Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bad Mother

It's been a bit of mother guilt sharing this week with posts from Holly, Glow, and Mich all admitting they feel incapable at times with this thing we have in common; motherhood. I'm joining in and am going to be brutally honest (again). This isn't a pity party, this is reality.

I've had a few jobs pre-children, some I was awesome at and some I sucked. The ones I loved happened to be the ones I was good at and the ones I hated I was shit at. If I loved the work I'd work my ass off, if I didn't I'd procrastinate and do a half assed job. It's the same with study units for school, TAFE and uni.

I've always known I want children. One of my greatest fears was not having the physical ability to. I always said I would never abort because I'd feel selfish as so many women are unable to have children (in saying that I don't expect others to feel the same or judge anyone who aborts, I'm a firm pro-choicer). I wanted to have children young and when I was eighteen I wanted at least four what did I know?!. I would tell everyone I wanted to be a mother, a stay at home mum in fact.

Now I am living my dream and while I appreciate it and love it, I don't think it's always for me. Sometimes I think I hate it as I get bored and procrastinate like I used to in jobs I didn't like. I have trouble being mindful and 'in the moment'. I find myself multi-tasking too much when I should be focusing all my attention on lufflump.

I'm not raising my son 100% the way I'd like to. He watches too many movies and doesn't read enough books. Sometimes he eats food full of preservatives purely because it's easier and he won't make a fuss. We don't do as much sensory or imaginative play as I'd like. We don't paint or draw as much as some kids.

I worry that the reason he isn't talking is because I'm inadequate as a mother. Because I don't sit down and play flashcards with him everyday. Or maybe it's because he doesn't read enough. Or he watches too much TV or any at all. Maybe I'm talking to him wrong or letting him communicate too well without talking. It's got to be my fault doesn't it?

Often we don't go anywhere. The furthest we will venture out of the house is the letterbox or the backyard. Maybe he needs more outside time? Do we play outside wrong? Is playing with water, sand, rocks and toys enough? Should we be making stories up as well or is he already but can't tell me.

Does he have to fall asleep with me next to him because he feels it's the only time he has my full attention and affection? Is it a sign he's insecure and doesn't feel safe alone?
Does he think I ignore him? Does he feel enough love from his parents? Will he grow up secure and safe knowing we will always love and be there for him?

Even though I think and know all this I don't change. What's wrong with me? If lufflump was an unhappy child would I change? He laughs and smiles a lot, only cries for a reason and has never been very demanding so am I worrying about nothing? Or is he (can he?) at the age of two hiding his unhappiness?

He goes to daycare twice a week. If we could afford it I'd send him more purely because I think he benefits more from there than from me. He's mentally grown so much since starting there and I don't think he would have from being at home.

I guess that sometimes being a mother sucks.
I found this in Mother and Baby mag after writing this post. Maybe it's not just me.


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  3. Tutu

    all children want it their loving guardian or parent to give them love, affection and time - nothing more (oh food and water too sorry)

    children can happily play with mud and stones and have a great time.
    Put on music and that I feel is one of the greatest therapies.

    think of the tribal people living right this very day - - no toys, gimmicks, electricity, just people loving them!
    think of children from birth going to work with their mothers in the baskets on their mothers backs in a rice paddy - they all survive and thrive.

    Guilt of a mother is something we will have forever - sometimes they are wake up calls for us and messages for us to get! Sometimes they are a 6th sense talking to us.
    Sometimes they are rot!
    but I know as a mother - we will NEVER lose mothers guilt.

    He is young enough now to make new habits and break old - they are very pliable at this age.

    Forget the daycare more days - he wants you - I followed my mother around for years and had no toys as a child (I mean that) but if I was just helping and doing I was the happiest child in the world.

    you are wonderful and you have another coming soon - please remember we don't know all the answers - we are creating a lot of answers as we go along.



  4. I could have written this word for word. Especially the talking stuff. A little girl at church this week, younger than my son, picked up a pencil and said 'Purple Pencil'. I almost fell over, my son doesn't know colours, but hey, he can name all the cars from the Cars movie. Whoops.

