Saturday, July 25, 2009

Motherhood is NOT for Sissies

I don't think I ever truly understood that phrase until today.

I feel like every little "thing" that happens is like someone throwing a ping pong ball at me. Harmless really, mildly annoying. But when there are 45 ping pong balls coming at you from just as many directions, constantly, it is becomes frustrating. And when it continues for hours upon hours upon days upon days it can be soul crushing.

I remember holding Bear as an infant, dreaming of the days when we would play Candy Land together. When she would talk and we would read stories and cook together. Now I have nightmares about Candy Land and wish, that for just one day, she would talk for maybe 12 continuous hours a day instead of her current 16. I look at Tadpole and I can't even think that far ahead. All I can think is WHEN is he going to stop his incessant screaming. WHY won't he stop? WHY can't I make him feel better? WHEN will I be able to put him down so that I can have 15 minutes to myself? There are people out there desperate to have children and right now, the best part of my day is when my husband takes them all to the grocery store and leaves me alone at home. If I could get the dogs to stop barking and following me around licking my bare calves I'd be in heaven.

I love my children, I really really do. But right now I feel like a failure of a mother to them. I don't know how to soothe my infant son or how to talk to my preschooler so that she will listen and understand and behave. I feel like her inability to play nicely and share her toys is a direct reflection on my pitiful parenting skills. I feel like I yell too often and laugh too little. I feel like every other mother has the dishes and the laundry under control. That no one else has to stop and try to remember the last time the 3 year old took a bath. A good mother would say, instantly, last night of course and she'll have another tonight. A good mother would have the energy and patience to play yet another game of checkers with someone who doesn't understand the rules and invariably will decide to make up her own half way through and then YELL that I'm doing it wrong. No, wait, a good mother wouldn't be getting yelled at by her children.

I feel like the POSTER CHILD for bad moms everywhere and the guilt of failing my children is breaking me.


Me said...

I love you. You are a wonderful mom. Just think if it weren't for you our kids would starve when we go out and always have dirty bums because you're the only one who ever remembers to bring snacks and a diaper bag.

Not to mention your daughter is more socially active than the President. I'm taking you out tonight and I am going to remind you of what a wonderful mother you are. And if common conversation doesn't do it I'll simply smack you upside the head.

Grace said...

Just the fact that you feel all of those things for your children makes you a wonderful Mom, it will all come into play. But you are right Motherhood is Not For Sissies and thank goodness they have a Mom who cares

katesgrand said...

Re Tadpole: When you have fed him, burped him, changed him, rocked him, kissed him and he still screams - sometimes you just have to walk away. Some babies just cry. For no reason. Just cry. He'll find a way to soothe himself. Honestly, he will.

Re Bear: I tried to warn you about wanting them to talk, walk, eat 3 meals a day. Of course she doesn't want to share. She's 3. Of course she doesn't listen. She's 3. Of course she talks all the time. She's a girl and, she's 3 - it's all about her. She'll learn.

Re Bad Mother Syndrome: No. You are not a bad mother. You are a mother who only wants the best for her kids, and when you lay your head down at night you relive the whole day. When you review your day, remember the little arms around you neck, the I love you, mommy, the warmth of a little baby snuggled to your breast. Motherhood is the hardest job there is. In the end, you won't want to change one day. Well, maybe one day or two. Some day, I promise, your children will say, as did one of mine, "I remember that we laughed a lot." Maybe he lived at the neighbor's! I thought he would remember the yelling...but he remembered the laughter and the fun we had. And remember this, Thank God for Stop and Shop - and for a husband willing to take kids there. You are doing a remarkable job. Hang in! See you Tuesday.

Jennifer said...

(((((Megan))))) I have no sage mothering advice or anything, but I hear things get better. :)

Jen said...

Just so you know, you are not alone. My house looks like a cheerio tornado hit it, my 3 year old is due for a bath... yesterday, and I have no energy for real playing with either of them.

You and I can do this. I know we can. We just need a nap. And a cute boy bringing us booze. That will make everything better won't it?

JustApril said...

We all have days, weeks, months, years like that. I secretly think that the people who appear to have it all together all the time are more stressed than we are. (not that I would know what it's like to seem that way) The thing I've learned about being a mom is no matter how long I do it, these little people running around me yelling at the top of their lungs, always know a way to strip me of all my confidence and energy without losing a bit of theirs. (and as horrendous as it is, my kids don't get a bath every day, and I don't even feel guilty anymore) =) (((hugs)))

Oh, and some babies go through inconsolable periods, and it has nothing to do with the skills of the mom. Two of my siblings were just such babies, and actually my daughter still does that sometimes and she's 8.

Miss Me said...

i'm with grace - the fact that you care about all of these things makes you a good mom. don't worry too much over the laundry, dishes or bathes... they will all get done eventually, although they will never ever be completely done. now - off to turn on the dishwasher since it is developing an unpleasant odour in the heat and humidity... and it is too full to put all the dirty dishes into! ; )