Friday, June 22, 2007

Know Thyself

I accept that my children are going to struggle with my failings as their mom.

On the upside, I can be enthusiastic, silly and animated.

On the downside… I can be selfish, self-absorbed, bossy and controlling.

There are many mornings where I just can’t wait to drop them off at daycare.

There, I said it.

Some days I thank The Smiling Mighty Jeebus for daycare.

I often read other mom’s blog posts about how hard it is for them to be away from their children during the day and I try hard not to judge myself or feel guilty that it isn’t like that for me.

Though I admit, leaving The Mayor at daycare at the end of my maternity leave was difficult.

I cried every day for a while.

While I was pregnant I even thought I might like to be a stay at home mom.

[It must have been the hormones...]

K and I took a look at the financial implications and realized that sadly, that just wasn’t possible.

As it turns out, maternity leave taught me that I am not cut out for the stay at home mom role.

While I have a deep respect for women who stay home, I was bored out of my mind.

I accidentally left a huge chunk of cash at Target in exchange for things we didn’t need just to have something to do.

I became addicted to the TV show called Dawson’s Creek.

[See? That is bad!]

Despite being bored, I really did have a hard time leaving The Mayor at daycare and going back to work. At least, I did at first.

At the time, I got a great piece of advice from my friend Elke. She told me that as a new parent it would be important for me to give changes a three week settling in period.

“If you still feel like a new situation is terrible after three weeks then you figure out how to change it,” she said.

By the time The Mayor had been in daycare for three weeks it was apparent that he was perfectly happy there.

[Which was a good thing because by then I was deliriously happy to have time to myself.]

Though I am an “extravert” according to various personality tests, I spend an enormous amount of time by myself and like it that way.

About five years ago I became an independent consultant. I work by myself from home.

Though I have conference calls and meetings, I spend a huge amount of time alone.

I need it.

I want it.

Don't get me wrong.

I love The Mayor and The Rooster, I do!

They are mysterious, miraculous and fabulous.

They are!!

But I am their selfish mother.

Will they grow up and resent me for it?

Probably.

Will I be sorry?

Sure.

Am I likely to change?

Probably not.

My children will have to go through the Kübler-Ross stages of grief when they grow up and understand that I’m no prize.

On some level maybe all of us grieve a loss of some kind as we develop a mature understanding of our parents flaws.

[My mom is reading this and yelling at the computer screen, "WHAT FLAWS?!!" Heh. Hi Mom!]

I remember feeling close to my mom growing up until I turned into an obnoxious teenager I realized she was…

...an OVERDRESSER!!!!!

[GASP!]

My mother wore outfits that were, in my esteemed opinion, far fancier than called for on many occasions.

[THE HORROR!]

Her over stimulated fashion-i-zation reflected on ME, right?

Obviously!

How could she do such a thing to me????

It cast a long shadow over my own identity.

Oh, The Joys of Kübler-Ross-ing my loss of innocence about my own mother…

Denial: NO! My mom does NOT wildly overdress. She is not wearing a ball gown to the bowling alley. I am not embarrassed.

Anger: My EFFING mom! Why is she wearing sequins at my Granny’s house in the country when we’re twenty miles from the nearest general store!! She’s embarrassing me!!! This is a direct reflection on (and an affront to) my character!

Bargaining: I can change her! I will be impossibly rude and awful to her and she will cease and desist with her evil overdressing ways!!

Depression: Oh, woe! My mom and I will never be close because she is incapable of wearing jeans and a t-shirt. I am alone in the world. Alone!!!

Acceptance: My mom cracks me up. Look what she’s wearing?! It's a costume party every day! Go Mom!

My mom likes to get dressed up and I’m okay with that.

I can be selfish but The Mayor and The Rooster are going to be okay.

Everything’s going to be all right.

There's always therapy.



