like any parent, I have my momster/mom-zilla moments. And as a typical mother, I am guilty of always reminding my children of do’s and don’ts. It gets to the point that I hear my words echoing back, and dislike myself for sounding like a nagger. But how can I stop myself from always reminding them to wash their hands, finish their food, brush their teeth?

“Sige na. Kain na. Dali na. Bilisan mo na. Ubusin na.” These seem to be my everyday mantra, no matter that they seem to land on deaf ears. It’s like I say them automatically. It is frustrating. But without these prompts, I feel they would take forever to finish a meal or not care that they had anything to eat. Outside the house, it’s hard for me to just let go, let them loose, for fear they might fall or hurt themselves.

My husband does not approve of my tendencies to hover over our children like, as they say, a helicopter. I sincerely hope I have not become a “helicopter mom” the last three months that I have been with them full time. He says they will not learn independence and the consequences of their negligence if I do not relax my rules, let them be children, forget to brush their teeth, go hungry, forget to do homework, experience a bad fall (scary!), etc.

Often, I feel I go overboard with my litany of reminders. There were times before when I would writhe in anger, frustration and disappointment when my son lost yet another pair of rubber shoes. He lost three pairs in first grade, two in second grade, and one pair in third grade. How would I not lose my temper when the first thing I hear upon getting home, tired from work, is that he just lost the rubber shoes we bought only two months ago? Thank goodness he has stopped losing his shoes in fourth grade. He still would frequently lose his pencils and pens, and occasionally his face towels, which still gets to me sometimes but does not trigger a volcanic eruption so to speak. But thinking about it now, was losing a pair of shoes enough reason to berate my son, and make him feel guilty that he did not seem to care about the cost of buying another pair? I feel ambivalent now.

I wish I could take back my words. Sometimes I feel the need to confirm with my children their affection towards me. I ask, “Do you love, Mommy?”, wondering if they ever think of me in a bad light, and if their concept of love towards me diminishes. They say children are the most forgiving. That is very true. They cry (often silently) when they are emotionally hurt, but they do not hold grudges. They will always hug you back.

My son recently made a “family book” as a school project for his Home Economics subject. He created slides with pictures of his dad, sister and myself, and added narratives describing each of us. Creating slides for his dad and sister was easy because he just had to copy from his blog what he has already written before. He had to write about me to complete the family profile. 


Here’s what he wrote, which really kind of pinched my heart.
Note: He could not have written the last line - about me being being a good cook - before July 5, 2013 (my last day at work). I hardly cooked before.



He also made the slide below, which is really very biased, but swells my heart. P for Pretty!  :-)


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