Thursday, October 25, 2012

Guilt and Shame

I usually do a pretty good job of heading off that awful dragon in the back of my head that roars "not good enough!" But this week has been rough.

It's all innocent stuff.

A trip to the pumpkin patch with her beloved baby-sitter complete with adorable pictures.

A painting of a pumpkin that she created with her Grandmama.

The fact that when she throws a fit at dinner, I'm the one that takes her to time-out on the stairs where she has already perfected the "I'm mad at you" glare and huff with her arms crossed.

The first words out of her mouth when I pick her up out of the crib in the morning - Da Da.

Next week is Halloween and I have a volleyball game that night - she'll go Trick or Treating with Craig and our friends that have a daughter Natalie's age.

But it's all the little stuff that is piling up and weighing on my heart.

I feel guilty that I'm missing out on all the fun fall activities - the pumpkin patch and Trick or Treating.  I feel guilty that I haven't done any fall crafts with her - no painting and I didn't even make her costume.

And then I Mommy-shame myself.  I work too much and so she's forgotten about me.  I sacrifice my time with her to go to a Book Club.  Our family time is spent at a high school volleyball game and not at home making crafts and playing with stuffed animals.

That little dragon is roaring at me that I'm not good enough and that Natalie would be much better off in the hands of those other people that love her.

Craig tells me I'm being ridiculous and that Natalie doesn't hate me.  He tells me that I'm about to be spending tons of time with her and we'll reestablish our bond.

But right now in this moment I just can't believe him.  That little dragon is just too loud for me to ignore.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In this day and age, we as a society, are consumed with "EXPECTATIONS" or what every one else expects us to do in every single situation. Then, everyone thinks that they have a right to disect or criticize us when we make a decision. Some people agree and some people disagree. Some people do not care. Because of that most people have turned to the internet to display their feelings on many different subjects, which in return, gives many different people the ability to express their thoughts on their thoughts and feelings. I, myself, am not one who does that. I could care less of what people think about me or what I do.

However, my wonderful wife does care what people think about her and what is going on in her life. She is what you would call a perfectionist. Everything has to be right and when it is not, then things are "off" in her world. Some people would say that this is a huge fault in her life, but I say that it is a great positive in her life. It takes alot for someone to express their deepiest feelings and thoughts on the internet and subject them to ridicule and ill feelings. And when someone decides to degrade her thoughts or feelings, it upsets me greatly because it hurts her. We have talked about not putting things out there on the internet for people to criticize, but that is what she loves to do and makes her happy. So I support her in doing it.

My wife has been through a lot the first 9 weeks of the school year. We started off with another knee surgery for me, then her volleyball season has been up and down, I am currently having some medical issues, and to top it off I have my gallbladder taken out in an emergency procedure last Thursday. This caused her to miss her volleyball game, which she hated because she does not want to let her kids down. My wife does nothing but sacrifice for our family constantly, but for her school family also. I could not be as proud of a husband than I am right now because of her values. I did make the right decision in who to marry.

After reading her post today and see that she is "down" today, I figured I would respond and try to help her see some things that she may not be seeing. She is correct that she is missing out on things this Fall that other people are getting to do with Natalie. Like the Pumpkin Patch and Art Projects. But nothing says that we can not do that also with Natalie. Natalie is going to be doing a lot of things in the next few years at day care and school that we are not going to experience with her. With that being hard to understand, that is how it is going to be. The natural feeling from a parent is to want to experience everything that our child will do, so that we will have those memories. Unfortunately, that is not going to be possible. Natalie does say Dada a lot, but what my wonderful wife does not see or hear is the amount of times she says momma when we get into the car after daycare or when we get home waiting for her to get home after volleyball practice. She loves her momma just as much as her dada.

I just want her to know that I am here for her and to be her partner and love her unconditionally. And that Natalie loves her just as much as me, she just sometimes does not know how to express it just yet. But she will.
Since my wife is feeling like a dragon today, I am going to be the dragon slayer. We are going to spend Saturday with Natalie and go experience some Fall activities for us as a family to have as memories.
I love you both Natalie and Laura.