Saturday, May 02, 2009

Mom, the hero.

I always feel like a hero when I get the Infanta to sleep with some time left in the evening to not be a mom for a bit. It's totally dorky, but I often come prancing out of the bedroom flexing my biceps victoriously: I am Super Mom! I got the baby to sleep before we all went to bed! I suppose I react this way because it's a relatively rare event; although I usually try to get Herself to sleep earlier in the evening, I don't generally manage it. Well, I managed it tonight! Got some good reading in while I was at it, too.

I needed a parenting win tonight, too. I went off to knitting today feeling like a totally bad mom - not because of the Infanta's pretty purple bruise, either. No, I don't feel bad because my rubber baby bounced off a corner; babies are made of rubber (within reason), and this isn't her first bruise, and will by no means be her last. The issue rather is that I feel like I've been completely withdrawing from "being a Mom"; I sit and knit and tell the Infanta not to pull all of Daddy's game collection off the shelf, rather than get down and play with her or teach her things. Some of that feeling is residual from low brain med levels, but it's also genuinely what happens. I'll sit down with my email and blogroll or my knitting; the Infanta will wander off to do whatever strikes her fancy with what's available (and she has no paucity of toys), and ten minutes later she's pawing at the lappy or happily unshelving games, or something else we really don't want her to do. And I'm really, really bad at getting down on the floor and playing with her. I knew I would be, but... I didn't understand how exactly that would play out in reality. Also, I feel like I should be teaching her things (and I don't just mean modeling daily life), and I'm not. At least, I don't think I am... But I don't want to turn into a "flash card mom", either, just... I don't know.

What's really getting me down is that I'm a "bad" mom, and I want another baby?! I'm totally insane.

With the weather getting so nice, we need to get out and spend more time with other moms and babies. Maybe that will help me realize that all the other moms are totally flying by the seats of their pants, too.


Batty said...

You're not a bad mom, you just need some "You Time" -- particularly if you've been feeling depressed. You're on 24 hours a day, pretty much. That's a lot of strain to put on any one person.

wavybrains said...

Oh, honey, if you're a bad mom, I'd hate to see truly horrible. You're a great mom. I love getting down on the floor, and I still do the same thing and feel tremendously guilty that I put her off. A lot. When I'm putting her off to get a work related email out, I feel better, but most of the time, it's for minor things, and ooooooh the guilt. Remember if you have two, they will play with each other! :) Let's try and work up a trade this week so that you can get some alone time.

Anonymous said...

Sweetie, you're not a bad mom, and you never will be. Every mother since the beginning or time has had to fly by the seat of her pants, and no one ever knows until they are in it just what mothering is like. Being in sole charge of a being as needy and demanding as a baby - your baby, is a big thing, and of course you, like every other mother, will have moments of doubt and inadequacy. That's why it;s okay to knit, read, flex your muscles when you feel good, call your mother, whatever it takes. As for teaching her things, you do that every time you respond to her need; every time you treat her with kindness and consideration; talk to her; respect her personhood; sing to her; carry her on your person instead of leaving her behind; show her how proud you are of her; read to her; show her that mothers have to take care of themselves, too; those are the things she needs from you now, the things you need to be teaching her. There is no better way of teaching than from example. You are teaching her to speak English well; maybe you could throw in a little French, get Alex to speak to her in Dutch (German, Spanish, Latin, whatever) and teach her some songs and so forth to prepare her mind for learning another language for real eventually. Right now she is under a year. It's not time yet to teach her anything but how to be the best human being she can be, and you-re doing a fine job of that. Numbers and letters and all that kind of thing can wait a little longer for anything formal. Just concentrate on giving her a rich childhood and plenty of wonderful experiences, and don't beat up on yourself for having feelings like anyone else. I love you

Gormflait said...

Not really very anonymous, was it?

caramama said...

You are in no way a bad mom. Some people are not get-on-the-floor-and-play people, and that's okay! I think that's part of why many people have more than one kid--so the kids have someone to play with on the floor!

There is more to being a mother than being engaged in 0-2 year old play.

Rachel said...

you're a good mom. take it from the education experts i have to read all the time: exploring on their own (with supervision) is exactly what she needs to be doing at this stage in her development. leaving her to do her own thing IS teaching her-- she's learning about her environment, about cause and effect, about what she can and cannot put in her mouth :)-- important learning! xoxoxo