*In fairness to my mom, I feel bound to add that --

a.) she has never actually worn a ball gown to a bowling alley that I know of, though I wouldn't put it past her...

b.) since moving to the laid back Pacific Northwest, she can and does wear jeans and t-shirts... sometimes (okay, okay. OFTEN.) and

c.) I looked through my digital photos to find "evidence" of her overdressing and couldn't find ANY! WTF? Do my teenaged memories fail me? Could I have been... wrong? (Perish the thought.)

Which brings me to, d.)
my Ady always used to say, "never let facts get in the way of a good story." So there.





92 comments:

Paige said...

My father used to tell me not to let the facts get in the way of a good story too. Of course, this is a man who told me he was sent by McCarthy to root out communists at LSU (he only found a bunch of hippies) and if that hadn't happened, he wouldn't have met my mother and I wouldn't be alive today.

So...yeah.

Sayre said...

I felt guilty about not wanting to be around my kid all the time. I am quite a loner - love to be alone! Nothing pleases me more than sending my kid off to spend the night with grandma or his friend so that I can spend some time alone - and alone with my Darling Man. DM, however, mopes and worries and frets until said child is back in our custody. I love sending him away - because I'm so much happier when I get him back!

You know teenagers see problems that aren't really there! I think it's hardwired because then they have it "easy" once they're no longer with those embarassing parents... I can't wait to see what my son writes about the horrible things I "did" to him when he was young (hi, Grandma Seattle!).

Tabba said...

Oh, I love this post.

Quality, Jess. Not quantity.

Because for all of the time I'm with my kids on a daily basis....a lot of it (and I mean A LOT) is spent yelling or in front of the computer.

And the whole bit about your mom....fabulous.

WILLIAM said...

As a dad, I sometimes feel that twinge of guilt about not being around my kids, as much as I should be.

But more so than not, I cannot wait for Mondays.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Guilt is a useless emotion.

I obsess that I am teaching my girls that doing well in college, having a great job, making oodles of cashola, etc is useless if you then turn around and stay home with your kids. I can rationalize this to death, but it still nags in my ear that I should be out showing my girls what ass women can kick in the workforce.

And, believe me, I also need alone time, but I just grab it in different chunks. I'd be a zombie if I didn't.

Patience said...

"never let facts get in the way of a good story"

That is the wisest thing I've ever heard!!

And also wise is your allowing your children the independence of day care, away from Mom, so they can learn interaction with others of their size.

Little Monkies said...

Your Ady's quote was my father's favorite saying.

Although you did it in your typically funny way, there's a very serious piece to what you've just talked about...it's such a strange place when you realize that your parents are *humans* with *flaws*. I remember seeing my mom as a real person instead of my "mom". That's for the couch, though.

Alone time rocks.

Hugs to you today, my friend.

Julie Pippert said...

I am wide open about the fact summer is my least favorite season for more than just the heat.

I rejoice when school is back in session.

I state out loud I appreciate beign able to miss my children. It makes our time together that much better.

And I stay home with the kids.

I used to have guilt, but I don't anymore. And I also sake my head and laugh when I hear friends say the stuff about glad to have their kids home---good for you, fine for me not.

Great post!

Loved kids know they are loved.

g-man said...

All mom's are basically F'ed in the eyes of their kids. It is not until they are out of the house (or in danger of being out of the house) that the reality sets in. So you have that going for you.

Omaha Mama said...

It's taken me almost 4 years to realize that it's okay for me to say I LIKE GOING TO WORK. Of course, I say it here and don't yet have the guts to post it at my place. I'm home for the summer now and I fear that if I stayed home all year, my kids would regret that more than daycare. :-)

Woman with kids said...

I was home with Boy 1 for three years. Three long years. I went back to school during that time, because I was LOSING MY MIND.

Working is a necessity, but it's also best for me. Nobody likes a completely insane mother.

Mimi said...

I worked for a bit and when I liked my job, it was great. When my job was horrible, I quit to stay at home. And yes, I can't wait until school starts again so I can have my me time! LOL!!!

moosh in indy. said...

My mom told me that being beautiful and thin makes life a lot easier.
I haven't even gotten through the second stage on that one.
I've been considering going out to join the real world, I like the three week rule.

