Today- I am not starting with a thought or a question (G Sandwich- I glanced at your comment before writing today)  Today is a day about introspection.  And whining.  FYI- I may whine a little.

A few weeks ago I went to the beach with Husband and friends.  We had a lovely day.  No one talked about colonoscopies or doctor visits.  And I was on.  What do I mean by that? I can be very charming and funny and witty. I have the ability to be the life of the party.  But to be frank- this pretty much exhausts me.  After clever commentary and dry jokes for HOURS, my mind is fried.  And. as I was at the beach, though I wasn’t burnt, my body had still built in the heat. I had been up at 630am, hour and a half train ride to our friends, arriving at the beach at 10am, leaving the beach at 5ish- train ride home, walk to my apartment from Penn Station, ordering in chicken shawarma….by 8pm I was toast, physically and mentally and emotionally.  I wanted to sit on the couch and stare at the wall.  Literally.  That is what I wanted to do.

But instead- my very independent daughter decided to become very needy.  She had taken a practice SAT under proctor conditions that morning, and she knew it was not her best performance. She was having what we refer to as a “piglet”day (when she was little and didn’t know how to verbally express how she was feeling, we used the Winnie the Pooh characters and their characteristics to explain emotions) She was trying to cuddle and she needed sympathy.

And I pushed her away.

Because I needed space.

And of course, after the incident, I felt horrible.  I’m the Mommy.  I’m supposed to take care of her emotionally, especially when she’s reaching out to me.

But how can I take care of her if I’m not 100%?

But aren’t I supposed to push away my own feelings and take care of my child?

Mom guilt never ends.  It’s been two weeks and I still feel bad that I let her down.  I have devoted countless hours to meeting her needs, often pushing my needs aside.  And I have done that willingly- that is the way that I chose to parent. And I know there are instances that I haven’t been #worldsbestmom, but this one seemed worse because I know her days of asking for hugs are fleeting. I know that a year from now I will be in a very different place. And I question myself: why didn’t I just hug her right at the moment?

To be fair, I did sit with her the next day and take care of her emotional and mental needs.  I did give her all the love and support and pep talks she needed.  Sometimes a kiss (both Hershey’s and on top of the head) are all that is needed.  But I’m going to continually replay my actions in a loop in my mind.  Yes- I am that kind of crazy, but it’s my particular specialty.

I am amidst the land of the last firsts.  The last first day of school is rapidly approaching.  And I’m going to click my heels and she is going to be in a cap and gown.  I have to remind myself that this ride is almost over.

 

63 thoughts on “All By Myself

  1. We’re so hard on ourselves. And, they won’t see it or get it or want to until they have their own kid(s).

    Thing is, she let you back in the day after which means no harm done. So you’re good. 😘❤

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I remember the day my then almost 5 year old granddaughter witnessed me cry from one of her horrid days of overwhelmingly bad behavior. It was nothing new, things we had been working on for some time, but that day I had just had enough and had hit the wall so to speak. She got to witness that grandma, who had nurtured her mom well into her twenties and who had nurtured her since birth, was human. We experienced a lesson in give and take, this time with the roles reversed. Moms (and grandmas) put way too many expectations on themselves to be perfect. Teach your daughter how important imperfection is… and remember you need to be the taker sometimes as well.

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    1. I know this rationally. But why do we put so much pressure on ourselves not to take? Why do we think we can just push through? Thank you for reminding me we’re human!!❤️😀❤️😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know, and have done this my entire life. Part of the reason I loved sociology and especially women’s studies. I learned some eye-opening things about myself and have finally begun to give myself permission to be human. Keep working at it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m trying. I guess the guilt stems from the fact that I spent the day having fun, as opposed to say, brain surgery. As always, a work in progress!

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  3. It has taken going through a pretty selfish phase and taking care of myself to realize that, as parents, it is essential that we show our kids that our needs are just as important as theirs are and are just as deserving of our time. It has been my opinion that it serves our kids well to show them that we are human and imperfect, as are they. As long as the need to have those moments for you aren’t ALL you have and do, leaving nothing for your child, then you are doing just fine. It teaches your child the importance of taking care of their own needs as well as others and that it is possible to do both, but that you can’t always do both perfectly and that is okay. The balance of give and take in any relationship is imperfect and sometimes needs clash. All you can do is your best.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you ! And I know all this, but there are times when emotion rules logic! I think I’ve set myself up to be a perfect parent, and I forget that there is no such thing as perfect….which is funny, cause I feed that line to my daughter all the time

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Having to deal with too many of those impossible choices and stances that felt like no win scenarios as a parent, I have found it is a bit easier to accept my imperfections with each situation. It is, and most likely always will be, a struggle, but I’m more aware of it now and try to show my kids that I’m working on accepting it in hopes that they won’t be quite as hard on themselves as I’ve been on me over the years, when and if it is ever their turn.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t have kids so can’t really comment but I’m going to anyway. I can’t imagine how you can be 100% there 100% of the time without losing something of yourself and we all need time to ourselves. You weren’t cruel or abusive, you just took some time for you, that’s all. Don’t beat yourself up for being human 😊 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I know how you feel. I HAVE to have sometime to unwind. If its been busyier I cant put it off. I’m just wired that way-ambivert. I’m an introvert who can suck it up and talk to people and have fun. But like Cinderella there is a time limit. Maybe someday your daughter will remember you took time for yourself and will imitate it

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for letting us in your private world.

