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What kind of mother AM I??

I’m having kind of a busy week at work.  The last few weeks of school are always busy.  For me, it means state testing, finals, finishing up my grading, making calls to parents of students who aren’t going to pass and must go to summer school, and Color Guard tryouts.

Yes.  I’m a band geek.  (However, being a “band geek” is keeping me employed in a state where districts are facing massive layoffs, so I’ll deal with boob sweat in the baking hot Georgia sun for three weeks this summer.  And then I’ll go to every Friday night football game for the entire fall semester.)

But for now, it’s just tryouts.  However, tryouts mean that I’m picking Joshua up close to 6:00 each evening.

On my drive to get him today, I realized I felt peaceful.  I was driving along through the dairy farm and the scenery was pretty and the windows were down and the day was glorious.

And then I felt REALLY bad.

And now I feel the need to explain.

One of the things that will send me over the anxiety and frustration edge faster than you can say “anxiety and frustration” is feeding Joshua dinner.

He has only recently (like, the last half of last week) gotten better at eating dinner for me.  Normally, he has oyster crackers and graham crackers and I’m doing good to get him to eat some Little Blends yogurt.  Lately, however, he’s been back to eating like normal (jars of purees, but still meals).

But I know that this new-found love of sweet potatoes and turkey can change at a moment’s notice.  And I never know what day will be the day when he decides to spit and scream and cry and scream and spit.  And when that happens I’ve melted into a puddle of emo-goo by the time the Husband gets home to rescue me.

And really, that’s what it feels like some days.  A rescue effort.  And those are the days when he wishes I’d send him a text warning that it’s been a bad dinner day and he should be ready to deal with two meltdowns instead of just one.  And when he gets here, I sit down and zone out.  And I go through the motions of putting Joshua in his pj’s and reading him his book.  And I zone out to try and regain my sanity. 

But this week, he’s been eating dinner at daycare.  And he ALWAYS eats his food at daycare.  He’s “the best eater in the room” at daycare (not with table foods, mind you, but jars of baby food don’t usually end up on the floor which makes him the “best eater”).

So today, as I was driving to daycare in a state of relative calm, I realized that it’s because I haven’t had to feed my son this week.  Someone else has been feeding him three meals a day for the past three days.

And then I felt REALLY, REALLY bad.  Because, I mean, I’m HAPPY to not be feeding my child his dinner!

What kind of mother am I!?!?!

Now that I’m writing this, instead of feeling like I’ve found some sort of catharsis, I feel worse.  I feel like the dreaded word we’re not supposed to say in this house.

That word rhymes with “PAIL.”

I hope that after this week is over and we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming, I’ll be able to find the kind of peace that I had on the drive to daycare this afternoon WHILE feeding my child.  He deserves a mama who feels like she can handle his mood swings and temper tantrums, and right now, that’s not how I feel most of the time.   And Joshua deserves better.

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Amber Koter-Puline

Thursday 6th of May 2010

I STILL feel the same way about putting my son to bed. It's anxiety, plain and simple. Trust me, he won't stop existing if he doesn't eat dinner and my son won't forever live sleeplessly if he doesn't sleep well one night...but try to convince the PPA of that and, well...Your fellow survivor mama,Amber@Beyond Postpartum


Thursday 6th of May 2010

I feel like this after trying to put my lo down after a late night feeding. It can send me into a full-blown, curling up in the corner, hands over my ears panic attack. Try not to feel bad for the way you feel, you aren't alone and it doesn't make you a bad mom.


Thursday 6th of May 2010

If I've learned anything in my seven years of parenting it is that some weeks are just not parent-proof. You cannot go your childs entire life (or even one year in our house) without having a few weeks of pure chaos. Those weeks will happen and you must learn to accept them, not let them define you are a mother and move on. Because they will happen again. Perhaps the routine of eating dinner is actually a blessing...and when things get back to normal with your schedule he will pick up where he left off at daycare and eat just as well for you at dinnertime. Life has a funny way of working out like that.


Wednesday 5th of May 2010

I'm glad I'm not the only one who stuggled with dinner!!! Em eats great at daycare! But when we feed her dinner she just plays with it and ends up either smushing in her fingers, smushing it in her hair, putting it down her shirt or throwing it on the floor. It's so frustrating to deal with every single day so normally I end up just taking it away from her and listening to her cry becuase she was not done playing with it.And keep in mind Kyle is gone so I'm doing it all on my own too. It's hard and I dread dinner with my child.

Being a parent is hard. And I'm sure some will disagree with me, but being a mother is harder. But you are a good mom! And Joshua couldn't ask for a better mom!!!!!! Hang in there.


Wednesday 5th of May 2010

I totally feel you on this one. I could have written this entire post myself. This weekend I realized that I hadn't had to change a diaper, except the night time one all week. Not one. I didn't have to put her down for one nap. I felt so ashamed that I couldn't do that for my daughter and that I wasn't super bummed out that I couldn't do those things. She's a terrible eater too. Half her dinner winds up on the floor and she won't eat any veggies unless they are covered in cheese. Looks like she's doomed to count every point like her mama. Right there in the working mommy trenches with you.

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