Fears of Being a ‘Bad’ Mom

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I consider myself an experienced mother now that I have three small children. I don’t freak out when they get sick, I manage to get them to eat a healthy and varied diet, and I’m almost finished with the sleep issues (although Ellie is recently making another valiant effort at trying to cripple me with her recent 1 to 2 hour-long, no-reason, wakeups at 2am — I will prevail!!)

So why do I feel like I am a bad mom? It’s all about that mommy guilt and I am a huge sufferer of it.  I actually do feel that I have several weaknesses that don’t parlay into being a great mothering figure.

First of all, I never really was a baby person so the three plus years of intense baby time that I have experienced has been a complete drudgery to me with the occasional glimpses of humor (like when I had three diapered children screaming bloody hell at the same time because of runny poo all over their legs and I was only able to change one at a time while the other two ran around contaminating everything in the room).

Ok, there is one caveat about babies.  Breastfeeding was truly a special experience and one that still gives me warm fuzzies when I remember it.

Second, I’m selfish.  I miss the days of doing whatever I wanted.  Going out to restaurants and movies, meeting friends at bars, having a career, sitting around and reading a great book, and just tending to my own needs.  This causes me to now seek alone time whenever I can.  When the twins go down for a nap, I feel a strong desire to get on the computer and browse my favorite sites even though I still have my oldest, Will, clamoring for attention from me.  It is so hard for me to muster up some creative energy for him and that is something I really want to change.

Third, I find there are more stresses and unpleasantness than there are joys right now.  I see moms around me and I know moms who say “Oh, I love being a mom!”.  I certainly DON’T love it.  I do find special moments when my heart swells with love and gratefulness for my children, but right now I have to say that the pendulum is swinging to the “Not Fun” side of motherhood.  I keep getting reassured that this will change as they get older.

Finally, let me say I adore my kids and I am fiercely protective of them.  I wouldn’t change my decision to have them but I worry that my issues make me a less than perfect mom.  I strive to improve these weaknesses day by day.  Is there anyone else out there that has similar feelings?  Please share and make me feel less like a failing mom!

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Three Friends in Crisis

As a woman about to turn 40, I am at a midpoint in my life. I find myself thinking about my youthful dreams and the paths I took.  I find I am surprised at how difficult things are for me right now.  I often wonder about other mothers and how they revel in their motherhood.  I adore my children but I feel quite alone and somewhat depressed by the day-to-day minutia.  It certainly doesn’t help living in a foreign country away from all my friends and family.  But it is more than that.  I hate to say this but I feel like I’m wasting time when I know these are priceless moments that I get to spend with my young children.  I think a lot of women from my generation who have been career driven, achieved multiple university degrees, and lived an independent life before children came along must feel the same way.  Especially as a stay-at-home-mom.  It is a very hard transition to make and sometimes I feel that I am just not a good enough mum to my children since I seek activities to free me up from the kids.  So I guess you could say that I am in somewhat of a mid-life crisis.

It turns out that two of my closest friends are also in crisis but for completely different reasons.  My best friend D is a divorced mother of one who is active on the dating scene but has an ex-husband from hell.  She has had so much trouble finding a stable relationship.  The ex drags her into court constantly even though they have been divorced almost ten years! He purposely tries to make her life miserable and I think he is mentally unbalanced.  My other friend K is a successful woman in finance and recently left her senior position so that she could focus on having children with her husband of 3 years.   However, she is having extreme difficulty and has been trying IVF unsuccessfully.  She is 40 years old like D and me.   It’s tearing her apart and she is miserable thinking about the years she spent on career when perhaps she could have had babies.  And now, with the IVF not successful, she feels completely useless with no career anymore.

I was joking with D that the three of us are like a Danielle Steele book:  the married, stay-at-home mom  of 3 overwhelmed with domesticity and feeling isolated abroad, the divorced, mom of one with the relationship issues and an ex that causes her hell, and successful businesswoman who desperately wants a child, has left her job, and is miserable with the possibility of being childless and now without a career.  And we’re even a blonde, brunette, and redhead!  I have the perfect title, Lost Dreams.  Three friends who lost their way. Hmmm, maybe I should write a novel — lol!

Published in: on March 18, 2010 at 8:55 am  Comments (1)  
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