    My daughter and I are so open with one another, I just flat out tell her, “I’m being needy!” She can sense when I’m not quite myself, and that is when she gives me space, but will speak kindly more than normal, or she will remind me, “Be kind to yourself today.”

    We have given them a lifetime of care. They should know how to care for us in return.

    In the situation of your daughter and you, she probably just saw it as you having an off moment. When I feel the way you described, that is when a warm hug is needed most. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes I don’t think my daughter gets that I’m human….I think she thinks of me as this magical figure who can fix everything. And trust me….I show her my weaknesses a lot!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. One time after 999 times of giving. Mom guilt is so unreasonable. Now that the kids are older we have discussions about the times I’ve felt mom guilt and in reality, to them it was not that big a deal. Go figure.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. oh yes, the guilt. It can just eat at us, even if you made up for it the next day. and if you kept making up for it for these past two weeks, it’s that one time that will always haunt you.
    Totally understandable, and not one bit wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You’ve really said it all…….it happened, you feel bad. You aren’t the first, nor will you be the last. I’ve been there, I get it. Try to focus on the positive things and moments you are proud of. Maybe it will help.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I think for those parents who realize that parenting will be one of if not THE most important thing we ever do we try to be perfect…I had a similar experience to yours just yesterday when I was tired and stressed from work my almost 3 years old was demanding my attention as three year olds do (I hadn’t even taken my shoes off yet) and my 14 year old wanted to talk at length about 14 year old things and I was just wiped…and then she asked me why I was being so impatient with her…

    At the time I just wanted silence and I didn’t mean to be impatient with her but I just didn’t have it in me in that moment…I didn’t make a big deal over it and thankfully neither did she…later on we carried on the conversation as if nothing had happened…

    Will I try not to do it again? Absolutely!!! Will I do it again? Very probably…when things like these happen and I start to beat up myself I remind myself that I am a good person and I am a good mom doing the best that I can in that moment…if an apology is warranted then I give it along with an explanation so that she can understand that I am not perfect but I continue to try every day to be the best that I can be and this teaches her that she will never be perfect either but all we can do is try our best at any given time…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a terrible mother you are!! You should totally buy her a new outfit and a new Iphone and give her money to go out with her friends. Sheesh. Redeem yourself! I’m totally joking of course. I’m sure she has forgotten the day if she even noticed your reaction. Give her a hug and a cookie and forgive yourself. I can really relate to this type of guilt. SMH. The mom life ain’t easy!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Don’t beat yourself up too badly. In my experience, kids have something if a tendency to wait until we’re vulnerable ourselves to become their neediest. Afraid to lose the control element, or something…

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  13. Without giving to much away I work for a famous British University, and as you would imagine I come across many a charming witty and funny student both male and female (I adore amusing women such an attractive quality), you said ‘being on’ can be exhausting, trying to keep up with intelligent witty charmers and their funny tales lol can also be VERY exhausting yet at the same time fun. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It really does fly by so quickly. And on the other side of it, with my ‘babies’ as adults now, I no longer dwell on the things I didn’t do. I simply am thankful they are such fine peeps.
    Thank you for the look inside, 🙂
    Peace

    Liked by 1 person

  15. So funny …. Mother guilt. Been there, done that and have the children to prove that “don’t be so hard on yourself Mum – you did a much better job than you realised !!” It’s a tough gig with lots of external judgement and inner criticism – and no bloody manual!!!
    We’re all doing just fine and we won’t get any thanks for it so just laugh and pat yourself on the back. You’re doing just fine ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Im proud of you. You knew what you needed and said so. Pretty soon shes going to be at school and needs to deal with you not being there. I think this was a great growing experience for both of you.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I have those days too. I’m also at the time of last firsts. Yesterday I gave him my all. Today? I’ve spent the last hour trying to get him up for school and I AM SO DONE BEING A PARENT ALREADY! Those days happen. They will happen even when she’s off and out into the world. Trust me, I know. I have a very needy 25 year old who likes to try my patience and an almost 31 year old who has taken 30 years to get where he doesn’t need me 24/7. Just remember to breathe. And be kind to yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

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