Aliki2006 said...

Julie said it the best--loved kids know they are loved.

I too appreciate being able to miss my kids. I too need to get away and do my own thing. I have come to learn, actually, that while I long to be with my kids when I'm not with them, I also need the time away to be my working self.

Jen said...

Having been on both sides of this I can tell you there is no right or better answer, it really is (as trite as it sounds) what is bes for you and the collective you that make up your family.

I have friends who could afford to stay home and don't and I have friends who would give anything to be at home and can't.

After going back to work after Rosebud I was faced with an offer I could not refuse and left my job. It was something I thought about a lot, but never considered it in earnest. When the situation presented itself I took it. It was an incredibly hard decision though, but in the end was right for our family. I needed to be around more period for a variety of reasons and things worked out as they were meant to be.

There are days I want to put them in a taxi and send them away. There are days when Hubby walks in and I walk out. That is normal.

Your kids will know you loved them to pieces, loved their Dad and loved yourself. What more could you wish for?

Whew.

Jen said...

Like I didn't take up enough real estate. As for being alone, I not only need it I crave it. And I make sure I get it otherwise I am impossibly unhappy.

Even though I am with Rosebud all day I am alone in a sense and that is fine by me.

I adore my alone time even if it is grocery shopping or an appointment, I take it any form.

Nothing wrong with that either.

Kymberlyn said...

There is nothing wrong with needing some peace and time for reflection. I stay at home now but I worked the first few years after my son was born. I had no idea I loved peace and quiet so much until my home became a house of noise pollution. Don't get me wrong. I Love 'em. But there are days when their voices are like nails across a chalkboard.

QT said...

The sad part about all this is that I don't even have kids and I crave alone time! Why is alone time so hard to explain to people?

My BF, on the other hand, would be happy if he was constantly surrounded by a party.

I agree that quality is better than quantity. And the part about your mom was PRICELESS!

slouching mom said...

God, girl, are we long-lost sisters? What resonated with me most here is your need for alone time. I think because I spent a LOT of time alone as a kid, that's what I learned to like, and I trained my kids early to play by themselves and like it, dammit. Not all the time, but certainly more than some of my friends, one of whom in particular plays with her kids nonstop. (Consequently they never want to play by themselves, which I view with horror, but there it is.)

Our kids will find something about us to fill their therapy hours, no doubt about it. It's kind of the way of the world, though.

Queen Heather said...

I did the entire SAHM thing for 6 years. I enrolled the youngest in PT K3 at the beginning of the year. Shhhh....I enjoyed it. It made the whole work-from-home gig that is my life now much better.

Different strokes for different folks and they are all ok!

My mom, she use to you know, drive me to school with rollers in her hair. Gasp!

bubandpie said...

I've got one week left of full-time day-care and then it's me and the kids for the rest of the summer.

I am terrified.

The working at home alone? It is a good thing.

But that Kubler-Ross grieving for your mom's overdressing? Okay, that's frakking hilarious. You are on such a roll lately, OTJ.

Kelly said...

Know thyself...Well I know that I'm entirely too lazy to work two jobs at this point so I stay home. But I also know that being with the children all day long makes me looney tunes, so I've found great "drop-off" activities like all-day school for them. Now summer's they are a killer...perhaps next I'll lobby for all-day all-year school in Oklahoma. Hmmmmmmmm...

Great post.

Pgoodness said...

Seriously, if I didn't say it before, I think we may have been separated at birth or something. I love me some alone time and I'm really not so great at the SAHM thing - I loved daycare! Now I love me some babysitter (ok, that sounded odd...). Sadly, she comes only 1 day a week for the next month...anyway, I think you're a fab mom and the kids will think we're the whole world until they are teenagers, then they'll hate us and then they'll appreciate us later. Natural progression - i guess!

karrie said...

If all I had to do was care for my son, I think I could deal. (we'd just stay outside all day, buy lunch someplace, and hopefully he'd get so worn out that a short afternoon nap would be my reward!)

