Therapy Thursday…

Being a mom is hard.  Period.  I’ve been a stay at home mom, a work part-time mom, and a full-time working mom.  I’ve done them while Snoop is around to be completely supportive and I’ve done them when he was deployed for 14 months.  And none of the experiences is easy.  Ever.  When you’re a stay-at-homer you don’t have the stress that a job outside of the home brings, but you do have the stress that your children bring…24 hours a day.  Going to work gains you the opportunity for more adult conversation, but takes away so much time that you’d rather be spending with your kids.  I loved staying home with my kids…to a point.  I loved watching them grow and develop…knowing every single thing about them…never missing a thing, from runny noses to scraped knees to major milestones.  But I never felt “fulfilled,” and after about a year of full-time-mommyhood it became clear to me that this just wasn’t the role for me.  I found myself slipping into a pretty scary depression, and as a result I wasn’t the mommy that my kids deserved to have.  So I jumped back into the workforce, full-time.  I was extremely lucky to find a job that I love…it’s truly my passion and i can count on one hand the number of times I’ve woken up and dreaded going to work.  My job is flexible, so if a kid is sick, or they have an awards assembly or field trip…no problem.  I’m able to work from home at times, and flex my hours to accommodate other things.  I loved going back to work…feeling like a “real” grown-up again and using a part of my brain that I truly thought was melting away.  But it certainly wasn’t an easy transition.  For any of us.  I missed my kids terribly, and Boog really started having some major anxiety issues.  He’s always been a pretty sensitive, anxious little man, and the changes that came along with me going back to work full-time, finishing pre-school, starting a summer program, then starting kindergarten, then Snoop deploying to Afghanistan, going to an after-school program when he really wanted to just walk home…it was just too much and he really wasn’t a happy guy (and therefor I wasn’t a happy mommy) for awhile.  But I did what any good mommy would do, and I handled it.  We found an amazing therapist, and with her help and flexibility on my part (i.e.,working from home 4 hrs every weekend so that he could walk home on Fridays) we made it thru the worst of it.  He’s OCD, and that’s not going to change, so we never really know how the day is going to go.  But overall…he’s doing great.  My dramamama couldn’t be more different than her brother when it comes to dealing with change.  She is such a trooper, so laid back, and just kind of goes with the flow…no matter what is thrown at her (with a dose of signature Drama of course).  She loves her preschool…and never seemed to mind me going back to work.  Of course I still felt like I wasn’t giving her the time she needed (what mom does?) but she never acted that way.  Until recently.  She has turned into such a different kid…so unbelievably high maintenance…the past few weeks.  She’s crying when I drop her off at preschool…outstretched arms and wails of “Don’t gooooo Moooommmmmyyyyyyyyy!” follow me down the hallway, taking me back to the first weeks of Boog’s first daycare experiences.  She’s fighting going to bed, arguing about everything, stuck to my leg like industrial strength Velcro.  I am so racked with guilt when we get in the door at 5:30 and I have to start dinner…because I’d rather be playing with her.  I hate telling her it’s time to get ready for bed when we’ve been home under 2 hours…one of which was spent cooking dinner, eating dinner, and catering to her every whim.  Sometimes I let them stay up later…just because I miss them and love to see the joy on their faces when we play together.  I love sitting in Boog’s room creating something new and original out of Legos before bed, even though I know it means he’s not going to get enough sleep that night and I’ll have to deal with a very grumpy boy in the morning.  I put off most chores until they’re in bed, and get right to work packing lunches, preparing breakfasts, making sure clothes are ready, finishing work that didn’t get done at work…  I try to take some time for myself, usually in the form of a phone call to my BFFLMNOP or 30 minutes of crap TV.  I inevitably1 get to bed too late every night, and wake up tired with limited capacity for patience.  Then we start the whole damn thing over again.  I try hard to make the weekends fun…sometimes by going somewhere cool, sometimes by doing not much of anything at all but just being together.  But I know there’s no replacement for the real deal…kids need time with their mommies and I’m just not feeling like I’m doing such a fantastic job of being there right now.  I’m completely overloaded at work, and while I love my job…it’s very emotionally exhausting.  I know I need to take care of myself so that I can be there for them…if I learned anything from therapy, it’s that.  But how, exactly, am I supposed to take care of myself AND be a super mommy in approximately 4 1/2 hours a day?  Perhaps if I didn’t have the added responsibilities of all that comes with a house…pets…friends…   But I do. 

*sigh*

I know I’m not a bad mommy.  I’m a good mommy.  I do honestly know that.  But every once in awhile I go thru these phases of self-doubt and insecurity.  I’m sure every mom…whether they work or stay at home…goes thru the same thing.  And I’m sure this won’t be the last of my Thursday therapy sessions focusing on this…  So if that was too much whoa-is-me whining for ya…I suggest you not stop by on Thursdays.  I won’t take it personally. 

Well…maybe I will.

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8 Responses

  1. YOU ARE A GREAT MOM!!! Kids are crazy but they are also what makes life so much fun!!! hang in there

    (Amanda) Takes one to know one, sista 😉 And it’s much easier to hang in there when I’ve got friends like you. Awwww…

  2. Awww, I can truly relate to this post… it’s like I wrote it MYSELF! In fact, i wrote one very similar several weeks ago. Good for you – I think you’re a great Mom. We’re good Moms because we try. If we didn’t try and if we didn’t care, then I’d wonder about us.

    🙂

    (Amanda) I read yours, and it’s so nice to know that we’re not alone in our insecurities sometimes!

  3. Oh honey, I hear ya. I just wrote about this myself. You’re certainly not alone.

    (amanda) Just read yours…I also missed a Kindergarten awards assembly. Grrr…

  4. I’m still trying to figure out what BFFLMNOP is… i

    If you didn’t care, if you weren’t a great mom, you wouldn’t have all these doubts. That’s what keeps us on our toes… 😀

    (Amanda) BFFLMNOP is my best friend, Michelle. One of my pet peeves is when people abbreviate words, like “fab” or “vaca.” In a drunken rant with Michelle one night, I was making fun of when people say “BFF” and “BFFL” and called her my “BMMLMNOP” and it just kinda stuck. So there ya have it…

  5. i know you are a great mom. bflmnop is freakin awesome

    (Amanda) She’d be more awesome in NC.

  6. I’m back! And so impressed…you have a lot to teach me. I’m not promising any little Jeremys or Mollys soon, but when they do come along, I’m going to need you to give me some of your super-mom powers – because I find it pretty hard to get everything done in a day as it is, and that’s just for ME! You’re amazing, and so are your lucky kids.

    (Amanda) Awww…thanks Mols! You’re the best. And whenever you do give me some little Mollys or Jeremys…I will spoil those little monsters like crazy! Jiggs will hate me 😉

  7. I vote we add more hours to the day…. Problem solved

  8. …when I was in kindergarten there were no awards, that’s the problem. We did the same stupid Christmas show that you did four years earlier, and we liked it. I overheard a lot of parents saying that I wasn’t a good Frosty the Snowman, that I couldn’t remember my lines, and that I sounded like a dope…f’em. I couldn’t tie my shoes with the other kids, I’d try a random jumble of knots and Gladys would say “That’s not right,” so I’d try again, and she’d say “In my 86 years of teaching kindergarten you are the worst I’ve ever seen with shoes,” that didn’t hurt my self esteem, I just tried harder. now I wear sandals.

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