Are You KIDDING Me With This???

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Random Musings From An Ungrateful Mom

Sometimes I suck. And not in the fun way that Oscar likes, because he's a dirty, dirty man. But in the way that has me complaining about things that for which I should instead be immensely grateful. I mean, I know that I am extremely lucky that I get to stay home with my Turtle and be present for all of the milestones in his life. I know that I am blessed for this time with him when he is actually happy to have me around and not asking me to walk 25 paces behind him because his friends might see, and oh, he hates me. I also know that there are many women (and not a small amount of men) who would kill to be in my shoes. But there are days when I just don't have it in me to feel grateful.

Don't get me wrong. I am crazy in love with my child. It's extremely difficult not to be. Sure, every parent thinks her kid is the smartest, cutest, most well-behaved, but in the case of MY child, all of those things are actually true. He's a great little boy. And I am loving every stage of his development. He was an adorable baby, and a fun toddler, and he's a fascinating preschooler. But when he's climbing all over me because I dared to spend a minute too long on the phone? And when he's whining at me because he hasn't gotten enough sleep but is too stubborn to go take a nap? When he's insisting that we play go-gos for the fifth time that day and all I want to do is sit on the computer and read blogs and play frickin' Pogo? The selfish takes over and I just want to go find a nice room with a door and a lock that actually works, put in some ear plugs and just pray that he hasn't figured out how to make fire yet.

The thing is that I recognize that I have these urges and when they occur, I do my best to really focus in on Turtle, because I know that half the time he just wants a few minutes of my undivided attention and then he will be more than happy to go play on his own. It's just that there are more times than I care to admit when I just don't want to focus. I want to fast forward to a time in his life when I can negotiate with him instead. "Listen, kid, all Mommy is asking for is 30 minutes of uninterrupted computer time, and in return, I'm offering a trip to the zoo and a new toy. Do we have a deal?"

And what's worse is that I can't just chalk that up to the fact that just because I'm a Mommy doesn't mean that I stopped being human. I can't just give myself a break because all of us need time to ourselves now and then, and it's tough taking care of someone who wants what he wants when he wants it, not to mention the energy it takes to care for Turtle. (Heh.) No, instead I go through the immense feelings of guilt because I know I'm not the Mother of the Year...far from it, and although Turtle is growing into an amazing boy (in no small part because of the way Oscar and I are raising him), I just know I could be doing better. And yet....I'm not.

Pile all of it together and you get a big pile of "I suck." And if this is what it was like every day, I guess I'd have to start seriously thinking about going back to work so that we could afford day care. Because if it was like this every day, I would have to believe that Turtle would be better off with people who actually got trained and paid to play games with him all day and stimulate his mind and encourage his social development. But it's not like this every day. In fact, sometimes, it's so much better than this that it's literally like living in a house with rainbows and sunshine and unicorns and all of those other things that are so beautiful and happy that you want to vomit from the sugar shock. And on those days? The days when Turtle finishes going potty, flushes the toilet, and then waves and says "Bye Poops! I love you" and blows his excrement a kiss? On those days I want to bitch slap myself for being ungrateful for even a second.


At October 13, 2006 5:37 AM, Blogger Flip said...

Hey - sorry I've been absent for so long.

Please remember that unless you take care of yourself you're not going to be any good to Turtle at all. You know, the old "Put on your own oxygen mask before helping others..." thing. And Turtle will never understand that.

I had the opportunity of being Mr. Mom for an entire summer when my daughter was one year old. It gave me a healthy respect for people like you and my wife who stay at home. It was the most difficult, stressful and thankless job I've ever had. Yeah, there were some great moments. But it was TOUGH.

Turtle and Oscar are very lucky to have you around. I know they (well he, Oscar) know that. But don't let them forget it!



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