10 February 2012

warning this gets a little depressing

Yesterday was one of those really yucky days.  You know the kind where nothing specific goes wrong but all the same you just end the night feeling like crud on the bottom of someone's shoe.

Last month someone who I had considered a very good, close friend said something incredibly cruel.  This person said that neither Dan nor myself put our child first and that we basically were terrible parents.
Rationally speaking I know that this couldn't be farther from the the truth.  This person has since retracted their statement.  Unfortunately, none of this has stopped me from letting the cruel words work their way into the cracks and crevices of my psyche so that I now question everything regarding my parenting.

Several friends and family members have started talking about enrolling their (younger than Mabes) children in preschool/kindergarten already.  This makes my stomach turn in knots because I wonder if Dan and I are failing our girlie by not having her go to school right now.  I wonder if people know that we tried to enroll her in preschool but the one we want to send her to is full unless we want her to go five days a week, full time; something none of us are ready for.  I also feel the need to justify our decision to keep her as one of the oldest in her class (she misses the cut off by six days anyhow) with regards to not starting her in kindergarten this fall.

Mabes has started doing this thing she calls quiet songs.  Basically she sits gazing out her window ala (insert whatever fairy tale/dramatic movie here) and softly sings to herself.  Most of the time the songs consist of "I wish I was a grown up now because then no one would tell me what to do."  Am I asking too much of my child?  Am I too bossy?  Controlling?  Is my child that sad and miserable she just wants to grow up and leave?

Every night when we put her to bed she screams, she cries, she gets herself so worked up she can barely catch her breath.  Why this dramatic craziness?  She doesn't like it when I go up to the office to work after she is in bed.  Am I a bad mother because I still go upstairs and work because that is when there is time?  Should I sit in her room and wait nightly until she falls asleep?  Should I give up trying to grow my business and focus solely on being her mom?


I constantly feel like I am failing my daughter.  

There has to be a way to stop this madness.  I need to remind myself that comparing my behind the scenes to the rest of the world's highlight reel is doing nothing but harm.  I need to retrain my focus.  Any suggestions on how to accomplish this would be much appreciated.  



5 comments:

  1. Jess,

    My dear friend. Welcome to the world of amazing mothers (not that I am calling myself amazing...). Let me put some perspective on this for you. As you know, I am very well acquainted with Bad Mothers. You, my friend, are the furthest from a bad mother that I know. Here is the difference. All AMAZING mothers think and worry that they are not good enough. Am I doing the right thing, am I giving enough of myself, am I attentive enough, am I giving the right opportunities to my child, etc. etc. The Bad Mothers...they don't even consider it because they are too self centered and think they are doing a great job all the while physically and emotionally neglecting their child.

    Here is my short answer. Do what is right for YOU and MABES and DAN. What is right for you and your child is not the same thing that is right for other families. God gave you a gut instinct and a maternal instinct for a reason. Use it. YOU and DAN are the experts on your own child. No one else can even come close to knowing what is best for her.

    Trust yourself and your instinct and Mabes will be just fine. Trust me on this.

    Love ya!

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  2. First off you are not bad parents...matter of fact you are very involved parents. Second...you do need time for yourself to be able to be a good parent and doing your photography is something you like and you are good at. Third...Mabry is around adults alot and if you can't get her into the preschool you want, what about getting on their waiting list and check out another school just for the remainder of the school year and get her into the school you want this Fall. As for being one of the oldest in her kindergarten class when she does start kindergarten...I think that can only be a good thing...wish we had done that with your younger sister and could still kick myself for not doing so. Now these are words of wisdom from your momma and none of this was said because I am your momma. I think all of us parents wish a manuel came with the birth of our child but because one didn't, we have to do the best we can and hope for the best. Love you.

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  3. Love Tracey's comment...heed her words and shame on the person who said you were not good parents...shame.

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  4. Ahh...the agony over preschool. I went through that with Vail. She wouldn't have gone to any kind of preschool except an awesome one pretty much just fell in our laps. (it helped that it is inexpensive.) Also I think you are an AMAZING mom!!! Ditto to everything Tracey said. Vail is also one of the oldest in her class. Her birthday is the end of July and we waited a year for her to go to kindergarten. Haven't regretted that decision for one minute. I beat myself up constantly over how I perform as a mother. You are wonderful. I also have let people's comments get to me too (some of them family). Mabry is so so blessed to have you and Dan. Love you!

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  5. Sorry I'm totally late in reading this, but from what I have read from you over the past four or whatever years, you are a great mom. We all worry about our kids at this stage in life, preschool or no preschool...I hate trying to figure that out!! Every child is different and every family is different and what works for some doesn't work for others. It doesn't make one parent better than another, you just have to do what is best for your family. We're waiting to start Charlotte in Kindergarten until she's 6 because I think it's best for her. I don't want her to be the youngest in her class...let alone the youngest girl, 10 years down the road, I think being older will be better for her. People tried to tell us that we were wrong to start Timothy in Kindergarten when he was 5 and that he should wait till he's 6, but this kid has been ready for school since day one. I second guess myself all the time, but I think that's the sign of a good mom...keep up the good work and don't let negative people bring you down!!

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