Today I had a rough day with my kids.
Since I’m divorced, I get the girls half the time, and since my schedule is complicated, I get them for short periods sometimes (2 days) where I am a rock star mom, and for long stretches (5 days) where I lose my shit by the end of those days. I usually start out strong, calm and more peaceful than the Dalai Lama. I even manage to fool myself sometimes, tricking me into thinking that I have changed and nothing can ever phase me… I have found Nirvana inside of my soul and nothing can get me out of my zen zone. 🙂 Until day 5 hits and 1 extra day of no school messes with my neurotransmitters. That’s where I lose my marbles and can’t seem to find them for a couple hours.
It is not necessary the noise level that gets to me (although that certainly doesn’t help either), but the constant struggle with my inner monologue that’s driving me insane. The constant mommy guilt that eats me up alive on the inside. How I witness myself turning into my own mother whom I disliked so much for so long, and feeling powerless over this mutation, transformation that’s happening to me.
Today my older daughter (whose love language is gifts) has brought it to my attention that the reason why she doesn’t buy me anything for my birthday anymore, is because I have never worn the bracelet she picked out for me (2 yrs ago…random much?!). Whooossshhhh… the tsunami of old memories of my mom never liking my gifts I gave her, and the mommy guilt of not being good enough, attentive enough to my child, repeating the same old cycles was overwhelming and I could barely keep my head above water. So to ease the pain of me being a shitty mom, I overcompensated by letting them eat dinner in bed and having a movie night even though it was a school night. Because I wanted to be a good mom. I was dead-set on showing them that I can be a good parent, just like their dad (in their eyes…not so much in mine…but I’ll quit this theory some other time..I still like to hold onto this feeling for a little longer).
So there I was on the couch with them, earning my own brownie points in my own score keeping game, compensating for not giving them enough quality time, love and affection, heartfelt talks, confessed my sins of being a shitty mom and did everything I could in my power in that hour to quiet that torturing device AKA the guilty voice inside of my head.
Then bath time came and I thought ” Finally, I’ll have 2 seconds to myself to enjoy the silence”. Was I wrong, or what?! The older one comes out screaming bloody murder, because the little one scratched her, and conveniently leaving out the part where she was annoying the hell out of her before the scratch defense mechanism got activated.
I lost my shit! The good mommy mask came off, and all hell let loose.
I got them out of the tub, made them sit down on the bed and started my speech!
“Listen to me for once and all! I am DONE feeling like the bad parent all the time. I quit for once and all! I am done thinking that I am less than your father, and believe this false idea that I am not as good of a parent as he is. Guess what?! I am just as good as he is. Yes, you get a lot of freedom at his place, you get to watch your iPads as much as you want, you get to eat chocolate often…. but guess what?! Who carried you 9 months inside of her body? Who gave birth to you? Who breastfed you? Who was left alone at home with sick kids while your dad was having fun snowboarding on the mountain for days? Who worried about you, researched google for both of your skin problems for days and nights? Who healed you from all kinds of sicknesses? Who cooks every day foods that are healthy for you, and so challenging to fit into this limited diet of yours? Who takes you to gymnastics every week? Who takes you to the playground? It’s all ME! I might be different than your dad, but I am not any less than him. If it is your story about me, then stick with it, and work through it when you are older and you are in therapy. Keep that story if that’s what you want to believe onto me. But just know, that that’s not reality. I give you a whole lot more than what you realize, and if you don’t see it,that’s your problem. But as of me, I GIVE UP the idea that I am a bad mom, for once and all. I am not willing to believe that I am ruining your lives, that I am any less than dad, or that I am not enough.”
Well….. how crazy am I to say all this to a 4yr old and a 7 year old kid?! :))))
But you know what? It was effective. They both broke down and apologized deeply for their behavior, for calling me names and for acting up. Deeply, truly, from their souls they were apologizing, and we kissed, and we hugged, and we cried it out….then we went to bed, and talked and talked and talked some more. And hugged some more. And we kissed. And all was well….
But I had to QUIT thinking that I was not good. That I was ruining their lives. That I am not enough. Because guess what?! I am enough. I have to be enough because I am the only mom they got. So it is what it is. And I sure am doing a damn good job even if that nonsense mental insane chatter that’s been happening inside of my head doesn’t agree with me all the time. It doesn’t have to. I quit giving a damn about that as well!