Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ups and Downs

I am feeling low right now. Up until this point, I was fairly secure in my belief that I was doing everything I could to be the best mother possible for little Alice. I had read all the research - I even studied infant development in college. In an attempt to be the perfect attachment parent, I carried Alice with me wherever I went. When the Moby wrap was so completely covered in spit up and drool that I couldn't possibly ignore it any more, I would quickly throw it in the wash and carry Alice with me in my arms for the next two hours. I've catered to her every whim - brilliantly stopping cries before they had a chance to begin based solely on her cues. I guess I'm telling you all this so that I don't feel so guilty.

I took a survey today on-line about parenting, and one of the questions was "how much time do you spend with your child (not counting driving, TV, computer, or talking with other adults)?" Looking at this questions, I realized that for all my good intentions, I hardly spend any time during the day interacting with just Alice. I'm always trying to clean the house, or driving us somewhere to meet other mommies, or talking with my friends about how challenging it is to raise a child. I probably spend at most and hour or two a day playing with Alice without all those other distractions.

I know its ridiculous, but I really feel like an awful mother today. I haven't been interacting with my daughter enough. I look around the house and it is a mess - all that time that I had spent cleaning (with Alice firmly attached to my front) is wasted. There is always so much to do and there is no way that I am ever going to get it all done. I don't want to look back on my life and realize that I missed my daughter growing up because I was too busy trying to clean up that was determined to stay messy and chatting with friends.

I remember when I would have bad days teaching. When I could tell that my students didn't understand a word that I was saying and they were bored and miserable and I was bored and miserable. I always used to think that no matter what happens today, there is always tomorrow. I guess I get up tomorrow and just try harder.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Nowadays with so much media everywhere we are constantly bombarded with what "experts" think we should be doing with our lives. Our parents never had to deal with that crap!

Don't let this stuff get to you. You sound like you ARE a great mom.

And I the end of the survey was there some link to a "Be a better parent product?"