This month I am taking part in Yummy Mummy in Training’s ‘Blog every day in August’ challenge. Read all my posts to date here.
Day 26 is “a role model”.
I really struggled to think of someone who I think of as a role model. There are people I admire, but not enough to be a role model. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a role model is “a person looked to by others as an example to be imitated.” I mean, my thoughts went to writer Caitlin Moran, who I admire very much, but I don’t really want to imitate her.
So I had to turn this theme on its head.
It’s me, isn’t it? I and my partner alongside other close members of our family are role models to our daughters.
A quick search of the literature on the subject fetches legions of articles on the topic. Parents are the first people children emulate – we’re their world, how they’re shaped, how the connections in their developing brains decide to match up. We set the pattern of their future behaviour.
Am I a good role model? I guess that will be for them to decide, in future years.
Sometimes, I feel like I’m not (the picture above looks just like me, by the way!). Some days will be a ‘bad mummy’ day. As the day progresses, my nerves will feel increasingly stretched, and I lose it, I shout.
Then, in the evening when all is calm, I feel guilt. I realise that my exasperation did not help matters; on the contrary, it made nearly-three-year-old even more moody. And why wouldn’t it? Makes perfect sense when you have the time and mental space to think.
Am I a good role model in these moments? No. Obviously I should be a perfect Jo Frost inspired perfect toddler-disciplinarian and behaviour manager. They’ll emulate my behaviour, therefore I should be on an even keel all of the time.
This is what I should be like.
I like to think, however, that I am most of these things for more than half of the time (for more than half of the year?!). I’m hoping that this takes me some way to being a good role model.
The key issue here is that I aim to be the best role model I can be for my children. I want the best for them, and I want them to be confident and resilient enough to unlock their potential.
I’m human. And I’m a mother.
Read day 27 here.