Monday, December 27, 2010

I thought it would be easier...

Post disclaimer: Much of this is out of frustration, illness and emotion.  I'm sure I will feel better tomorrow but I want to be authentic on my blog.  Still if you want to comment in support that is wonderful, if you want to be critical of me, then just keep your comments to yourself, because I don't need them.  That being said if you want to read on, please do.

I always thought that at some point in my life I would be a Stay at Home Mom.  My mom had a myriad of jobs but was always home with us too.  I just figured that I would have a chance to do that at some point, and who knows, I still might someday.  When we had baby goat, for better or for worse, it simply wasn't an option though.

And I am still lucky.  I have a daycare provider we love, I have a career I love.  Most of the time it is fine.

Dare I admit it?  I even enjoy working out of the home.  Yes, there are days when I feel like a horrible awful parent for not being there, for having to shuffle everything if baby goat gets a fever, feeling like I hardly have any time with him much less time for fun, play and learning.  There are days I'd love to have more time.  But yes, most of the time, I like getting away to a quiet office to think in (mostly) complete sentences and not deal an increasingly obstinant (albeit adorable) toddler.

Admitting that alone makes me feel like a horrible mom.  I know rationally that many moms have to work and even many moms are better moms for working but I feel like I should want to be home with him all the time.

And then there are days like today.  I've got the post Christmas cold - it may be the old cold come back after my meds wore off, I'm not sure, but I spent most of yesterday miserable in the back room at the ILs while they, and hubby, watched my son.  I felt bad enough for that.

Today Mr. Goat was sick in bed and I was marginally better, and since daycare is closed for the week I stayed home to care for him and baby goat.

And it all went to hell.

The hitting.  The biting.  The whining.  On and on.  He's feeling fine - full of energy, annoyed to be stuck in our too small apartment with nothing fun going on.  I was barely functioning trying not to cough on him, keep him engaged and from "loving" on the cats too much.

Baby goat turned 22 months yesterday.  He is charming, and smart (I think so at least), he's got a smile to melt you, but he is intense.  He's physical.  He hits - out of love and out of frustration.  He bites when you try to correct him.  People insist he'll grow out of it, but it is so hard.  My never ending refrain seems to be either "NO" or "Use your words"

It was endless today.  Even with PBS helping with the parenting, my cough and the acommpanying headache keep coming and so did he.  Everything was a battle.

Naptime was a blessing - a too short blessing.

By this time Mr. Goat went to a chiropracter to help fix a sore back in hopes of feeling better.  He also went to the grocery store which we really needed.  But again it was me and the toddler.

And it kept getting worse.  It was like he knew just the buttons to make me crazy (pretty intuitive for a toddler).  By the time it was dinner I just had to remove myself and have a good cry.  I felt beat up - physically and emotionally and just needed a rest.

Part of my sorrow in this is how is it that I can't even seem to handle one tough day with a toddler, the first real day he's home on "break"  I can't handle 1 day and I'm his mom.  Yes, I'm sick.  Yes, he's a toddler.  Yes, yes, yes.  I KNOW.

But  I'm his mom.  I thought I was supposed to be good at this.  I love kids.  I love working with them.  But I feel like such a failure to baby goat.

And it makes me sad. 

It makes me sad because I feel that way, but it also makes me sad that mom's have these expectations on them.  Do they come from society, our parents, ourselves, some deep competetive need?  I am not sure, but how awful is it that a single day can make me feel like the worst mother in the world.

Baby goat is fast asleep.  Content and happy.  Well fed.  Warm.  Safe.  Loved. 

How is it that I am a failure?  And yet, that's what I feel today.

Tomorrow Auntie Goat comes to watch him and I flee back to work.  I may still be sick but I'm going.  And the knowledge that I am fleeing my own child just to have a moment to recover from today....that makes me cry.

But it is the truth..

I love that boy, but I didn't like him very much today.  I didn't like me very much either.

So there you go.  The ugly truth.  I know it will get better, I know.  Or I will say so until it happens.  I just thought I'd be better at being a mom than this. 

