Monday, November 20, 2006

it's one of those days

my mind races at night. all the thoughts that i've pushed out of my head during the day come screaming into it during the nighttime. everything i try to avoid. everything i try not to think about. they all flood my mind when i'm trying to find peace in my sleep.

last night i was consumed with mommy guilt. the feeling that no matter what i do, it's never enough. i never spend enough time with blake. i could always hang out with him more. just sit on his bed and watch him draw. or watch tv with him. or just do anything with him... MORE. and i often wonder what messages i'm sending him with my actions. is my son going to grow up thinking that lost was more important than he was? will he think that work was more important? the computer? the things i choose to maintain my sanity and have some balance of self.... at what cost?

listen, i know the reality of why i do things i do. i know that having some jennster time = a much nicer, calmer, patient (ha) mom. and when you take all of these things away from me, i stress out. i can't relax. i feel wound up. the logical side of me knows the reasons for all of my actions.. even if they're sometimes selfish. but the emotional side of me wants to bitch slap me almost nightly.

and i hate the battle. i hate the battle between my emotions and my logic. because sometimes, i feel like no matter what i did- it would never be enough. i could spend all day with blake and i'd still find something to feel guilty about. i guess lately i've just been thinking more and more about how precious all of this time together is. because as he gets older, i know one day it will just stop. he won't want me to come watch him draw anymore. he won't want me to watch tv with him. he'll probably pay me to stay out of his room. and then i'm sure i'll have a billions times more mommy guilt for the past.

i'm just having one of those days. i'll be fine tomorrow i'm sure, but today.. it's just a bummer.

26 comments:

Mieke said...

It's so hard finding balance. I do this same thing all the time. But I think just the fact that you are aware and conscious of "spending time together" is really important. It goes by so fast and all we can do is try to be the best moms we can be, and in the meantime I am sure our kids know that. Blake will be just fine, and I am sure he adores you. Mommy guilt sucks, doesn't it? Try to enjoy your time with him and then try and get some sleep on that awesome new tempur-pedic mattress! :)

Becky said...

i have those feelings too. all the shows i watch and all the other stuff i do around the house while hannah plays...but they DO keep my sanity and really i know she wont mind. she doesnt mind as long as i'm there. and blake wont mind as long as youre there. maybe if you're feeling that worried about it ask him and see what he says.

Lisa Goldstein/Kelly Kelly said...

Ugh. THis is the great internal conflict. I feel this way all the time!

It just means you are a caring, thinking person. I hope you feel better!

Lisa

Anonymous said...

I have to agree. Taking the time to think about things like this is much better than not thinking about them at all.

ali said...

i have an obscene amount of mommy guilt. it sucks balls.
eat some carbs and sugar. should help a little ;)

Kristin said...

I know the guilt of which you speak... and it sucks.

Anonymous said...

I hear ya sistah.

I feel the same exact way most of the time.

Sometimes I wonder if my daughter thinks I love my laptop/TV/phone/car more than her...I try to give her all my time but jeez, I need a break too...crapola.

Elizabeth said...

Oh honey, I know. Sometimes when I am on the computer, Kaitlyn will pull herself up, grab my hand and move it off of the mouse and I feel that pang of guilt. Do the kids think blogging is more important to me than them? Mommy guilt has a lot to do with why I don't sleep very much.

Repeat after me: I am a GOOD MOTHER.

Anonymous said...

I feel that way all the time. I even stay at home, but now with two, it's hard to find quality time alone with both of them. I always feel guilty when I have to tell Claire to hold on because I am feeding Clark, or because I am on the computer or whatever. I do spend LOTS of time with her, but I feel like it isn't enough some days.
But, you are right, we are better mommies if we take some time to ourselves. I figure doing our best is enough.

Stephanie A. said...

Isn't it incredible that no matter what we do to try to shake that guilt, it always catches up with us- often invading our sleep? But I agree that the fact that you're thinking about it and hit with a little guilt means you're a good person and mom.

I hope that this bout of guilt passes soon and if it doesn't well try to drown it in some turkey and gravy later this week.

Virginia Belle said...

EEk! Ster, i'm sure you're doing a great job. you love him and keep him safe and fed. that's like, 90% of it. right????

i think you are being too hard on yourself. you're a great mom. anyone who reads this can tell.

i have no idea what i'm talking about. you've managed to freak me out about being a mother.

which actually works out well, considering i doubt i'll ever get married anyway! ha!

ok, this comment is probably not making you feel better. let me start over...

Virginia Belle said...

ah. clean slate.

what i meant to say was...

i have (had?) awesome parents. and not because i shared moments with them or because they took me somewhere or had quality time with me.

my parents rocked because i always felt safe and loved and important. i always knew they would be on MY side. and that if i was out of line, they could explain to me WHY without making me feel like they weren't on my side. i always knew i could talk to them about ANYTHING. ANYTIME. and no matter what came out of my mouth--"i'm pregnant" "i'm gay" "i'm addicted to drugs"--whatever--they would still love me just as much.

i never ended up saying any of those things, but it was good to know the option was there.

so don't worry about the number of quality time hours you're logging in. just tell your kid you'll always be there for them and that they can never EVER screw up so much that you won't love them anymore. THAT is what kids need. unconditional love and support. no amount of quality time will ever replace that need.

