Tonight I had to go back into my three year old sons room and apologize. I felt so bad about the whole day that I almost broke my cardinal rule: never wake a sleeping baby. But I couldn’t help it. Tears in my eyes, I cuddled him, cradled his head, and kissed his cheeks. “I’m sorry” I kept repeating, mingled with a few “I’m a terrible mom”s and “I’ll be nicer tomorrow”s. Is this what motherhood is all about? Screwing up so much, and feeling so guilty about it after the fact?
Now, just to be fair to myself, I had numerous reasons to lose my sanity:
8am – 1pm – Normal day; breakfast, dress, doctors appointment, library, trampoline, toys, lunch.
2pm – Naptime – read books, go potty, get water, sing songs.
2:30pm – Potty (again)
3pm – Find boy wandering around the playroom, put back to bed, yell at him.
3:30pm – Boy has pooped his pants. Clean underwear, pants, body. Put back to bed, again. Yell at him, again.
4pm – Boy is wandering around his room singing to himself. Give up and get him up. Try to hold back the frustration that has mounted with no nap-time break.
4:30pm – Begin making dinner. Boy pees his pants. Then runs around the kitchen butt-naked, ignoring my telling him to stay put in the bathroom. Yell at him, and get dad to yell at him, too.
5pm – Coloring time turns into decorate the furniture time. Yell.
5:30pm – 6:30pm – Dinner. Boy doesn’t eat. He always eats. Yell. Dad takes over, forcing boy to eat.
6:30pm – 7pm – Bath time turns into flood-the-bathroom-while-mom-nurses time. Yell. Put boy into bed without stories or songs. Clean floor and walls of bathroom.
7:30pm – Admit out loud to Dad about intentions to kill the boy. Do dishes.
8pm – Begin feeling guilty.
8:05pm – Run upstairs, cradle my angel-faced boy in my arms, and apologize profusely for being a mean mommy. Sing songs with tear-streaked eyes, rocking my now fast asleep almost three-year-old.
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[/wpcol_1third] [wpcol_2third_end id=”” class=”” style=””]Am I the only one that has done this? I really was justified. My son was a train wreck. It’s amazing he and I both survived the night! But after it was all over, and I was thinking about it all, I realized that my son has just been kicked out of his spot as my baby. I have a two week old now that my attention has to be directed to now. Was all his bad behavior just a means of getting my attention? How would it feel to suddenly be replaced? Does my son think I love him less?
Do I treat him like I love him less?
And so there I was cradling him, crying, and wishing I could die. Surely I’m an unfit parent.
I guess this is why kids are blessed with no early childhood memories. It gives us new parents a bit of a chance to be loved, despite all of our mistakes. I just hope I learn before my son gets old enough to remember…
Heidi is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about her experiences of motherhood. Her work has not gone unnoticed. She is being sponsored by Shellac Nail Polish. Shellac is a must have UV manicure system that lasts weeks without chipping or ruining. She is also being sponsored by Gelish Colors.