Guest Post: Dulcis Bellatrix 10.23.12

I love a good hearty, honest rant/list. Here’s one from a fellow blogger, mother, and friend. As parents, we all know we have some “bad mommy” moments. Lord knows that I use TV like a tool. My kid seems to be functioning ok, so far haha We’ll see how he does in the future.. oh boy.

I’ve mentioned her blog before on here, but here it is again!

http://www.brittanystanley.com/mommy/archives/4120

I’m a Bad Mother

October 23, 2012

Since he was born, I’ve done my best to make radical transformations in my life to become the mother that Joell needs me to be, and I’ve worked hard to be diligent by him. There are many things that I could you could say I’ve been doing “right” in my short tenure as a mom- I’ve never turned on the TV for Joell (not once), he has never had a piece of junkfood (except for the taste of frosting I let him try on his first birthday, but otherwise he has never had so much as a single cookie), I baby-wore, I co-slept, I buy organic, cook vegetarian breakfast-lunch-dinner, I take him to the park or some other children’s venue nearly every day, we read books sing songs do crafts and explore nature. I kiss my child every single day and tell him I love him. He is never at a loss for hugs, and I make sure that he has a healthy, balanced, and structured life routine, punctuated by many unique trips and experiences.

In some ways I am the tiger-mother and in others, a Dr. Sears disciple. But in some other ways still, I really am just a bad mother.

How you ask? Oh, let me count the ways:

1. I play on my cell phone while my son plays at the park.

Every so often I’ll look up after having been totally distracted for many minutes and Joell will be nowhere in sight. So I frantically powerwalk all around the playground looking for him, trying my best not to look obvious to the other parents that I’m panicking and clearly a negligent mother. This is also horrible because he could obviously fall and hurt himself while I am not paying attention, but seriously, I’m not always in the mood to pretend like I care about filling up buckets with sand and subsequently pouring them out.

2. I curse and play totally age-inappropriate music (aka. rap and death metal)

I can’t help it, I have the mouth of a sailor. I’ve literally been cursing on a regular basis since probably elementary school, and there simply is no use in trying to stop me now. I just can’t do it. And even though at the house I play kids music every morning for Joell, I usually pepper in some WuTang Clan or Slayer. And no, it’s not censored. That’s like drinking a Diet Coke when all you want is the real thing- what’s the point? I know.. I gotta tone it down. But do I really have to?

3. I occasionally let him play unsupervised around my room while I sleep in.

I figure, “what the hell, isn’t that was doors and socket protectors are for? He’ll be fine for a half-hour.” I’ve never had an incident, although I usually wake up to all my clothes being pulled out of their drawers and hand lotion smeared all over the place. I guess you could call it ‘Instant Karma’.

4. I sometimes just jam him in his car-seat

Though I never (ever) spank, or even yell at him, sometimes I just give up and jam Joell into his car-seat when he’s trying to resist me. I have spent countless minutes trying to gently coax and persuade my 18month old to electively sit into his car-seat and let me buckle him up. I bribe him with books and my iPhone, and talk sweetly. I let him take his time and warm him up to sitting. But he still runs away from me, arches his back, and wiggles his way out of the seat in refusal to get in. Sometimes, I just don’t feel like dealing with it, so I pick him up and just jam him in. I feel bad because otherwise I am very serious about respecting his bodily integrity, but the whole car-seat fiasco just gets ridiculous. I’m never mean about it, I still talk him through it sweetly like, “Alrighty, in you go! Let’s get this little arm in here (jam), then the next one (double jam)…etc. etc.” Granted, he’s not always annoying like this about getting into the car, but many many times he is.

5. I let him eat food off the floor.

Pretty sure this one requires no further explanation.

6. I have contemplated getting fake boobs

On a few occasions, I have secretly look into getting fake tits (well, I told Joe, who just kinda laughed at me). Nice perky expensive fake boobs that would serve no other purpose than my own vain pleasure. I feel like it’s the most anti-”good” mother thing to want. It’s purely selfish (well, I guess hubby benefits a little in this case too), and there is no real familial gain that comes from plastic surgery. Plus, elective plastic surgery really does send terrible message to children, especially little girls (thank god I don’t have one of those). I’m pretty sure that if I ever got them I would be excommunicated from the Church of Natural Parenting, and banished to Never-Never Land to serve at the foot of one of the evil stepsisters from Cinderella. Would fake boobs interfere with my current breastfeeding relationship? Check. Do I care? Sometimes not at all. Looks like I may not be La Leche League material after all.

