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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fixing mommy

This mom’s confession…

There are many times in a mother’s life where she feels like she’s not being the best mom that she can be. I’m one of those moms and this is one of those times.

My three younger children went to spend the weekend with their father. They left on Friday evening and, as usual, I expected them to return sometime on Monday. On Sunday night I received a last minute text that said, “I’m off on Tuesday. Want to keep them ‘til Wednesday.”

Now I could have pointed out that our 24-hour notification rule had been broken and been irritated, but after awhile I responded with, “Cool!”

Here we are on Wednesday and in 15 minutes I’ll be picking the children up from the daycare provider’s summer program of fun! Today, according to the schedule, they should have done crafts. Their activity today has nothing to do with anything; just thought you’d like to know.

The point here is I’m scared to pick them up.

I’ve had four entire days without children under the age of 7. I’ve enjoyed my conversations and time spent with my young adult daughter and I’ve relished in being able to complete a sentence or activity with RP. I haven’t missed carpooling, whining, baths, combing hair, ironing and picking out clothes, elementary fighting and tattle telling. I.haven’t.missed.one.bit.of.it.

DSCF4624 I spoke to my children yesterday because I do – in general – miss them. And today I’m trying not to dread what I think will be the inevitable making-me-sweat-sigh-scratch-my-head and want-to-scream moments.

I’ve been having the feeling lately that I enjoy life, that I I like my life better, without the smaller children! GASP! Even the thought makes me feel like a terrible mom.

DSCF4623 What would it be like if they lived with their father fulltime and I got them every other weekend? How would I feel not to see them everyday on a regular basis? I read all of these mom blogs talking about the joys of their children, then the other mom blogs who are dealing with children who are chronically ill and it makes me feel even worse. I am blessed and happy to have healthy children. And there are moments when they do bring me complete joy, make me laugh and consume me with love. But it’s the other times when I am terrible, ugly, screaming, stressed out mom who responds in frustration at some of the regular things children do and especially some of the not so regular things that my trio come up with.

DSCF4622 For the past three years of our lives, I have been completely and totally stressed out. Depressed. Fighting illness, diseases and doctors and tests. For the past three years finances have been worse than they’ve ever been in my 41 plus years on this earth.

It’s not the children’s fault. It’s all on me and the circumstances surrounding my life.

So, what am I going to do? In the short run I’m just going to go pick up my children and try to be as relaxed, calm and in control as I can. This is a one-minute-at-a-time program. In the long term I’ll continue to work on increasing my finances. In the middle? Well, I was thinking I’d just keep popping my pills and hope that’ll be enough.

Seriously. I’m hoping in a year or two this won’t be an issue. I’m hoping my son will have grown out of his whining stage and that his two younger sisters will have tired of tormenting him. I hope my youngest will have figured out how to be the baby of the family without acting like a baby. And I hope the mean, angry streak of my middle daughter is just a stage. (On top of that, I hope for more meaningful things as well: Like that my teenager will have an end to her health problems and the baby will stop getting ear infections and being susceptible to the least little germ.)

DSCF4630 Supposed to be quietly keeping themselves occupied so I can work. It’s not so quiet… but… at least they’re relatively still.

DSCF4631 I also hope – and this is probably the biggest most important one – that even if they don’t grow out of all those things (and a bunch more I’m deciding not to list) that my patience will grow, my life will be more fulfilled and purposeful, and I will in general grow and change to be a better mom and woman.

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