Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Juffrouw has spoken!

The playground on the farm we camped at in Brabant this weekend
WARNING: Insecure Mama Post

Just when I thought I was keeping my head above water in my job as a mother, BAM a huge wave of insecurity hits me in the face. It all started last week when my 4 year old son's juffrouw (pre-school teacher) had a very disappointing conversation with Baby Daddy.

Apparently, my most brilliant-genius-of-an-offspring is being "held back" by none other than his primary caregivers, Mama and Baby Daddy. When Baby Daddy told me this, it was an arrow through the heart. All of these years I thought I was a half-decent Mama. Wrong! Juffy with 14 years experience teaching snot noses says I am doing it wrong somewhere and my baby is too much of a "baby" for his age.

Of course, I got offended. I became all insecure and had dreams of putting tacks in Juffy's chair and shooting spit balls into the back of her nappy hair.

Since I would probably be locked away for carrying out my plans, I decided to take a step back and think again about what she said. Ok, she was right. I do baby my son a bit too much and do a lot of things for him, like getting him dressed and tying his shoes. I also began to observe other mamas and see how they "parented".

MISTAKE! I then became super-duper insecure. I was failing and I was taking down my family with me. I panicked, I had to do something fast, but I was too down on myself to think of ways to improve the situation. I was bogged down deep in Mama depression. My kids were gonna end up as a drug dealer and prostitute in a few years. I failed in just 4 years.

Unexpectedly, I had to take my son to school this morning. I had to face Juffy. Me, Misfit Mama who can't even teach her kids the basics of living had to face her Judge at the Pearly Gates of class 1/2/C. I walked in with my head held low like a submissive canine. I mumbled good morning and walked Luca over to his best friend and Best Friend's Super Mama.

After giving my son a goodbye kiss, I walked out and Super Mama was waiting for me just outside the class. She started talking about how crappy the weather had become and then how she had told her husband they should move to Spain but she couldn't because she would miss her family too much.

Tears welled in my eyes and I said, "I know what you mean," as I tried to control my quivering lips. I couldn't lose it with Super Mama! She would never understand, she was my hero! Mother of 3 boys under the age of six: together, cool, perfect, everything I was not.

But I got a case of diarrhea of the mouth and it all came out. Ok I thought now Super Mama was gonna think I was Crazy Mama! She listened and grabbed my arm and said "I know how you feel. It happened to me too just recently with my oldest son and his teacher." She told me the story and I couldn't believe my ears. It was worse than my story!

She told me how she insecure she had become! (No not Super Mama, I was astonished.) She then told me how she chased away the insecurities: A wise friend told her to try looking at the situation in positive way and not as a problem, turn it around, otherwise she was gonna live the rest of her life insecure and depressed if such tiny problems in life got her down.

So true! Why was I letting something so tiny in the grand scheme of my son's life get me down? Sure, he is a baby but it's not the end of the world. I can easily help him. I am not a failure as a mother. I am doing my best and I am not perfect. I am just a mother, learning as I go along. There are gonna be problems big and small but no matter, I have to believe in myself and my abilities. Not for me, but of course for the snot noses...so they can grow up to be happy, life-loving, healthy and most importantly successful so Mama can early retire and sit by their pool and drink Cosmos all day (Ok, maybe watch the grandkids too)!!!


  1. Hi Amsterdammama,
    As a parent I’m in favour of a little more kindness. We need a break. It’s a hard enough job as it is without judging each other. We are all paranoid that maybe we’re doing the wrong thing. Are you breastfeeding? Is baby sleeping through the night? Have you given him his jabs? Do you use baby paracetemol or homeopathic remedies? Is he getting enough iron in his diet? Has he got warm enough feet? Have you signed him up for swimming lessons 2 years in advance etc, and guilt about staying home with the kids, guilt about having a job, guilt about not having a job. We are doing the best for our kids otherwise we wouldn't worry so much. Don't forget YOU ARE THE BEST MUM FOR YOUR OWN KIDS....

    1. Hi Ellen,
      Thanks for the encouragement. Next time she or anyone else for that matter tells me these things I will repeat to myself: I am the best Mom for my kids, no one else! Besides, they don't say moms know best for no reason. BTW, after hearing for years about the swimming lesson thing, I finally signed my son up (and he loves it) and now several mommies have said that they were told its not good for them (start before age 5). I just laughed, I was swimming I think when I was 2.5 or 3 years. Typical! I love your blog!! Esp the TV post, i could see the juff peeking into your window!! : ) catina

  2. I was told so many terrible things about my children by their teachers - they don't join in the 'kringgesprek' enough, they let other children help them (duh, they were 4 years old and some other kid wanted to help them colour in their picture - what would you have done at age 4?), they're too quiet, they talk too much, they can't do their shoe laces up. Every time I politely said, 'Oh dear, I'll have a word with him' and left it at that. And amazingly my children are growing up to be perfectly normal - better at some things, not so good at others, confident here, less confident there. Who isn't? It's teachers jobs to look at the tiny details - it's our job to make sure our children don't get hangups about totally unimportant aspects of growing up. End of lecture - let's meet for lunch!

  3. Jane, I miss you! This is exactly why we should still work together so you can keep me straight! ha I know you are so right! Let's do lunch soon, I leave for states 13 July, so def before. Thanks soooo much!


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