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A moment like this

So, I opened ye olde dashboard at something crazy like, I dunno, 8:00 a.m. and here it is a full 14 and a half hours later and I’m finally coming here to write something, weary from a day that has quite honestly just kicked my ass. We had one of the most challenging days we’ve had in a while around here today and, well, it just sucked.

I had every intention of coming here to write all about the awesome afternoon Joshua and I had yesterday and I feel like today has sort of sucked the wind out of my sails. I find that I can’t really be open right now about the way the day went because I don’t want to be seen as ungrateful or uncaring or whatever. I kind of feel like my safe space has been torn away a little bit.

And then there’s the fact that the conversation I had yesterday with Alena is still ringing in the my ears. And I wonder how much of today was because of me. We talked about the act of parenting our children. Of doing more than just surviving. Of getting by. We shared our frustration with feeling like we’re not entirely sure what we’re doing with this age right now. But we walked away knowing that what we’re doing isn’t necessarily what we thought we would be doing.

After our conversation, I knew I needed to make a change in the way we do things around here, so after Emma’s nap yesterday, I asked Joshua if he wanted to go swimming.

“With Miss Becca?”

“No, just with Mama.”

“With my baby Emma?”

“No, we’ll take Emma to childcare and you and I will go swimming.”


A little light twinkled in his eyes when he realized it would just be the two of us. It’s so rarely just the two of us. And then a wave of guilt washes over me because for three years, it was just us. And now it’s us plus Emma.

I know that this has taken an enormous toll on him. I see the way he is with her and I can’t help but think that he feels slighted sometimes because I’m changing her diapers or nursing her or directing her away from trying to scale the coffee table.

So yesterday we went swimming. Just the two of us. We got changed and we left and we dropped Emma off and we hurried out the door.

We played and we laughed. I chased him. He chased me. We splashed. We curled up in a lounge chair and I held him and we talked. He snuggled into me and we sat there and we waited until we could go back in the water. My heart was so full.

I want that moment to be the way we are all the time.

The conversation she and I had made me realize that while I love my son, I could be doing more for him. I’m tell myself that I’m doing my best to raise him but deep down I think I’m just lying to myself.

Given his behavior sometimes, like yesterday after it wasn’t just us anymore or today, I wonder if I’m failing him. Is this the kind of person he’s going to grow up and be? Is this just a by-product of the fact that he’s a very, very sensitive 4 year old? Is this because he won’t nap but desperately needs more sleep? Is his behavior strictly attention seeking?

I don’t know.

And I’m not sure I can know definitively.

All I know is that I can do better as his mother.

He deserves better.

He deserves my best.

Not Super Just Mom

Contrary to his face in this picture, he was actually quite happy.
He just did the opposite of smile because I dared to interrupt his snack time.
Silly mama.

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Jenn@Fox in the City

Tuesday 21st of May 2013

Is he fed? Does he have a warm, safe place to sleep? Is he clothed? Yes he is so you are doing everything you should be as a parent . . . everything else is what we decide is a need, what society has put in our head's is a necessity (even if it really isn't).

There seems to be these huge expectations surrounding the "art of parenting" that we get caught up in what we aren't doing, instead of focusing on what we are. From what I see, you seem like a pretty damn good mom and that is really all any kid can ask for.


Tuesday 21st of May 2013

I think the entire point of what I wanted to convey in my post didn't make it through. Parenting is more than just feeding, clothing, and sheltering. It's teaching him how to be kind by showing him kindness. It's helping him grow up to be a good person. And when I feel like I'm not being kind, how can I teach him kindness, you know?


Tuesday 21st of May 2013

OH my friend. My heart hurts. That was us this weekend. And I keep thinking I'm doing it wrong. Seriously. It sucks. But they love us just the same.


Tuesday 21st of May 2013

They do love us, and that's so important because it means that they know that we love them. But dude. The difficult weekends? They are difficult.


Monday 20th of May 2013

I'm so glad you got to have a lovely afternoon with just the two of you!!

You are absolutely NOT failing him. Are there things we could all be better at as mothers? Sure. Are there days when the goal IS just to survive? Absolutely. Because in the end, parenting is just life. It's good. It's bad. It's beautiful and ugly and heart wrenching and perfect. Just not all at the same time.

So you will survive the bad days and you will cherish the good ones. And so will he. And when he's a grown up, he will have no doubts that you love him.

Every day can't be a fairy tale. But the parts that are make it worth it to keep going. Hang in there, mama. xo


Tuesday 21st of May 2013

Survival is certainly the goal every day, and no, I'm not looking for a fairy tale. I guess the thing that I hope I'm doing, which I apparently didn't convey well in the post, is what am I teaching him? What values am I instilling in him? Is he learning to be kind? To help others?

When I'm so frustrated at a day gone horribly awry, how can I teach him those things when I can't DO them myself?

That's the part of parenting I'm struggling with.

Jen @ After The Alter

Monday 20th of May 2013

Awe this post broke my heart! My son is 2 1/2 and we want another child and all i can think about is how he will act when he is not my one and only! He's my buddy and it will be hard for him to share me...but this is what I think .I think it was a blessing that you had 3 special years with him! Many kids don't get that time with their mommy's and your son did. That's special if you ask me! We all do what we can when it comes to many factors in the coming years will help. hang in there...I am sure you are doing great!


Tuesday 21st of May 2013

I definitely think it was a gift to have that time with him as an only. I think in some ways it made the transition to having a sibling difficult, though, if I'm being honest. He just seems to always be seeking my attention now, and I feel badly that he doesn't get it as often as he demands it.


Monday 20th of May 2013

This is my first time commenting, but I have been reading your blog for quite sometime. You are not failing him! You are a great mother and you are doing a great job. But I know it is hard sometimes not to feel that way. This post of yours brought tears to my eyes because I feel like I am failing my son. I have only one child to take care of, but so often I feel like he is getting shorted. With all of the running around for errands and the cleaning (oh the constant cleaning) I often find that we are at the end of the day and all of the projects I had planned for us never were done. I then vow tomorrow will be better, but it is the same story. We play all day and go to the park and play dates but I feel like I am not teaching him enough, that I am not doing enough. This mom thing is hard sometimes!


Tuesday 21st of May 2013

My house is a wreck morning, noon, and night. I clean something up, one of them pulls something else out. It's a neverending thing around here so most of the time I just give up.

I know I give them experiences, or I try to give them experiences. I guess I just want to help teach them how to navigate the world, you know?

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