7. Sometimes I love my baby more than I love my man

I guess this falls more under the “Bad Girlfriend” category, but sometimes I feel like I might hyperextend my retina from all the eye-rolling I do at Joe. I mean seriously? He is terrible at putting on diapers. And he always is afraid of getting his hands poopy, so he does this really pussy-footed half-assed wipe job on Joell’s little tush, and it just annoys the crap out of me. He is also the world’s worst clothing folder, and did I mention that he somehow weasels his way out of ever cleaning the bunny cage? Joe can cook two things: pasta and pizza (ok, so he does make a mean homemade pizza, but still.)

There are days when Joell and I are just two peas in a pod, days where he totally gets all my jokes and can’t seem to give me enough hugs and kisses, and I feel the same. These are the days where we play and get lost in our own world- where he makes me laugh uncontrollably. Joell and I get into a groove and it feels like it’s just me and him with a world of endless possibilities, creativity and fun sitting right at our fingertips. And frankly? Sometimes Joe is just like the annoying third wheel who keeps giving me (under the breath) crap about not knowing how to file my taxes or handle the actual task of paying my own credit card bills. As he says, I get an ‘F’ in Life Administration Skills. To which I say, “touche”.

8. Sometimes I love my man more than I love my baby

Joe and I love to daydream about things that we want to do and accomplish together, and ways that we are going to embrace the entire world and everything that it has to offer. We stare at the ceiling holding each other at night while we make halfway-serious plans about moving to Chile and starting our own farm (that would double as a birthing center, of course). We imagine getting lost in foreign cities, getting freaky under the the star-studded sky of some edge-of-the world paradise, we imagine… and then the baby whines. Ugh, you’re still here? Poof, back to reality.

Sometimes when Joe and I are holding hands, talking and hanging out and getting lost in our own world as a couple, I look back at the toddler- poopy-pants, tantrumy, sticky-handed, grabby little toddler- and I want to put my hands down Joe’s pants and just whisper seductively in his ear, “how ’bout we lose the kid and get out of here, just the two of us”. But alas… neither of us can afford to get arrested for negligence anytime soon. But seriously.

9. Sometimes I love myself more than I love either of them.

Yes, there are some days where I “La-La-La Can’t Heeeear You!” to both Joe and Joell. I let them figure it out for themselves and withhold my mommy-superpowers from helping anyone out. There are times when I literally go on mommy strike- I just smile and ignore! Oh it’s a beautiful thing not to care or listen for a few blissful moments. I take a bath, I do my makeup, talk on the phone, and let the world fall apart around me as Joe single-handedly tries to figure out how handle all things toddler.

Sometimes it gets even deeper than that- days when I feel really dark and I’m like, “what if I just escaped? I could find my way to the city and be free! No more diapers! No more 10pm bedtime/7am wakeup on Saturdays! No more budgeting or checkbook balancing! I could be reckless and immature and no one would be there to hold me accountable- I could do whatever the fuck I want and answer to no one- imagine the life of adventure and utterly shameless mindless self-indulgence! I want that, yes sir, that’s what I want.”

There really are days when I want a break from all the noise, and the pressure, and the demands, and everyone needing me and pulling me in every direction at once. Sometimes I think it might be nice to run away.

As I write this, it makes me think of the times when I was a little kid and would be mad at my entire family. One time I was so mad that I decided to run away and never come back. So I packed a little backpack (contents included my blanky, a journal, juice box, a pack of cards, and some pens- you know, practical survival tools) and I “ran away” to my double col-de-sac neighborhood. I spent a few hours walking around, hiding in shrubs, and trespassing through people’s yards. At first it was fun, and I felt all rogue and thrilled to be on my own, emancipated from parents and a family. But it started to get late, and I started to feel cold. Walking around was getting tiring, and I was feeling hungry and a little scared. I started to wonder what my family was doing without me, and I wondered if they missed me. I missed them and wanted to just hold my mommy and be safe and happy. What dawned on me that day was an incredibly important lesson that holds true to this day- I’m not shit without my family.

I wasn’t shit without my family then, and I’m not shit without my family now. I need them and want them more than anything on this planet- and even though they are incredibly hard work and require serious self-sacrifice, they are my only key to happiness. Without them, all the freedom in the world would mean nothing to me. In the core of my heart, I love being a mom, even if sometimes I’m a totally shitty one.

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