Anonymous said...

Someone on TV said recently that the parents who worry about their parenting skills are actually the ones that provide stable, loving, caring homes. It's the ones who think they have it all figured out that scar their kids for life. So, don't worry. Or go ahead and worry, and know that that's normal and that you're doing fine.

Virginia Belle said...

ok, i don't know if that helped or not, because i don't have any kids.

but i have BEEN a kid, so i do know what i'm talking about to an extent.

i just don't know the whole mommy part.

i'll shut up now.

Melissa said...

Balance is hard and I think one thing to remember is that we aren't perfect. And you do spend time with Blakey and if you didnt' sometimes feel guilty, then we wouldn't know how good of a mom you really are. Crazy, but true. But ster, you have ot make time for you too. And kids will always ask for more time with you, it's just how they are, but it's good for them to learn to play alone. The thing is, if you're there for him when he needs you and you are involved in his life, you are doing a great job as a mom. We can't be with them all the time, it just isn't possible. I have these kind of days too..just remember that he loves you.

alison said...

All moms feel it and it sucks. Do you think dads suffer from daddy guilt? If they do, they don't mention it as much as we do. Any dads out there?

Anonymous said...

I'll speak for my husband who was just talking about this this morning. He curled up with Drew last night and watched "The Parent Trap" on Disney Channel. He loved it. He usually walks out of the room when Disney Channel is on and says it drives him crazy. Last night he finally realized that it doesn't matter if it drives him crazy, he is doing something with Drew that Drew enjoys. That is all that counts. I'm with you though Jenn. Sometimes I feel like moving to the middle of nowhere so we don't have the commute, the two jobs, the pressure and stress and we can be sane and wonderful parents. I think a lot of it is where we live and what we have to deal with to live here. It's stressful. I wonder if we need more outlets than people in other parts of the country? Less stressful parts of the country as far as cost of living, traffic, etc. It would be an interesting blog since you have readers from all over the country. By the way, you are a wonderful mom and Blake respects you immensely, which is a lot more that a lot of moms can say.

Devra said...

Yup, that Mommy Guilt seems to be the universal emotion of motherhood, doesn't it? Guess that's why I wrote an entire book about it and have made it my mission in life to absolve as many moms as possible. Yes, we feel guilty about balancing it all, and even if we could, we'd still wonder if we were doing it right. It's normal to feel the mommy guilt, just try to do like you are doing, allow yourself to say "I know this emotion, I recognize it." and then continue to give yourself those much needed pep talks, and when you can't talk yourself out of feeling guilty, ask your friends to help you out and this helps to get your guilt-o-meter reset.
Yeah, dads feel daddy guilt, but in our survey they called it "frustration" and it isn't as global as how moms identify their mommy guilt. Dads tend to get frustrated about a specific incident, and dont' necessarily tend to apply their frustration to every single aspect of their parenting and how they feel as a parent. Moms tend to rake ourselves over more frequently and with more intensity. But then again, we also tend to listen to our critics more and take them to heart. Guys tend to just let it roll.

Jen said...

I feel like this almost daily. Nothing I do will ever be good enough for my son. How did he get so big so fast? Why is there only so many hours in a day? Why do we have to sleep some of them?

Sarah's Mama said...

Ugh. I have guilt feelings all the time...they are quickly followed by anger. When I was younger my mother used to ask me all the time, "Am I a good Mom? I mean, have I done everything ok? Are there things you wish I wouldn't do?" GAH!
I ask myself all the time if I am doing enough...does it show? Will she know how I feel and what I want for her? It's really hard. Ugh. Sarah isn't even two yet.
I send hugs to you. I don't think Blake could have a better more interested and active Mom than he has.
Now....hand over the tempur-pedic and nobody will get hurt!

Izzy said...

I don't even work outide the house and I suffer from that guilt.

I wish I had a solution for you. All I can say is I know you're a good, caring mom and so does Blake.

Jenn said...

MOMMY GUILT SUCKS! I feel it every day. I HATE IT! Why does it even EXSIST? Cause that damn guilt is gonna give me an ulcer. *sigh* Makes me mad, and guilty. Mad that I'm guilty and then guilty that I'm mad.

p.s. V-bell is hysterical. LOL

Jo said...

Ahhh, the mommy guilt. I'm plagued with it daily. I often stop and wonder, what will my kids remember about this day. I hope it's the five minutes we rolled around giggling over something silly and not the 100 times I talked them in exasperated tones and asked them to be quiet. Hmm, your post has inspired me to create a memorable moment with my kids every day. A moment that hopefully will be remembered instead of all my grumbling. Sighhhh.

jess said...

you will be okay. i promise. you rock.

Amy said...

Mommy guilt is the worst. It doesn't matter if someone were to play a video of you and an entire weekend spent with your child, then point out that EVERYTHING you did was 100% wonderful - as a mom, we'd still find SOMETHING to feel guilty about.

Her Bad Mother said...

You KNOW that I hear you. Loud and clear. LOUD LOUD LOUD.

I breath, drink, LIVE mommy guilt. But I console myself, and will try to console you, by saying that it is evidence that you are a GOOD MOTHER.

And a hot one.