21 comments:

MollyinMinn said...

One of the most powerful parents things my parents ever (and often) said to us when we were growing up was, "I love you, I just don't like what you are doing."

I say it now, too.

Hugs. We have all been there. And it will get better.

fritzfacts said...

The Ugly Truth is exactly what it is. The part of being a mother that no one tells us about. I think there have been many days where I just want to run away, to spend some time alone, even if it just means being at work.

Being a mom is hard job, and you are a FANTASTIC mom. You love him, you do anything he needs. You are a AMAZING mother and I hope that tomorrow is a better day.

Much love my dear.

Wendy said...

(((()))) Hugs from a fellow traveller. I love my kids, but I'm plenty conflicted about parenting. My boy is 2 months younger than your Baby Goat and he's a lovey boy, but he's tough.

Emma @ emmasota said...

Oh, dear. It's not you. It's totally the age. In fact, I feel better reading this, because my dear daughter is quite the handful right now and I feel ill-equipped much of the time. We stare each other down over a plate of spaghetti, and she gets a big grin on her face as she wipes red sauce all over her hair. I ask my husband, "How am I supposed to discipine her? She doesn't listen to me. Do I have to get really MAD?" He doesn't have the answers either. I think we just learn as we go and do the best we can! Hang in there!

Monkeymama said...

Liz, of course working is not worse than staying home. It is not better to stay home and it is not better to work. We need women out there giving their talents in the work place. You should feel no guilt for being a working mom.

All kids have bad days and all moms have bad days and it is a horrible scene when the two overlap. Stay at home moms have those days, working moms have those days. It's because we're all humans and have flaws. Don't make any judgments about yourself in this week after Christmas - kids get all wacky after celebrations.

You'll look back at days like this, on good days, and it will make those good moments all the better.

Jen said...

Ditto to Sarah. It's not that you couldn't handle one day. It's that the one day you had was one of those awful overlapping days.

Hyacynth said...

Hugs. I think most of us moms, if we're being honest, have been there. Hope tomorrow is a little brighter. And then the day after even more so.

Jeni said...

Soooooo normal. Especially with an almost two year. And an extra especially when that almost two year is of the male gender. You can wander through my archives when my first was that age and there are more than a few entries where I am bemoaning his stubborness, his whininess, his tantrums, rages, and all our meltdowns. It does get better, but honestly it also just gets different. And a good mother doesn't have to to like her kid all the time, sometimes they just aren't very likeable. Just like our husbands, we love them but they sure do deserve a kick in the pants sometimes. I hope tomorrow does feel better, and know that you are not alone.

Tiffany said...

Every mother has days like this. Every one. You are not a failure. You are a mother of a toddler. This is the hardest part of your job. This age. It's hard, you have to set expectations and rules. These are the building block years.

It will get better. I promise. And it does not make you a bad mom because you need to get away. Sometimes fleeing allows us to love more freely and with our whole heart.

You are a wonderful mother and I know how much you love that boy and I know how much that boy loves you but he is testing you and it's ok to walk away and cry. It won't be the last time. I've done it too. We all have.

I love you and I miss you and I wish there was something profound I could say to make it all better but there isn't it. Part of mothering is just muddling through and today, you had to muddle through. Tomorrow, maybe not so much. :)

simplicity said...

Tomorrow will be better. That's my mantra on the bad days.

We have all been there. We all know exactly what you're talking about.

Get yourself a latte', a nap and some work behind you today so when you see him after a day away you're ready and refreshed!! You're a good mom, Liz!

Kate said...

Molly said it perfectly, and it's a phrase that I've used with my own child all his life; loving your child is a given, but liking them is a choice and sometimes they make choices that make liking them really difficult, if not impossible.

You aren't a bad parent when you have a bad day, you're just human. And you were sick and cooped up and stressed out. It was a perfect storm.

