my quote of the moment: "if you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness." ~julie-jeanne-eleonore de lespinasse

March 11, 2013

compare, contrast, and change... all with a side of guilt

so there's been a lot of talk of change lately. how different people are doing different things, making positive changes in their family's lives. but change is hard, and for every thing worth doing differently, i have what i feel is an equally valid reason as to why i can't change it right now.

there are those that are going totally organic, or making everything from scratch. families that are spending as much time together as possible, or setting up specific times just for family time. those that are getting rid of tvs, and some that are doing arts and crafts together everyday. and then there are those parents that are just trying to yell less and read together more. those that are cleaning and organizing their homes, or volunteering and raising money for good causes.

and then there is me. i compare myself to all these parents and i feel so inadequate. i look at all the changes they're making and the good their doing, and i think how much better off my family would be and how much happier my kids could be if i could just be more like all those other parents.

it's hard enough for me to deal with the day to day without feeling totally overwhelmed. with my dear husband working and going to school, i don't get much help at home. so it falls to me to deal with bumble and all his school works, to find time to give him all the extra help he needs. and of course lumpy needs homework help too, though thankfully he can figure most things out that he brings home himself. and then there is my dear fishie, who is now three and needs all the supervision a normal three year old needs. also and as always, it falls to me to attend to the cleaning and laundry and cooking and shopping.

and so i sit and look around me and wonder why my house is a mess and my kitchen is filled with quick to make processed foods. why, though we have tons of books, i don't have time to sit and read to my kids every day as much as they'd like. the same goes with all the craft supplies that go unused and all the easy, kid friendly recipes that go unmade and all the games we don't sit and play.

so i feel tremendous guilt. i feel like i am somehow failing my kids. that they could be happier or healthier if only i was able to squeeze more into our days, to actually find a way to make all the good changes that it seems everyone else is making. with that also comes the extra special guilt that crops up when i wonder if, had i been more in-tune with my kids, i would have been able to help bumble more. that maybe somehow all the difficulties he has with school could have been prevented if i had done more with him or gotten him help sooner or sent him to a better school that had the resources to give him the special help he needs. in the debate over nature versus nurture, maybe it was my failings at nurturing from the very beginning that caused all of this.

but then that line of thinking is exactly what goes through my head when i remember fish and all her medical fun. and it's worse with lumpy, because he ended up in the hospital twice for a week at a time with me supposedly "caring" for him. what kind of care was he getting from me exactly?

but then, this is the way it always is in my head. i compare myself to all the happy families i see, and then i think that, if it wasn't for me, my family could be that happy too. my kids could be happy and healthy and satisfied with life if they had a more together and in-tune mom. unfortunately for them, they are stuck with me and all my short comings.

and yes, i know, the glimpses i see of other families don't necessarily mean that they really and truly are happier and better off than we are. and what i'm dealing with is terrible mommy guilt. i might not be perfect, but i am trying. we might not read or play games everyday, but we make time when we can. and though i don't always have the patience to have fish help me in the kitchen, i let her help when we're taking cakes to visit family. and it's totally ok that our house doesn't look magazine perfect, because this clutter suits us better.

i like to believe that, if i asked them, my kids wouldn't trade me for any other mommy out there, even with my imperfections and all.

No comments:

Post a Comment