However, I cannot deal with the expectation that I do everything else that needs to be done around here because I'm home.I burn up a lot of mental energy wondering just how it is that I'm the mopper of piss, the one who makes all the meals, and so on. It's not me. Me is lost in the to do lists, and I hate that.

I feel like everything I want to do comes second, third, thirty-fifth and I really, really resent that. The grind of household monotony eats away at my soul.


I think I'm looking forward to feeling all of the household crap for a few months even more than I'm looking forward to a newly renovated home.

I envy your alone time, and your work situation. It is what I desperately want for myself in a few years.

And B&P, preschool just ended a few weeks ago, and I am already reeling from the lack of a break--as evidenced by my whining here. :)

Major Bedhead said...

I'm 50/50 on this. About 50% of the time, I love being home with my kids. The other 50%, I'm miserable. When I was working, I hated leaving Boo every day. But now that I'm not, I feel kind of...I don't know what word I'm looking for here. Meh, I think.

I suppose it's like anything - when things are going well and the kids are being angelic and cute, I love it. When it's 5 p.m. (the witching hour, I call it) and all hell is breaking loose and there are tears and screaming, then I hate it.

I can't really come down on one side or the other on this one. I'm kind of envious of people who have.

Alone time is vital, though. TCBIM doesn't get it, doesn't understand why I like to stay up until all hours, reading or online. No one is talking to me, no one is wanting something, it's just me. I desperately need that, even if it does make me tired as all hell the next day.

Lawyer Mama said...

"I accidentally left a huge chunk of cash at Target in exchange for things we didn’t need just to have something to do."

Yep, yep. That was my maternity leave too! I actually had a mentor give me some very similar advice about the whole work or stay at home thing. Thank the f'ing GOD I listened to her.

Momish said...

"never let facts get in the way of a good story" - my new motto in life!

Daycare is my saving grace. And, if it makes you feel any better, I didn't even cry on my first day back. In fact, I drove right home and forgot to pick her up!

My child will have a laundry list of crap for her therapist, but like your two, she will have some bragging rights as well! It all goes with the territory of being a real live human being and shattering the myth of motherhood = sainthood.

One more thing, can I send my kid to you when the time comes? You can help her get over her mother's overdressing flaw.

I am always the one in the bunch trying not to get my four inch heals dirty as we tromp through the grass or slamming the truck door on my fringe or forgetting my white satin opera gloves at the bar or causing a rukus in church when the beading on my dress makes too much noise rubs on the wooden pews...

Karly said...

I'm doing the SAHM thing, but you had better believe that their little butts get carted off to Grandma's at least once a week and its usually to stay for the whole weekend. Love my kids, but DANG give me some along time!

NotSoSage said...

Being one of the first of my friends to have kids, the thing I tell those who are worried that they'll mess their kids up is, "It's not IF you'll mess your kids up. It's HOW. And if you give them the tools they need to get over how you've messed them up, it's all good."

Augs Casa said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. Most everything you said in this post is hitting home with me. I think of it as the "dad" side of selfish. excellent post!

Kevin Charnas said...

You had told me about Addy's quote a while ago and you had to KNOW that I would LOVE IT.

Anyway, being honest with yourself is the best possible thing you could do for everyone. The happier that you are, will in-turn bring you to your best and how could that not be better for everyone involved?

I'm proud of you. Although, I wish that you'd wear tafeta more.

jchevais said...

Brilliant post.

I don't think I could handle the stay at home momma route either but I certainly admire the women who do... and I secretly envy them their fortitude.

Keep on telling those stories. If facts don't stop Fox News, why should it stop you?... ;-)

radical mama said...

Guilty-shmiulty.

They're happy, you're happy, everybody's happy.

Yes, they will hate you in ten years for some angsty mysterious teenage reasons. But that has nothing to do with whether you stay at home or work.

Anonymous said...

I am de-lurking to say that this post is the reason I read your blog everyday. I had such guilt about going back to work after having our baby, but I quickly figured out during maternity leave that I would not and could not stay home with her. Thank you for making feel less alone in my parenting.

