Saturday, June 20, 2009

just humor me for a minute

Warning: this post is written by a tired, hormonal pregnant Mama whose husband is about to leave for 8 days, come home for 4, then leave for 9 more.

People love to give advice - almost no one likes to receive it (I fall into these categories myself, so think not that I judge!!)

I find advice during pregnancy to be one of the most obnoxious things - and I've posted about that a bit before - but because of the weird, often-unhelpful things people tend to say to me during pregnancy, I try to avoid giving advice to others. All kids are different, all mamas are different, all situations are different - it's really hard for advice to not be condescending or misinterpreted. If pressed for it, I try to offer encouragement - not exactly advice.

But today, I'm going to offer the one thing that I wish someone had told me before I became a mama. This has, by far, been the biggest "surprise" for me of parenthood - and one I do wish I was a bit more prepared to handle.

I wish someone had warned me how often I would feel completely incapable, ill-equipped and unfit.

I expected parenting to be hard - but I didn't expect to feel so very NOT-good at it. I've always loved kids - I was a good babysitter and felt taking care of little ones to be very natural... I felt competent.

Something about being The Mother changed that for me... being responsible for another life, and often being the one people look to for answers. "What do you think we should do about (fill in the blank)?" How do I know? I'm new at this!!

And I'm just amazed at how infrequently I feel like a "good mama." It sounds kinda funny to say that I expected to feel like I was "good" at my job... but honestly - I did!

Right now, I don't want Mark to leave because I'm afraid Hazel will get the raw end of the deal - no Daddy, and stuck with a Mama who is tired, hormonal, getting bigger by the second... There is so much to do here before BabyMon comes - and so much of it I cannot do on my own. I am overwhelmed and certain that my kid deserves better than I'm giving.

And top all of it off - I really detest feeling this way. I like being able to handle things and help other people and come through in a pinch... I don't like being the one who needs. I just want to get my act together.

So there you have it - this Saturday morning, I have already once dissolved into ridiculous tears over pretty much *nothing* - and really, it all boils down to this overwhelming sense of not being/knowing/doing enough when it comes to being Mama. And I'm absolutely terrified that I won't be able to handle TWO kiddos.

Don't get me wrong - I ADORE being a mama... nothing on earth is like loving your kid(s). And however crummy I feel, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I've never had a job that I love like this, and I covet the time that I get to spend caring for our children. I just wish that a fairy would wave a wand and give me a bit more ability, a bit more competence.

4 thoughts:

Kaycee said...

Hang in there Katie. I completely relate to this post, so know you are not the only Mama who feels this way. I actually had a complete meltdown after you and Hazel left over spring break and told Cam I was the worst Mom. I told him about all the things you are doing that are right and I agree with, and how I am horrible because I am not doing or cannot do them.

I think it's just that we love our kid(s) so much and want the best for them and feel like we are so responsible for everything? At least that's how I feel. Let me know if you want to do a playdate - I can come to you this time - or something while Mark's gone (if it helps, if it's just more on your plate don't worry about it)!

Katie said...

Oh, Kaycee... I just figured out a little bit tonight why (for me at least) the Mama Job seems so different from other jobs (aside from the painfully obvious).

It was much easier to be good at my job when it was 8-5 and I didn't spend those whole 9 hours with the same people... I had meetings, appointments, time to myself, time with groups - it's much easier to be "your best self" when you only have to be that self for an hour or two at a time, then you get to start over.

Hazel gets me all day long - and I'm bound to get impatient or frustrated or lazy or whatever... and I feel so incredibly bad that she doesn't get my very best (even though she really DOES - I'm just not my very best every second of the day). And I never WAS before - it's just that so few people were around me long enough to realize it... ;)

Your little gal is so very well loved and cared for - that is incredibly obvious. Madi is a lucky gal, and you are a terrific Mama. And we'd love to have you come visit. I'll send you a note.

Courtney said...

I had lots of meltdowns when the boys came home--but none whatsoever with the girls. Did I all of a sudden turn into supermom? LOL Not likely. I'm still making the same mistakes, still having the same frustrations (with myself) and still failing at the same things (particularly being patient). But I have realized that my kids still love me, that they are growing and thriving and are developing the traits we hope to see in full bloom some day.

Hang in there. It gets easier as they get older and you start to see some of the fruits of your labor. And as you have more and realize that certain things aren't worth stressing about (or you're just too tired to stress about them!! LOL).

Misty said...

i am visiting from sorta crunchy's guest post about your intervention free birth (i love birth stories!) and scrolled down to get to know you some more... this post i relate to so well! my goodness, isn't motherhood the darndest thing, where we constantly subject our idea of Good not only to other great/bad mamas but constantly undermine our own efforts and successes?
it's crazy... :)
i have two under 3 at home, w/ one due shortly and my husband travels often for work, so i completely get that sense of no, don't go, b/cs i don't want the kids to get shafted, lol!! hang in there... you can do it if it hasn't happened already!!