    We'll just have to send our boys to the same school so they grow up thinking inadequate parenting is perfectly normal- lol.

  5. As long as he is happy and healthy your doing a good job. We arnt super mothers, and just getting through everyday should be seen as a success.

    All households have there down falls, too much tv etc, but i think if the child is bored and wants to learn they will give you the cues.
    BYron is a tv addict but somehow he has come out way smarter than me and he's only 4.

    As for speech, kids are all different. They say you shouldnt worry until after 3 years anyways.

    Just keep doing what you are doing. He will be fine.

  6. Is he alive at the end of each day?
    Then you've done enough.

    It really is that simple. I know it never feels like it is enough, but it is.
    As for his talking, that is something I can hopefully make you feel better about. Bluey was a late talker, but when he did start to talk it just took off. He is now a very bright 5 year old. ZERO speech problems I can assure you.
    I guess speech can be a bit like walking or crawling. You start to worry that they're "never" going to do it, and after lots of time worrying suddenly they are doing it like they have been for years.
    If there were concerns for his speech the daycare would let you know, I promise.

    Like I said to Holly I think it's something EVERY parent feels, that they're not doing enough for their child/ren. Ask someone close to you who gets to see how you interact with Lufflump and take their opinion as fact.
    And you know what? Worrying that you're not doing enough, that's a sign in itself that you're a good parent!

  7. I've read 3 of these posts this week and, although i do get the occasional bout of mother guilt myself, i think you're all being way harsh on yourselves.
    Every child, every mother, every parent is different. I dont like parenting books by so-called " experts " because ... there is NO SUCH THING. And i firmly believe all those books and all these conflicting studies that are publish only serve to make us feel inadequate.
    For eg - at Flynns 18 mth check, i was told his speech was advanced. He's 21 mths now and already speaks in 4 and 5 word sentences regularly, knows a few colours, and has a few of his favourite books memorised. And you know what? We watch tv ABC2 is on at our house from 6am when we get up, until dinner time.
    My point is all these studies say tv is the devil, that tv promotes slowed development blah blah blah. So should i still be worried that he watches too much tv? Nup, he's doing ok as he is....
    I'm sure you just keep going along with Lufflump just the way you have been and he'll come along in his own time - tv, no tv, super attentive cuddles or the occasional " Mummy is on the computer! "... he'll work himself out in his own time.

  8. i just wanna hug you and your gorgeous belly.

    Its nice to know that Im not the only one who feels they've done their child/ren wrong.


  9. A special lady once told me if you are worried about being a bad parent then you aren't a bad parent. Take it one day at a time, I find if I schedule at least one activity a day even a small one I feel better. And really once he is a bit bigger he will tell you when he wants/needs more mummy time xx

  10. You mention getting bored, procrastinating, and multitasking on stuff when you should be focusing on Lufflump 100 percent of the time. I don't see it necessarily being the same as those jobs you hated. The fact is, mothers are on call 24/7 and we are not just looking after the needs of our little ones but also trying to run a household to support those needs and that of our family. Twenty. Four. Seven. Even with the jobs you hated, you went home at the end of the day to something else; you had a break, refreshed, had fun your way. I think sometimes the intense negative emotions we can feel as mothers are because we are strung out and tired, and depleting ourselves in meeting others' needs first and not necessarily because we hate being mothers or parenting. It's just hard doing the same type of thing all the time. You wouldn't eat your favourite food day in day out for every meal for weeks on end. It would get monotonous, you'd probably start to hate it,etc.

    Having said that, I do worry about whether I'm giving my littlies, especially my toddler, all she needs but all I can do is keep trying to do a few new or extra things and see if it helps. I like Lou Lou's reply. At the end of the day, they just need and want us, our time and love.

  11. Thank you all so much for your comments. I really appreciate it!

    I've actually printed them out and have them on my noticeboard for when I feel like a bad mum so thank you so much.

  12. Omg this is like a list of stuff I think off too. It's all normal, so normal :) Don't think you're a bad mother, we all have these moments. God you should see what's in my head too!!


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