Lotta said...

I'm in year 4 of being a stay at home mom and am just NOW figuring out how to find myself and be there for my kids. It can be a personality sucking job. Some days I'll confess that I can't wait till my son is in Kindergarten. How freaking blessed it will be to get a break from them. Other days it's 2PM and it hits me that I don't get to drop them off anywhere. That I have to stay with them all freaking day and night and I do a silent scream. You are by no means selfish - even the SAHM's want to drop their kids off. The ones that say otherwise are lying or need to lower their dosage.

Anonymous said...

Ha,
I totally understand the idea of loving those kids, wanting to be with them and have time alone! I also agree that if there was a party in the bowling alley a ballgown would be considered appropriate. I learned early that dressing to please me is much more fun than worrying about if other people like the way I'm dressed. Granny spoiled me by sewing the most beautiful clothes for me while I was growing up. She taught me to love the creative art of putting together an outfit. I have friends that call and ask to play "Bonnie's closet" when they want to have something to wear to any type of event - and I think that is fun. I have other friends who think it's funny that I love to match my reading glasses and outfits. It's all fun for me. And as Rooster says, "I happy". I thought you were going to confess that you wore a great outfit to the town beach party recently and then realized "my mother would be so proud" ;-) Love, Grandma Seattle

Jenn said...

There are days (mostly Mondays) when I am looking forward to the drop-off at child care.

And there are days (mostly Fridays) where I'm beside myself because I see them so few hours a day.

It's the day's in-between that I want to live in.

JoeinVegas said...

I bet you do the Harriet Nelson thing and wear that nice cocktail dress and pearls around the house while vacuuming and making hubbie his welcome home cocktail each evening.

NotAMeanGirl said...

Everyone needs/wants their alone time girl. I doubt it will impact your kids as much as you think. If they're anything like Shecky... the like the time away to do their own thing as well. :)

CamiKaos said...

Dawsons Creek????!!!! Oh sweetie, it's so good you went back to work!

For the Love... said...

48 days until school starts, nuf said....

jweiher said...

Going back to work this August after a year home with Little Bear and I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

I would die for my child but being home with him every day is just too much to ask ;-)

Jean-Luc Picard said...

I know many girls dread growing up to be like their mothers.

PunditMom said...

Too much guilt in the real world -- no guilt here! I LOVE PunditGirl with every ounce of my being. I'm not a religious girl, but I do thank God everyday for school or camp (or daycare when she was little). A sane mommy is a happy mommy.

fanny said...

Yes! Having quality time with your self means being able to have quality time with the kiddos.

My two are in day care as well. They both spent their first year coming to work with me. At that point their needs were few and it worked for us. Day care, however, has enriched their lives so much. They have grown and thrived in ways I don't think I could have duplicated if they were home all day with me.

I love our time together because I know we'll have time apart.

Jan said...

Know Thyself is a great title- everyone has to do what is best for themselves. After working in the child care field for more than 25 years, I definitely agree that it's better for kids to be in child care so their parents can have a break. It benefits the whole family and I didn't judge these parents for needing time away from their children. As for me, I only have one child and he's 7 now, a fairly easy kid. I worked like a dog the first 6 years of his life and hated every minute I was away from him. Even when he was a toddler and a wild maniac, I wanted to be with him. I rarely left him unless it was a work day. This past year, I have been a stay at home mom and I love every minute of it. I counted the days until he would be home for summer and I leave him hardly ever still. But that is just me and as I read all these comments, I'm just glad that everyone has found the right fit for themselves and their families. Good luck to us all!

Bon said...

i think i needed this this week...first one back at work. but with today off, just for the next two weeks. and while i'm loving today, i can already tell i won't need three weeks to know that overall, the gig ain't bad.

and if O didn't have my flaws to grieve, heck, how would he become a complete human being? we are all wounded in childhood...if it's only by an over-dressing mother (you slay me) or a mom who likes to work (i like alone time too), then life shouldn't be too bad. :)

carmachu said...

