Saturday, May 02, 2009

Not the Best

Today was not a great day as a mom or as a homeowner. I struggled with both today. . . maybe because i was trying to juggle both or maybe because i am in a reflective mood about how i am as a mother. I definitely don't need words that say how great a mom i am or how lucky jaely is to have me or blah, blah, blah. I don't need those because i know those. Those seem so shallow right now to me.

I struggled today because my personality is to take care of something quickly. For example, i don't see the need to put dishes by the sink or in the sink when they are dirty. . . just put them right into the dishwasher. When the leaves fall, rake. When the trash is full, take it out. When the dust forms on top of the wood, dust it. So, when your garage is full of wet, nasty valuables, clothes, decorations, books, etc. . . take care of them. Clean it up. Clean it out. Dry things out. Gets some air to things.

I can't do that with a one year old. I just can't. I can hardly get to the things that need to be done daily, let alone a minor disaster, like a flood. In the end, jaely gets the raw end of the deal- a mom who is too tired to talk or play and who is trying to get things done while jaely talks and plays by herself. Then, because i am tired, i don't have a lot of patience for things like opening cupboards and touching cords, etc. So i think she is being a little stink bug, when in reality it is my patience that stinks.

But that isn't even it. What is bothering me even more is the realization that i am who she spends most of her day with. This is going to be a hard one to explain. I think it is best explained by first giving an example. A few months ago, i had been trying to get jaely to clap. I would hold each of her hands and clap her hands together. it really wasn't working and i was fine that she wasn't clapping yet. I brought jaely to school one day and a dear teacher who has older kids of her own and a grandchild sat down with jaely and had jaely grab each of her hands and then she clapped her hands together, thus having jaely clap her hands too. I made the remark that i have never thought to teach jaely like that. She said it comes with experience. Another example might be when gail whispered in Jaely's ear for the first time when she was so young. Jaely loves it. I have never thought of doing that. My neighbor's kid is learning to trace his hand, not with any help of his mom, but because of his daycare person. My neighbor never thought to have him try that. My dad was the first one to try to stand jaely up on her legs on his table. I didn't think to do that. Instead of having high expectations for her to do things, i think i sell her short and then don't do things with her that i am supposed to.

I guess what i am saying is that i don't have expereince. Sometimes i feel bad that all jaely gets is me. That's it. . . me. Sometimes i think i would welcome an *excellent* daycare person for jaely. I definitely welcome grandparents to live closer. I love to see TJ spend time with jaely in the evenings because he does things differently with her. I watch to see what he does because a lot of times i have never thought of doing that.

I am not sure how jaely and i spend our days! Recently i have been so excited about the fine motor skills she has been getting- putting things in things, trying to put things together. I know that she definitely isn't in bad shape for having me with her for the majority of the day, but i am not sure if she is truly benifiting from it. I don't know what i am doing! I am new at this.

Today was a struggle. Poor TJ has spent his days pumping water, getting gas for the pump, moving the pump, vacuuming up water in the basement. . . which means i am stuck inside with jaely, just like any other day. . . possibly worse because he is working later than normal taking care of all this stuff. I needed a break desperatly. I am having a hard time being honest, for fear that i may sound like a bad mom, but i needed a break. I just needed someone else to think about what jaely is going to eat, or what we can play with next, etc. I needed a break from my routine. I needed it to feel like a saturday.

I still feel like i can't explain things adequetly. . . but i tried my best and i do feel better writing about it.

I am blessed.
I am loved.
I am a mother (something i have wanted for a long time)
We are healthy.
Things are good. . . they really are. :)


tarapetty said...

I'm glad you are so honest about what you are feeling.

I think that you are right- you are a great mom and Jaely is lucky to have you. That doesn't mean you are enough to meet her needs. But you don't need to be and you weren't designed to be.

TJ, Gail, neighbors, uncles, friends, strangers, eventually teachers and peers, all fill a unique roll only they can fill.

"It takes a village"

I hope today was full of sunshine and dry weather.

Kate Rudd said...

I admire honesty more when it doesn't come easily.

I really hate when things that aren't supposed to get wet.. get wet. If I were in your shoes I'd have been going crazy within hours..let alone days! I hope today offered some moments of refreshment.

If there's any way I can help you get a break, please call. :)

Ang said...

i love you...and I love how completely honest you always are.

i hope that just writing and sharing your feelings helped a little. it usually does for me. But even if it didn't 'fix' things for konw that when you 'tell your story' or helps me (and everybody else around you)

I really can't imagine your stress with your basement. i'm so sorry.


I know that there are things that only YOU do with JAely... that only you will teach her. and of course you know how lucky that makes her :)


really. if you want to drop her off or come over too for a 'play date' with my girls. we'd really really really love it :)

Anonymous said...

Don't be so hard on yourself. You are doing a wonderful job. No one person can think of all the ways to get a child to do something.

Not only will other adults teach her things that you didn't or couldn't, but other children will teach her many things as well. Some of those will be things you are glad she learned and some will not, but that is life.

No daycare person can give her that opportunity to bond with you which has been possible this year. That is priceless. You can't pay someone to do that.

You have not failed Jaely at all.

Love, GG

*sarah* said...

I know exactly your feelings on this, Linds. I have felt that way many times. Especially when we moved up here... all of the in-laws expected so much out of Corbin. Not the big things that he "should" be doing (talking, etc.), but they treated him like he was a big kid...not a baby.

They had him sit at a table to eat without a booster seat. They let him tear around with the other kids outside. They let him do things on his own and, to my surprise, he actually could. I usually want to (and sometimes DO) run up to them and say WAIT, STOP! He's just a Baby!! But the times that I don't, I watch him do things that amaze me. I had no idea he could do that...but I would've never let him try. Or I didn't know how to teach him. How would I? I'm new at this too! ;)

I often think...would he know more if he were in daycare? Would he speak better? Would he act better with other kids, know his colors, count, be less clingy? Maybe. But we both would've missed out on a lot of fun, snuggles and love. Give and take. You and I are both so lucky that we were able to be home with our kids...but it does come with guilt and questioning. I imagine most aspects of parenting do.

I hope you are drying out a bit, and that 'big ass pump' has done it's job. Miss you.

Lindsey said...

I have the best friends. Love you! And thanks. . . to each one of you for the encouraging words.

I don't feel so alone anymore.

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed, it does take a village!And as far as expereience goes remember what God said after creating his first human "Darn it! I'll do better with the next one." Don't forget 'everything is transitory!'
Love, Dad