Thank you to everyone for the kind words last week after I vomited emotions all over the place. I promise next time I’ll try to find a bucket or something instead. It’s so great to have a support system that will both sympathize with me and remind me that I’m an awesome mom doing a great job when I’m having a bad day. I was planning to write thoughtful, personal replies to each one of you, well, I didn’t. Please feel free to send me hate email. I could even cry a little if you want, I’m in that kind of place these days.
The thing is though…I’m not really an awesome mom and I don’t think I’m doing a great job. I don’t mean that in a cute “OMG I’m so fat!” fishing for compliments sort of way – I mean I am impatient and frustrated and uninvolved and feel like I struggle with good parenting more than anyone else around me. I raise my voice far more than I should, and I often let it get beyond just voice-raising to yelling. I swat Little Evan’s hands instead of firmly redirecting his attention. I spend a LOT of time online – something that’s gotten totally out of control since I’ve become a recluse who never leaves her house – instead of letting him interact with other kids and burn off his energy. Sometimes when he’s crying for no reason I give up trying to comfort him a lot sooner than I should. I make a lot of excuses not to sit on the floor and play with him (I’m too busy! I’m too pregnant! I’m too tired! I’m too sick!) but get annoyed when he tries to climb on me on the couch. And poor baby Caroline had to throw a huge fit for the past two days to get me to hold her for longer than it took to nurse. It’s just so much easier to put her in a swing and let her sleep all day while I deal with Little Evan instead of give her the attention and cuddles she deserves.
Sometimes I imagine there’s are secret Dr. Phil Family-style cameras in my house watching me spend the day parenting and more days than not I would be embarrassed to let anyone see the video. I can just picture myself sitting across from Dr. Phil himself and all he’s doing is shaking his head in disappointment. I’m being imaginary shamed by a fake TV doctor and he’s RIGHT.
SO. Instead of resolving to make dinner every night or finish two loads of laundry a day or always wear make-up or lose weight, my goal for 2011 is to be a better mom. More patient, more involved, more fun, more cuddly, and more like the mom my kids deserve. Part of that resolution includes taking better care of myself (no more ignoring symptoms and putting off appointments) because it’s so so much harder to be calm and rational in the face of a screaming toddler when your head feels like it’s going to explode and you can barely sit up. But the ultimate goal is for all of us – the whole family of four – to be happier, calmer and more loving. Because I DO love my kids and I never ever want them to doubt it for even a second. 2011 is the year I become the awesome mom I know I can be.
And then I’m going to punch imaginary Dr. Phil in his face.