Our society instills in us this horrendous pressure to be perfect, to be everything and do everything with a smile on your face, a spotless house and a home cooked meal on the table. The reality is far more harsh yet no one talks about it. Life stinks sometimes and it's hard and parenting makes us crazy. It's all normal. You're normal. And you are not a bad parent.

Marie said...

Liz,
Your honesty once agains astounds me and I am so blessed to have you in my blogging world, friend. I have felt this way many times, but have always kept it to myself for fear of criticism. But you know what? You ARE doing a fabulous job, and Baby Goat knows how loved he is, without a doubt.

Suzi said...

Oh Liz. I am sorry you had "THE DAY" yesterday. I've had those too. It's inevitable. Especially when you are sick and all the bad is amplified. I am right there with you about liking going to work, etc. I have those thoughts too. I am a MUCH better mom because I am working. I know that. For better or worse, that is how I was made I guess. Hang in there. You are doing a great job. xoxo

Anne said...

All I can say is this (because my toddler has sucked the last good brain cells from my head): I know. I get it. I feel the same. I could have written this post. You are not alone. In a nutshell...yep. *sigh*

Sarah - Fat Little Legs said...

I too have had too many days where I know I love my little boy (now 3) but I certainly don't like him one bit. Had one yesterday too. The best moment was went he deliberated pooped and peed in his pants while in timeout for whipping me in the face with a shoelace ... sigh... the joys of motherhood. Know that this too will pass. That is what I keep trying to repeat to myself. Yesterday I lost my cool, and yelled... bad.. and today I'm feeling really guilty for it. So I'm right there with you. Keep on keeping on. Baby Goat is lucky to have you as his mommy.

Laura said...

I've so been there. It's easy to say you feel like a failure, but really, it's a very, very bad day. You haven't failed at all. I know that you know that, but sometimes it helps to hear (read) it again.
I was a professional slap victim for a few months. I thought I was going to lose my mind with the number of times that little girl smacked me across the face... hard. But, I can say it's totally over and I did nothing magical. Just maintained the "we don't hit" and "ouchy, that really hurts" both seemed to at least stop her at that moment. I'm just sorry you had to have that day. I agree that getting out of the house and going to work can be so helpful sometimes.

Anonymous said...

It happens to everyone at some point or another. That's why there are babysitters and in-laws! Also, there's a reason it's called the Terrible Twos. If it were all fun and games, it wouldn't be so terrible.

Sharon said...

Our constant refrain these days is, "Sit on your bottom." Last week, I said it so many times during bathtime that I just whipped her out of the tub. Tub. Time. Over. She was mad, I was frustrated, then Daddy came over and gave us both a little relief.

One thing I learned in seminary was that when we have big issues in life, it's usually because of unmet expectations. Don't ask me where you get your parenting expectations from, though I'd guess your own Mom, TV, society... We somehow have this vision that Moms are supposed to be able to naturally do everything perfectly, all the while loving their kids and keeping their hair in place. The reality of life is just different.

My sister made sure to take pictures of the kids when they were wailing as infants. Because that's part of their life. We usually just photograph (email, talk about, etc.) the cute moments. But life includes all kinds of stuff.

Hang in there. And when you get to feeling better, I'm sure you'll find that some of you patience was hiding under being sick. You are an awesome Mom. Give yourself a little slack.

Anti-Supermom said...

Exactly what Molly is saying... exactly what I was thinking:

I love you, but I don't like you.

Hugs.

Don't beat yourself up, parenting is never easy and we all need a little support now and then to keep us moving forward.

trishatfox said...

I think it's especially hard when a working mom has a bad day with her child or children. You don't have as many good days together to balance out the tough ones. You have greater expectations for the limited time you do have together. And I always felt like it just took some time for my kids and I to get used to each other again. That's normal. It doesn't mean your not a good mom. It doesn't mean your not a "natural" at mothering.
You love your boy. He knows it. You both will be fine. He's lucky to have a mom who is mature enough and intelligent enough to understand what she is feeling and ask for support when she needs it.

Rebecca said...

You are telling the story of so many of us...