This Business Of Parenting is Tough

07.31.09

I just got off the phone with my Mom. She thinks I’m making a mistake, and I know she’s right.

I really hate not being a good enough parent. I hate it when I make mistakes, and I make them. Most of our mistakes are with our daughter, because she came first.

My Mom thinks we’re too tough on Jane with her table manners. She thinks we’re begging for an eating disorder. I want to say she’s wrong, I want to think that we’ve made all the right decisions in parenting, but if I’m defensive I lose the opportunity to learn.

I’m open to learning before it’s too late.

I love my daughter. She’s striking in her beauty. She looks you in the eye and she’s exactly who I would want to be were I a ten year old. Eating with her can quite an event. She sits on her feet, she eats at breakneck speed but first she pulls her food into tiny pieces. Summer camp did absolutely nothing to make mealtime lovelier. It’s hard for me. I want her to be a lady. I want my children to be welcome in anyone’s home.

My Mom thinks I’m too tough on Jane. She thinks I’m going to give her an eating disorder if we don’t lay off. I got my table manners from my father and his parents. They’re German, there’s one way, it’s the right way and there really wasn’t much in the way of debate. We also had a German Nanny who I loved, but she terrified us. I’m just doing what I know.

So table manners matter to me. Maybe too much? Maybe when I’m trying to help my daughter, I’m hurting her.

This is why we have many generations. My Mom can help me be a better mother before any real damage is done.