Somebody passed this blog post along to me, thinking it would make me laugh with the sheer ridiculousness of how this mom is shaming other mothers who aren’t nearly as devoted to her kids as SHE is.
Oddly enough though, it just made me kind of sad. Does it really make me narcissistic because I thoroughly enjoy any ‘me’ time? That , because, yes, I do get slightly annoyed when my son wakes me up at 2 in the morning because one of his eighty four different stuffed animals that he sleeps with has fallen off the bed, he can’t find it in the dark and he refuses to sleep without it? That because sometimes I do stick my noise cancelling earbuds in and turn the music up a little so I can drown out his constant chatter?
Don’t get me wrong..I love being a mom. And I love being my son’s mom. But it’s a LOT harder than I ever thought it would be because of all his difficulties, delays and specific issues like ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Reading this woman’s post, it make me feel less than a stellar mom (which I feel I do try my best most days) because I have not totally submersed myself in motherhood or lost my identity to it. I don’t enjoy laundry or cleaning house..but maybe I’m SUPPOSED to because that’s a mom’s job and we’re all supposed to just love love love our jobs to death. All the time.
On the other hand, I have the multitude of mothers on my Reddit group (which I will not name. You know who you are. :D) who are right there in the trenches with me going, “This sucks. I want my freaking me time. And my body back. Oh..and a bottle..or two..of wine to go with it.” who tell me it’s ok to feel the way that I feel. That it’s ok to sometimes feel like I don’t like my son very much even though I love him more than anything. That it’s really, truly ok to spend an hour in the bathtub with J.R.R. Tolkein while my son plays video games or whatever because I’m feeling stressed and my nerves are shattered.
Which leaves me feeling more torn than ever. I don’t know which way is the right way for me to think and feel and if I don’t think and feel “the right way” then maybe I’m not as good a mother as I think I am.
Which leaves me with even MORE guilt. Because while I can (and do) crochet and knit, I don’t really enjoy crafting that much. I’m not fond of card or board games and the idea of having to play an endless game of Monopoly or The Game of Life with my son (who loves both these games) makes me want to run straight for the proverbial hills. Although I do enjoy computer or video games once in awhile, I can’t really call myself a gamer and children’s games (Tag, etc) make me want to dig a great big hole and go hide in it. I’ve never had much patience for children’s games. Even as a child, I never really had the patience for the endless games of Tag and Colored Eggs and Red Rover or whatever it was my peers were playing.
I love my son..more than life itself. And I’ve spent I don’t know how many hours researching and reading about his various issues so I can be a better mom to him by trying to understand what he’s going through. I’ve done my best over the years to teach him to dress himself, to feed himself, to do things for himself so I don’t have to. My goal is simply to make him into some kind of functional adult who hopefully is able to live on his own or at least in some sort of group home or with a roommate or something. I’ve done I don’t know how many hours of physical therapy with him in the swimming pool every summer. How many hours I’ve dedicated to speech therapy at home by asking the SLP for ‘homework’. How many hours I’ve spent finding and printing out ‘school work’ for him to do over the summer so he doesn’t get behind.
Isn’t there some sort of balance between loving the crap out of your kid and doing everything you can for them while also maintaining who you are as a parent/spouse/significant other? I mean…you can still be a great parent while not totally losing yourself and your identity to the great calling of Motherhood, right?
Pass the coffee.