Everyone needs their own time and space. Some need mroe than others...

Kids wont notice it. They'll remember what you do for them, not all this otehr crap.

Mrs. Chicky said...

If I could afford to put my kid in daycare I would. If that makes me a bad parent then so be it. We'll be bad together. Screw guilt. ;)

Annie said...

I haven't read all the other comments here so forgive me if I repeat something already said.

I think your kids are going to be A Okay! by virtue of the fact that they have an honest mom, and a happy mom! Whose standards are you comparing yourself to? Anyone else's don't matter - what is important, healthy and right for your family is all that matters.

Blog Antagonist said...

I think I actually *capered* when my youngest child went of to kindergarten. School is a good thing. My self awarness is why I decided I was not equipped to home school my ADHD son.

Jennifer Playgroupie said...

It's okay to want time alone.

I haven't been alone since 2005. Maybe I should reconsider this SAHM mom stuff. Nah, it's what's right for me.

I'm glad you found what is right for you and your kiddos.

kristi said...

You are hilarious!! Well, I've never had the option to stay at home. I wouldn't mind working part time but we can't afford it!

CG said...

I really thought I wanted to be a SAHM when I was pregnant. Maternity leave taught me...NOT!
I could't wait for my husband to come home to give me just a little break.

My son loves his daycare and I love them.

There is nothing wrong with wanting some alone time. Sometime I can't even go to the bathroom alone, at least at work I can.

Mamma said...

Get out of my head!!!!

Totally agree re: working, though today is beautiful and I'd give anything to be outside--NOT WORKING.

As for Target? Same thing.

Alpha DogMa said...

I still recall the time my mother showed up for an awards ceremony dressed head to toe in a kelly green and yellow paisley-patterned skirt, blouse and vest ensemble. With coordinating stockings, earrings, scarf and shoes. Even worse: she came 5 minutes late, and entered through the wrong door which necessitated walking across the dias to take an empty seat in the front row.
Oh. The. Horror.
I accept that she dresses poorly, but still feel free to laugh at her expense.

Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

I know what you're saying.

Mrs. Chicken said...

"On some level maybe all of us grieve a loss of some kind as we develop a mature understanding of our parents flaws."

Truer words were never spoken, friend.

And while I hated hated hated leaving The Poo while I worked, keeping her home has given me the perspective I needed to understand what it is I want to do with the rest of my life.

This post really made me think. Thanks!

Jen Magnuson said...

Spending a chunk of cash at Target on things you don't need just for something to do? Sigh. You've just defined me (at times) and many of my friends. Yeah, I'm busy w/ all the kids, yeah, I volunteer, do things. But.

I'm jealous of your ability to define so succinctly what you need and then grab it. Good for you!

And trust me, your kids will hate you (temporarily of course) regardless of how awesome or not awesome you are, so you may as well be happy!

Mimi said...

Hello, fellow ENTJ, and welcome to my angst, too! You told me about the 3 week test period when Munchkin started daycare and it worked for me, too.

The way I figure, Munchkin is way better off with a happy morning/evening/weekend mom than a crabby and resentful and bored SAHM.

And? Our kids are probably going to turn out with much the same personality quirks ... so they'll understand.

flutter said...

my mom wears pants to her armpits oh the horror

Mel said...

First off, I am the exact same way about working. I was never sorry to get out of the house and have some grownup time or a quiet cup of coffee by myself. I prefer to work outside the home rather than to work in the home as a SAHM. I've tried both, but I have a clear preference.
Second, I heart you.
The end.

Queen Karana said...

Bravo! I think this has got to be close to one of my favorite posts. Maybe not the funniest, but very good.

imhelendt said...

If you're finding the threes hard, you're gonna want to take up drinking and brace yourself for the fives. ;) As for advice, I got nothin' 'cept perhaps: Never let them see your fear. ;)

It's a wild ride. Hang on and use good birth control. :D

notfearingchange said...

Ummm....you know - it doesn't matter your kids will rebel you.
And it is okay to want to work.
And it is okay to work and have children.
And it is okay to be by yourself.

