Friday, June 6, 2014

Last Day of School and Mommy Guilt

Today was Annabeth’s last day of Kindergarten.  As I look back on this past year, I can’t believe how much she has grown up.  When we dropped her off on that first day, we walked her all the way inside her classroom and left feeling so worried that she would feel alone or afraid.  Today when I dropped her off, she didn’t even need me to walk her all the way to the building.  Last night, after the girls were all in bed, I had a chance to flip through her school journal.  Therein lies the highlights from the past year documented in her own sweet handwriting. Phrases like:  “I’m going to visit Grandma tomorrow!” “I have a wiggly tooth!”  “The tooth fairy left me 2 dollars!” “Tomorrow I turn 6 years old!”  “I am going to have another baby sister!”  “Yesterday, I held my baby Scarlett for the first time!” I remember being so proud that I hadn’t cried on her first day of school, but as I flipped through the pages I couldn’t hold back the tears.  My baby is a “big kid” now.  And I notice that on nearly every other page, she has written something about me.  “I love Mommy!”  “Mommy is the best!”  “My mommy is so ‘beaudiful’!”  What did I ever do to deserve such a great kid??

Ever since Scarlett arrived, I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t been the best mom to my girls.  I am super irritable and easily annoyed by every little thing they do.  In fact, I started googling “postpartum anger” to see if that was an actual thing. In hindsight, I suspect it has something to do with the fact that I wasn’t sleeping much.  Whether it’s due to lack of sleep or crazy hormones, I can’t help feeling angry when Annabeth wants to kiss the baby after I’ve worked tirelessly to get her to sleep, angry at Camilla for intentionally accidentally whacking her on the head, angry at the baby for crying hours on end, and angry at Brent for getting home late from work. I’m angry that I can’t do the things that need to get done around the house.  Angry that my body isn’t what it used to be, and angrier that I have zero time to work out these days. Angry when my 3 year old throws herself against me and whines for things as I try to nurse the baby. Angry that baby refuses to take a pacifier.  Why??!  To sum it all up, I feel like I’ve been really pissed off for the past 2 months.

For one thing, I feel like the walls of our small house are not big enough to contain all of their endless toys.  I clean up all day long and they seem to follow right behind me dragging out more of their crap.   Most days feel like an endless, monotonous cycle of cleaning, changing diapers, feeding everyone, cleaning, repeat, etc.   Add to that the fact that I feel like a cow leaking milk all the time, and my breasts which are always in the worst kind of pain are the EXACT spot where they like to run into me. Oh – and I sweat like a pig (thank you post-pregnancy hormones!). Then at the end of the day, when they are all in bed – it hits me… the guilt.  Why didn’t I play that silly game that Annabeth wanted me to play?  I should have spent more time with Camilla instead of worrying about cleaning the house.  I didn’t enjoy snuggling Scarlett enough and couldn’t wait to put her down for bed. She will only be this little once! I feel I have wasted the day being mad at everyone, even the dog – ESPECIALLY the dog (but that’s another story).  I am the worst mom in the world! 

And so, it feels bitter sweet to read all the wonderful things my 6 year old has written about me while she was at school because I feel completely undeserving and inadequate.  But that’s the great thing about kids.  They love you no matter what.  They forget that you yelled at them yesterday or that they spent most of the day in time out.  They forget how you had a meltdown on the middle of Target because they kept running away from you.  They forget that you threatened to throw away a beloved toy when they refused to go to bed.  They remember all the good things – that I read with them, that I took them to the park, that I let them have ice cream for dessert, that we go swimming almost every day, that I bought them a strawberry slushy.  And when they fall down, you’re still the first person they want to hold them and kiss the hurt away.  I hope that as the years go on, they will keep remembering the good things about mom.  Not that I was a total spaz for those few months after having a baby.  J I’ve often been told that having your third child is the roughest transition.  Since this is our third and last one, I will whole-heartedly agree with that!  I am so grateful for my sweet girls and for their easy willingness to forgive their stressed out mama!  Things are getting easier every day and I’m slowly regaining pieces of my sanity. Thank goodness for Tylenol and Dr. Pepper!  Not sure how I could have survived without them (and lots and lots of chocolate).


Britt said...

Oh my goodness. Loved the post. Soooo true. You said exactly everything that I've been feeling. We had our third in February and our oldest is four. I can't even send him to school yet! Keep up the good work.

Laura said...

Hey Brittany! So glad I am not alone in this! I would love to see some picture of your kiddos. Do you have a blog?