Sunday, February 6, 2011

Old Friends, Old Insecurities

On Friday I packed up my husbands SUV and headed out to West Virginia.  I was supposed to go to Baltimore to have lunch with Roni from, but once again our plans were foiled, first by weather and then by an event that had been rescheduled to this Friday, due to weather LAST Friday. We will have lunch eventually, hopefully before her baby is born lol.
Right now I am watching my friend's son mumbling and giggling while attempting to catch a cat who is not at all interested in being caught.  I managed to show up around lunch time Friday, since I left right after the morning rush hour.  Traffic was fantastic (meaning, minimal) all the way here, and uneventful.
While my life before I left WV was concentrated mainly around toddlers, and how much I desperately wanted a baby, being around them again makes me wonder. Do I want all the noise, the constant needs, whining and stress? People have told me since I can remember what a great mother I would make while I constantly question how true that statement is.  Am I able to give my friend's kids my 'all' because it is short term? If I had my own, would I just become lazy? I have all of these ideas of the mother that I would like to be, the activities that I would like to do with my kids, the places I want to go. Does everyone reassess their desire or ability to be a parent around time when there is no going back?    Here is the thing....all those insecurities aside, I know I can do it. I also know that I will try my hardest to give it my all, and am not afraid to ask for help. Above all, I know that I have my amazing husband who will stand by my side through it all.
I also had another realization.  I am more judgmental than I should be. I don't think that is it possible to be completely non-judgmental just as it is impossible to be completely objective, but I could definitely judge less.  My friends raise their kids as they see fit, and I should just give their children all of the love I can in the world while I am there, and raise my children as I see fit.  I tend to think since I read constantly and research that everyone should want to know that I have to think, but I also need to learn to shut my mouth, even if I disagree with people.
I'm in a funk...I am really really tired and I haven't been sleeping well. My friend told me that basically, it isn't healthy that I am waking up every 90 minutes, and remembering it every single time.  At home it is mostly because my husband's snoring will wake me completely.  While visiting friends it is because I am on a different bed. I don't want to take medicine but I only vaguely remember the last time I slept through the night without waking up, and it involved sleeping in my bed, alone, while my husband was out of town.  I want to sleep with my husband, I love the feel of being next to him, and even here while I am away I still find myself reaching for him and longing for his heat and presence next to me.   Ear plugs you say? Oh, I've tried them, many a time.  They either fall out, or make my ears itch horribly so even if I fall asleep I end up TAKING them out in my sleep.  I think I just need a really really comfortable guest bed.  In the mean time, pardon me if I am a little grouchy and sleepy.


  1. I've spent most of my life not living up to my own expectations or ideals. In our minds, we oversimplify how difficult things will be, then are disappointed when we come up short.

    I'm not in a hurry to have children. I do look forward to it, and I have so many ideas and things I want to do with them. But I also have countless other goals that I know they would detract from. And although I'm sure that I'll be a great dad, I know I won't be as good as I want to.

    We'll have bills to pay and so I'll have to go to work instead of being with them and raising and teaching them every day. I'll come home tired and will have trouble being active with them in the evenings and weekends. They'll stress me out and I'll raise my voice at them even though I don't want to. They'll blabber incessantly about nothing until I stop listening to them and then I'll be another parent ignoring their kids, which I so don't want to be.

    I know these things will happen. And I will be disappointed in myself, and frustrated and tired. Because I never live up to my own expectations and desires...I'm used to it by now and I know what to expect.

    But I *will* be a good dad. Whether it's this year or 5 years from now...even though I'll blunder a lot...I will be a good dad. I couldn't be anything else.

    So, it's ok to have doubts. You'll have them after you have kids too. And you'll still be a good mom, but you won't be a perfect one.

    Nobody is.

    And yes, you are too judgemental ;) But we love you anyway.

  2. Well... as a mommy of 2.. I will be honest with you. Although I would not trade my kids in for the world, had I known how un-free I'd be to do what I want, when I want, I may have done things differently. I also had no idea what a huge strain it is on a marriage. I don't think anybody really knows what they get into. Sure, you have the cute moments, the milestones, the really great days. But sometimes those are shadowed by the days you feel like screaming and crying in your room when the kids are out of control. Even the best behaved kids have moments that make you feel like packing up and leaving it all behind! So it's hard. I respect the people who know that they would rather be the fun auntie or whatever. And I will also tell you- you are never going to be as good of a mom as you think you are. Does that make sense? I had all these ideas of how awesome I'd be. But then I somehow forgot that while being mommy... I also work, cook, clean, and I'm a wife, a friend, and a daughter. It's a hard balance and I wish more people thought it through like you are. :)

  3. A&E - I'm proud of you both. It's NOT important that you be a perfect parent. What is important is that you never stop trying to be a BETTER parent. Oh - and Aaron - time to go to a sleep lab and get hooked up with a CPAP machine to stop the snoring so your poor wife can get the rest she needs to sustain her health and happiness so she can be both a good wife AND a good mother!


  4. I have a memory that never leaves me: My daughter was born. She slept about four-six hours a day in 15-30 minute intervals (not the 14-17 hours like people say). She cried constantly. I hadn't slept in forever. I could do none of the basic tasks of showering, cleaning, cooking, etc. I was changing her diaper and she started crying (she hated having her diaper changed) and I felt completely hollow and broken. I cried for a couple hours straight, ashamed that I was crying in front of my baby.

    I had never under estimated the duties of motherhood... it was my intention to wait YEARS. But lo and behold, the failure of birth control, and ta-da you get a honeymoon baby.

    Motherhood is a rollercoaster. You always question yourself. You wobble above the fine line of wanting some free/non baby time and then missing them terribly when they aren't in your arms.

    Every family will raise their children differently--partly because every child is so different, and partly because the needs of the family are different. It's good to think it through and be prepared... it's smart and healthy! But no matter how much you prepare, you'll never be totally prepared. As a therapist for autistic children, I know the importance of follow through and rules and constant engagement and I will be on top of it whether I have the child for an hour or nine hours. But with my own child, because I know that I will have no break, sometimes (to my dismay) I give in for my own sanity.

    Now all that being said, there is nothing, absolutely nothing that is more incredible than motherhood. Even with the near nervous breakdowns, stresses on marriage, total lack of freedom and sleep deprivation, I swear that I have never experienced a more perfect and awesome love. I would go through everything---even 1,000 worse and 1,000 over---because there is nothing that compares. Period.

    Eileen, I know you are going to be an incredible mother and Aaron will be an awesome father. Prepare, be informed, but don't worry. Once you have your babe in your arms, you will know what your baby needs and you will have a whole family of friends to back you up. (My only advice to you is figure out the sleep issues... and SLEEP as much as possible :) OH and go out with Aaron ALL THE TIME--go on trips or whatever you want... exploit the freedom :)


I love comments and promise to read all of them! If you have a problem posting just email me at eileenkward at gmail dot com