Confession: Maybe I’m Not Cut Out For This

I used to be very maternal. Everyone said so.

I used to adore kids. Everyone saw.

I used to want eight of my own. I told everyone.

Now, well now I’m not so sure I was meant to be a mother. Nobody knows.

I remember perfectly when my son was born. I can tell you my birth story in detail, which I’m sure I will sometime. But I cannot tell you that amazing connection mothers feel the moment they hold their children. I can’t tell you about that because I didn’t feel it.

I just wanted to go to sleep. I looked over at my darling boy, said he looked like his father, and passed out.

When the nurses brought him to my room so I could take care of him, I kept asking them to take him away. I wasn’t ready. I needed more sleep, more time.

Slowly that connection, that amazement, came. My son was in the hospital for two weeks after he was born. When I sat with him in the nursery I would hold him and stare at him for hours. No one else wanted to come visit because it was boring for them to watch me stare. He was perfect, couldn’t they see?

newborn sleeping

I got lucky. I had an easy baby. I loved being a mom. I loved watching him explore the world around him and take everything in; I loved being there for major moments; I loved how he would curl his body into mine for comfort. I had never known a love so strong. I was obviously meant for this.

But now, now things are different. And I haven’t yet told anyone.

Now I get bored watching him sleep. I get excited for the milestones, but only because finally the hard work of getting there is over. I get uncomfortable when we cuddle and crave a cigarette more than his warmth. I get so irritated when he always comes to me for comfort — why can’t he go to Jack?

I feel like a failure. I feel like I don’t belong. I feel like, maybe, someone made a mistake. Maybe this isn’t what I was supposed to do. Maybe I’m not cut out for this.

Maybe I’m not cut out for the sleepless nights and the tantrums. Maybe I’m not cut out for being late to every single thing I ever try to do. Maybe I’m not cut out for struggling to get shoes on for half an hour, or meticulously teaching every letter a thousand times, or wiping the same butt for the millionth.

I feel like I’m suffocating. Truth be told, I still have it easy. My son is a good kid, an easy kid. So why is this so damn difficult?

I wake up and he’s there. I go to the bathroom and he’s there. I smoke a cigarette and he’s there. I try to eat a piece of chocolate and he takes it. I go to sleep and he steals my spot. Every moment of my life is centered around this fabulous being.

Don’t get me wrong, I know he’s amazing. I adore him. And I make sure he has all that he needs. But I do not feel like a good mother. I feel like I’m failing him. I feel like I don’t love him enough, even though I know that I do.

I feel like this should be easier. I feel like I’m waiting for a day that will never come. I feel like I should cherish our moments far more than I do.

I feel like I’m not cut out for this, but I push through because I know I have to be.

I just hope I get that initial spark back. I hope I can love him the way I’m supposed to. I hope this will stop, someday.

And maybe that hope means I am cut out for this, after all.

baby swing

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This post is part of the Confessional Series, written by Tempest Rose. To submit your own, please head over to The Confessional page.

 

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How Voting Made Me a Better Parent

You may have noticed the fancy new I Voted widget on the top of my sidebar.

I voted

I’m just going to throw this out there even though it’s not really politically correct to talk about these things or something — I’m a Democrat. That should come as no surprise to any of you and if it does, well just whose blog have you been reading?

Anyway, I vote. I’m a big voter. I was one of those preteens and teenagers who got physically sick at the thought of not being able to vote, so I gathered every possible source of information on all of the candidates every voting period and sent it all to my friends and family and hounded them to vote. The thrill, for me, wasn’t even about getting them to vote for my candidates, but getting them to vote for theirs, even if their views were wildly different from mine.

Nowadays I don’t do as much digging or as much hounding, because let’s face it — I’m not really friends with all too many people and those who vote, do and those who don’t, don’t; there’s not much I can do about it after all these years. I still post on Facebook and try to explain why I’m leaning towards certain people but hell, even I sometimes blindly vote Democrat simply because I know they basically care about the same issues I do and I know I don’t like the Republicans’ point of view. It’s that simple.