You're okay and I'm okay. We are all okay.

Ok that's all you get for therapy today...i'm going back to my couch and curl into a fetal position....

mothergoosemouse said...

Right there with you - on the love for good child care, the pleasure of being alone, and the fancypants mother. I've got all three.

imhelendt said...

oops. previous comment meant for previous entry. My computer was slow and I was furiously clicking around while the oven timer was buzzing and the kids were screaming and the phone was ringing. Sigh.

andi said...

You just described my life to a tee (well, except for the mother overdressing part). Daycare is a godsend and I am bored stupid at home. I don't think this makes either of us a bad mother or that our kids will resent us for it later. Better that the kids sense that their mamas are happy rather than realizing at some point that their mothers stayed home full-time out of guilt and ended up resenting their children.

sweatpantsmom said...

I love my time alone, too. I don't think it makes you a bad mother. Just a more sane one.

(Target has all my cash, too.)

Kyla said...

Before finding out about KayTar, I was happy to go to work. I needed it even. The kids were in on-site daycare, I could visit as much as I wanted. It was good. BubTar has always needed that time away, too. School is good for him. Summer is NOT. *lol* I'm okay staying home with KayTar and BubTar now...but the summer is all too trying with BubTar home all day. Free time isn't not our friend. *lol*

Crystal said...

I feel the same way!

Slackermommy said...

I need my down time also. I'm a better mom when I've had time to recharge. I'm no martyr. I'm a SAHM who has a cleaning lady and a babysitter at least once a week and I'm not apologizing for it. My kids need a break from me as much as I need it from them.

I love your whole stages of death thingy. Actually I loved this whole post. You rock!

jen said...

brilliant stuff. and you know, i feel the same way. and it's ok.

we all don't have to be wired the same to do right by them, friend.

momomax said...

thank you - it helps to hear pov's from the other side, and not just from you darling. I know it's hard to be home with them, but I haven't found that balance yet. I don't feel like I'm raising my own kid. there are definitely days when I'm happy to have time to myself, in the middle of my office, but I'm also a control freak which makes me crazy about not seeing my son develop up close.

EE said...

I think you would get a kick out of this video;)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGvw6WpHSF4

Fidget said...

I used to cry when i thought about all the ways I am messing my kids up, then I forgave my mom for messing me up. Then I realized if I could forgive her, then they can forgive me. Then I went and hid from them for awhile cause I need some alone time too.

oh and my mom is a perpetual UNDERdresser. She'd wear shorts, tshirt and Birkenstocks to the opera if such things were appealing to her

Staci Schoff said...

Hey -- I think your kids and my kids have the same mother!

But as Judith Statdman Tucker says, motherhood is not a "job," it's a relationship.

And we love each other and we muddle through the rest with all of our imperfections, just like we do in our relationships with our parents, our spouses, our friends, our siblings and so on...

Above Average Joe said...

Understanding your limitations, (is that the right word?) is key. Mrs. Joe feels the same way. She works part time so it's an even split. She could never stay at home all day. I think she feels a sense of accomplishment more with her job than staying home with the kids.

MizMell said...

Can you even imagine what your children will think of your fashion sense when they're teenagers?
Get prepared. It's not pretty.

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

Oh my god. We are seriously the same person. The. Same. Person.

Here is proof:

1. On the upside, I can be enthusiastic, silly and animated.

2. On the downside… I can be selfish, self-absorbed, bossy and controlling.

3. There are many mornings where I just can’t wait to drop them off at daycare.

4. I often read other mom’s blog posts about how hard it is for them to be away from their children during the day and I try hard not to judge myself or feel guilty that it isn’t like that for me.

5. While I have a deep respect for women who stay home, I was bored out of my mind.

6. Though I am an “extravert” according to various personality tests, I spend an enormous amount of time by myself and like it that way.

7. I spend a huge amount of time alone. I need it. I want it.

8. My children will have to go through the Kübler-Ross stages of grief when they grow up and understand that I’m no prize.

