Thursday, March 13, 2014

Not Enough

Seriously, Mama?
I feel like everything in life is a complete failure if I don't do it perfectly.  Yes, this is quite a melodramatic way of looking at things, but that's just me.  If I do 17 loads of laundry, but the 18th is left on the floor, I feel as though I failed at laundry.  If I clean my entire house, but the floors go un-mopped, I feel as though I have failed at cleaning my house.  If I get insane accolades at work on 5 projects, but get feedback that the 6th was just ok, I feel as though I am failing at my job.  I am sure you get the point by now.  It's insanity, really, this complex that I have.  It's because I never get a sense of fulfillment, unless the job is COMPLETELY finished.  If one part goes unfinished, or is not up to par, I feel like a failure.   However, no amount of beating up myself about inadequacies at work, as a wife, or as a homemaker can even hold a candle to how I beat myself up about whether or not I am being the best mother I can be.  I think the best describe where I am with that will be to explain where I started.

About two bottles of wine into a tired night in a hotel, I made a confession to my best friend Ramie, my sister Tami, and friend Shannon.  We were on an east coast road trip and, after a very wild night in P-Town, were taking it easy and staying in at a hotel just outside Martha's Vineyard.  (Side note... Martha's Vineyard has no wine.  NO alcohol at all!  It is a dry island.  Who the crap knew?!?!) We were all getting kind of deep talking about everything from the meaning of life to whether or not we REALLY saw a naked man dancing with rainbow butterfly wings the night before, or if it was just a mass hallucination brought on by way too much tequila.  Amidst this conversation, we began talking about having children.  This was few years back, and none of us had any children yet.  Shannon and Tami were certain that they never wanted kids, while Ramie and I were certain we both did.  This led to a barrage of questions going either way of why we either did or didn't want kids.  This is when I made my confession.

 "I am terrified that I am going to suck at being a mother.  I have no motherly instinct at all!  I never baby-sat, I never even wanted to!  And, to tell the honest truth, I know I want kids but what if I have them and then realize I don't like them!?  What if I hate my kids?!?!"

Yes, my friends.  I actually said this, and I meant it.  I was terrified that I wouldn't like my kids once I had them.  NOW before you judge me, you have to understand something.  I know a LOT of people that, I am pretty sure, do not like their children.  I don't mean they are horrible people that hurt their kids or anything, but they literally seem as though their children ruined their lives!  They are miserable all of the time and just have no desire to even be around their own kids.  They, simply put, think their children are assholes.  Since I am a believer that you truly never know how you will act in any situation until you are actually in that situation, it seemed completely plausible that I could end of being one of those people!!  I was horribly terrified...

On August 5, 2013, I got my answer.  At exactly 9:33pm, Benjamin James Freeman came in to this world.  At that exact moment, something miraculous happened.  Every fear I had about being a mom disappeared.  Now, don't misunderstand here.  I repeat, every fear I had about being a mom completely disappeared because those fears were ridiculous and just plain stupid.  Now, I had a whole new slew of more rational and reasonable fears about being a mom!  Also, they weren't just hypothetical fears anymore.  Now, they were fears directly related to this little life that was in my arms that I instantly loved more than words could ever describe.  

Over the last seven months of Benjamin's amazing life, some of these fears have disappeared and others have hit me dead in the face.  I wonder on a regular basis whether or not I am enough for him.  I wonder if I am giving him enough of myself.  I wonder whether or not I spend too much time holding him, or not enough time holding him.  I worry whether or not I do his physical therapy exercises enough, and whether or not the things I am or am not doing are holding him back from hitting his milestones.  I fear things, and I worry about things, constantly all day, every day.  But...it's different.

These fears and worries, these feelings of inadequacy, they are all different than anything I have felt before.  It's ironic really, that the one thing in life that I know for certain I will fail at time and again somehow makes me happier than anything else I have ever experienced.  I will fail at being a mother, but I will also soar.  When I know I can't do all 18 loads of laundry, I often times blow it off.  When I can't clean my whole house, sometimes I don't clean anything at all.  With Ben, it's different.  I will give him everything I can every single day and never be enough, and I don't care.  With Ben, no matter how often I feel like I am not enough,  I get to look at him and realize that HE is enough.  You see, I beat myself up about being a good mom but I NEVER want to throw in the towel.  I don't feel a sense of fulfillment if I can't do ALL the laundry, but every second I spend with my little dude is more fulfilling than anything i've ever done before.  I may not be a perfect mom, but man do I enjoy every moment of trying!

1 comment:

  1. Michelle KrawczakMarch 14, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    I felt this way with my first child. Someone once told me "look at things through a childs eyes. If you have finished the laundry, done all of your to-do's for the day, what was your childs day? Watching you go by to do these things?". I have put a memo of that in the back of my mind.. Each day we try to do art, go outside, music, cuddles, books, etc.. The best thing you can do as a parent is expose your child to the world, let them get messy, and let them go at their own pace. It sounds as though you are a wonderful mommy, and the fact that you wonder at all, means you care. Milestones are important, but everyone starts school walking, and talking. If you have happy kids, you're on the right path! I have three perfectly happy kids, and a messy house to prove it!

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-xoxo Jamie