Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dirty Little Secret

Have you been reading Dooce lately? I have been reading Dooce for a couple of years. Not since she was pregnant the first time, but since Leta was just turning 4, I think. I like Dooce. I really do. This post is not about bashing Dooce because I know that she has paid her mommy-dues. But lately I've been reading her stuff and thinking about how I would feel if I was reading it when I first had E. So here's my completely honest admission, just in case there is a new or soon-to-be new mom out there who is feeling lost.

Motherhood does not come easy to me. There...I said it. I am not a natural mom. I have to work at it and it makes me feel horribly guilty. Now don't get me wrong, I love my child with my whole being and want nothing but the world for her, but there are times when I just look at her and think "What the hell have I done?"

I think it started with an extremely difficult pregnancy. I was sick EVERY SINGLE DAY (yes, I am yelling that) of my pregnancy. Then my labor was just devastating. I had a doctor that wouldn't listen to what I wanted OR tell me what she was doing before she did it and then the anesthieologist had to stick me FOUR times before he hit the right spot. I didn't even want to have an epidural, but the doctor hung pitocin in my IV bag without telling me and I am just not a rockstar enough to overcome that pain. So it was a rough start.

But then E developed colic at 5 weeks old on Christmas Eve. And the colic lasted forever...and I was trying to cope alone with her because Hubby was always working on his school papers at night. Have you ever seen a parent with a colicky baby? Our eyes are just filled with pain and we can't compile complete thoughts because we are just so numbed by screaming. Anytime I hear about a mom with a colicky baby now, I force them to give the child to me and let them take a walk. I know that pain.

E was a very easy child, except for the fact that she didn't sleep. We tried to Ferberize her...once...she screamed for 4 solid hours. And we were firm on the Ferberizing, we weren't going in and making her cry again...but cry she did. She didn't sleep through the night until she was 4. Really.

And then there's the fact that I am selfish. I want my time to myself. I miss my days of getting in the car and driving off without worrying about getting back to pick her up on time. I miss the days when I could be a slob and curse and swear without worrying about setting a bad example. I miss having sex with my husband whenever I want without worrying that little ears will hear or she will walk in on us.

But I know I would miss so much more if I didn't have her. Her laughter just brightens my day. The smile on her face when I pick her up from school just makes it all worth it. And Hubby is such a hands on father that we work well together. He takes over when he sees that anxious look come over my face because I need a break.

So there it is. Someone out there probably feels the same way and suffers from the same guilt. But I have learned that it is okay. A lot of people feel that way but just can't admit to it because you see so many Uber-moms out there who make it looks so easy. But trust me, I have seen the end results of Uber-moms. Their lives are not always as they appear. Motherhood is not easy! More of us need to stand up and share that truth. It really does take a village.


cbrks12 said...

Well said...

Jeannie said...

I don't think you have to be a "natural" Mom to be a good Mom. Some people take to kids and are enjoyed by them. Some aren't. I wasn't. I don't feel guilty about it. I don't feel guilty about not being a gifted musician or a business tycoon either. I was a great Mom anyway. I loved my kids. I spent a lot of time with them. I taught them more than they needed to know. I hugged them and told them I loved them a lot. I apologized for being less than perfect but no one is. They are grown now and decent adults.

They are well aware that I never much liked kids in general but that I liked them.

"Natural" moms are not always "good" moms either. They can give the kids the idea that they are the centre of the universe.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I hear ya.

I work full time not because I absolutely have to. There's just no way I could be a full time Mom.
I am not a patient person.

I love my kids the best I can but I also enjoy my career.

I look at it that even with all my flaws I am doing a much better job than my parents. I may not be there 24/7, but their needs and happiness are always foremost in my mind.

And my husband is a great parent -

I have been identifying with Dooce in that with my first I had bad postpartum depression and a crappy marriage; my second I had depression issues, a difficult delivery, and both my daughter and I had serious medical issues.

But my last was a quick delivery, and I felt so good afterward. I felt that high that Dooce felt after delivery. Being in a right state of mind, not in the grip of mental issues, makes the happiness that much more vibrant.

And I was finally able to enjoy the last one like I was unable the first two.

catherine said...

You are so right. I think that most people have experiences like yours and mine. It the "perfect" ones that have "indigo children"
"Many children called indigo by their parents are diagnosed with ADHD.[6] Robert Todd Carroll points out that labeling a child an indigo is an alternative to a diagnosis that implies imperfection, damage or mental illness, which may appeal to many parents."