Having a moment of despair. I was at my wits’ end tonight because I kept Flufferella with me during my precious get stuff done time (when the kids are at the gym), which slowed me down immensely such that I had to take the whole gang with me on other errands. And then I had to push them through their checklists, swimming lessons, and dinner because everyone was whiney and crabby from having to go on errands.
So then I made it home too late to go to a baby shower I wanted to attend. So after I had clipped little fingernails and snuggled children in my bed and gotten them whiningly into their own beds, I was practically in tears by the time Kent sat me down for a serious talk.
Fluffy has asked Kent to lecture me. She has charged him with delivering the following list of complaints. She doesn’t get enough time with me. We don’t do enough mom-daughter dates. We don’t read enough together. She doesn’t get to play with me enough. Translation: You’re a bad mother.
I immediately get defensive since I took her on a mom-daughter date this morning which was a but-for cause of today’s ruination, and the last two books I bought for us to read together (A Little Princess and Peter Pan) we started on, and then she stayed up half the night finishing without me. Can I really be convicted on these charges of bad mothering? I think I have some pretty good defensive arguments, but it doesn’t matter. All objective evidence aside, my daughter feels like I’m not there for her, and that’s what counts.
And it’s not just her. Both my sons do this thing when they feel like they’re being ignored. They start clinging to me and kissing me and grabbing my hands and kissing them while I’m trying to do something productive. As sweet as it is, I’ve come to recognize it’s more than a show of affection. It’s a bid for attention. Attention which I sometimes need for other things. I’ve referred to it previously as scaling Mt. Mommy while I’m at the stove.
I have been doing more singing and exercising lately, and that always freaks the kids out because it isn’t 100% about them as they would like my entire world to be.
I head to Fluffy’s room.
Me: “Dad says you want more time with me?”
Fluffy: “Yes! I think you’re the best mother in the world!”
Me: “I’m doing my best, okay? I’m sorry I don’t have enough of everything for everyone. I’m doing my best.”
And I slink off to the basement to blog away/about my sorrow.
So now that I’ve had 20 minutes of childfree time to recharge ever so slightly, I’ve got to go upstairs and see if the Fluffatron 3000 is still up reading so I can apologize and lavish her with attention.
I understand that one of the consequences of being open like this online is that people are going to judge me. I accept that. But so help me, if I get another email in response to a “one of those days” post like this encouraging me to relinquish my personhood and immerse myself entirely in the lives of others as the pathway to fulfillment, I’m going to lose it. I’ve tried that, and not only is it pious nonsense, it’s both subtly sexist and subtly abusive.
Like I said: moment of despair.
Here’s La Fluffette determining whether this sofa would work in her room as a place to read.