And the single most important reason we are obviously exactly the same person:

9. I became addicted to the TV show called Dawson’s Creek.

Ortizzle said...

Leaving the kids in day care is not neglecting your children. They need the interaction with other kids as much as you need your "alone" time. I think it strengthens, not weakens the relationship.

P.S. Totally off topic: you have a question awaiting you over at my place. :-)

Liam's Mom - Gina said...

I can't read all 81 comments to know if I am going to repeat something, but here goes...

I love this post! I love how honest you are about motherhood. It's hard to work outside of the home but I know it's hard to be home all day too. I am happy with my set up. My kid gets a social life and I get to work with adults.

The teenage memories of your mom cracked me up! I love your words... all of them. You are so good at this!

Little Miss Moi said...

Dear oh the joys. Failings as a mum? pfffft. If you're anything like my mum, you'll embarrass your kids while they're teenagers, then they'll grow up and realise that you're the coolest mum! That's what happened to me, and when we're in town together, my mum is my number on party companion hehehe.

Mom101 said...

May I disagree and say you're not being selfish? Maybe it's even selfless to send him to a place where he can have the full attention of his caretakers, play and make friends all day. I think you're doing it for him as much as for you.

The Sour Kraut said...

I work at home, mostly with the kids around. I am more often cranky and scolding than I am fun and attentive to them. I worry that they will have memories of me being distant to them as I am often preoccupied with what I'm doing. I would love to not work and focus more on them.

I think that your kids LOVE being with other kids at day care. Seems like your situations works all the way around.

Pinks & Blues Girls said...

It's funny... it's almost as if we NEED to be on our own as mothers. It's almost like it makes us better, does that make sense? With my first son... on maternity leave... I actually became addicted (like a crack addict) to Gilmore Girls and Golden Girls. Maybe something about the Girls in the name and the fact that I was having BOYS! But... I actually went back to work 3 weeks early. I felt more energized. More capable of the late nights. More ready to go! I work out of my house now (www.pinksandblues.com) on my business with my mother and my sister - but we have it where the kids do to things all day. I know what you mean... and I think that you are BEYOND BEYOND normal... !!! Love your blog!! Love it!

Erin said...

I feel like I could have written that post! As much as I love my daughter, I also love that she has a life of her own, outside of me. She has friends to play with and social skills that I just can't offer. And I get to have somewhat of an adult life too!

I don't think there is anything selfish about that at all. In fact, in many ways, it's even better. It makes every moment I spend with my daughter a treasure. I never have to roll my eyes and say "Here! Someone take her for awhile! Momma needs a break!" I get a break every day (and I get paid for it)!

Biddy said...

my mother will be seen in jeans and a tshirt...and a jacket, pointy toed shoes, earrings, necklace and at least 2 bracelets...

i'm such a disappointment

Jenny said...

I think God for daycare every single day. not being a mom for a few hours makes me a better mom when I am. Does that make sense?

Little Nut Tree said...

this was an expression I lived my younger life to... like the day I told all the kids at school that I was born in France.. (!?) or the day that I told them I was having my appendix out at the weekend.. my teacher even called my mum to make sure I was OK .. she was a bit confused as to why I was at school... ah the facts... they never got in my way :o)

(in my defence I was 4... but still)

Cherann said...

I'm meant to work too...but I stay at home...until my kids are preschool age and then...I get pregnant again, so that I have to stay at home until that one is preschool age.

I hope your mom didn't out dress you on your wedding day!

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

OK somehow I missed this awesome post but then saw it linked from Busy Mom's Career and Kids' blog.

I love time alone. I nearly always take my girls to daycare on days I am telecommuting even though I could probably swing having them here with me all day. But trust me, we all need our space and mama cannot concentrate (i.e. actually "work") if they are swinging from the chandeliers or asking for snacks ad nauseum.

I worked from home for 11 months after having my second daughter and became addicted to Sex in the City reruns and really bad entertainment tabloid TV. I was actually glad to start going back into the office.