But I still get out there and vote, every single time.

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My father and I, while getting along great lately, do not agree on politics. At all. We get into heated debates and have recently finally agreed to disagree.

So it came as quite a shock when, after not speaking about this election whatsoever, yesterday my dad comes to me and says “If you vote Democrat I’m kicking you out. Seriously, I will disown you.” When he said seriously he meant it.

At first I thought maybe I wouldn’t vote this time. Missing one election can’t be that big of a deal, right? I would just stay home and all would be okay. I told my dad I just wouldn’t vote and he was happy and I was happy and all was well in the world.

Until I saw a friend post this on Facebook:

democrats who stay home elect republicans

And then I thought Fuck, he’s right. This is exactly how I used to think. I wasn’t getting soft, was I?

I didn’t want to lie to my father, but I didn’t mind omitting certain details of my day. I made up an elaborate plan to sneak out my window and vote. Seriously. Then my dad went in his room and Jack told me he needed cigarettes so I just used a WaWa run as an excuse.

I voted. I voted Democrat. And no one in my house has any idea.

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I don’t know what will come of this election. I don’t know if my dad will find out that I voted, or, if he does, if he’ll actually kick me out. I don’t know much of anything, really.

But one thing did come out of tonight. I learned something I will never say to my son.

I will never, ever, never ever ever tell my son I will disown him for standing up for his beliefs. Even if they differ wildly from my own.

I will love him regardless. I will support him immeasurably. I will put aside my love for my country, the country I want, if it ever interferes with my love for my son. (Please note: this does not include him committing crimes like murder or treason or terrorism or anything, so don’t read too into this.)

My son comes first. Getting out and voting comes second. Who he votes for, or who I vote for, doesn’t even pale in comparison. It’s not on the list.

I will never force my son to choose between his beliefs and me. Because I will raise him to be a strong, independent man who can make up his own mind, and I will trust him. I will trust him to know that voting is important. I will trust him to know which issues matter the most to him. I will trust him to use his mind for good, even if his version of good is different from my own.

I will never disown him, because he will always be mine.

Holden Nonsense Shenanigans

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Confession: I Don’t Blame My Mother

I recently wrote a confession about my problems with my stepfather. (I seriously recommend reading it before continuing with this post.) Some people commented that my mom was pretty fucked up for allowing such things to happen. Which is a completely, perfectly reasonable and expected response. Only I didn’t expect it.

Because I don’t blame her.

I used to; I used to be bitter towards her and wonder why she never did anything to prevent the damage that was done to me or step in when I mentioned the horrible things her husband had put me through.

But then I grew a little older and got to know her, and him, and myself better. Now I have nothing but love and admiration towards her. I’m amazed by her.

My mother and I are similar in many ways. We look the same, we pick through trash, we’re creative, we’re both a little wacky in our beliefs and demeanor and are very loud (though that’s a family trait). But we’re also incredibly different.

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What’s Wrong with Kids Today

I live two blocks away from a bunch of fields and sports-areas. Football, cheerleading, track, softball, baseball, soccer, hockey. There’s a designated field or area for each sport. It’s nice and all, in that it’s a kid-friendly neighborhood, but it’s also highly annoying.

A few weeks ago Holden and I decided to walk down and watch a baseball game. Holden loves baseball so I thought it’d be good for him. I was wrong.

The kids playing couldn’t have been older than ten. But balls were flying over the fence like crazy — I was slightly afraid for my child’s life.

One of them accidentally slid right into another one. The sliding one look frazzled and slightly embarrassed as he slowly regained his balance and stood up; the slid-into one turned fucking red and stormed off.

His parents just happened to be standing right in front of me. The mom went off to see if he was okay, and when she returned she proudly announced that her baby boy said “he’s lucky I didn’t fucking hit him!” Then they continued to talk about how awesome their kid was and how horrible the other one was, and how they kind of wanted to hit him themselves. All because the other kid accidentally slid into theirs. Acci-fucking-dentally.

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The Other Woman (On Forgiveness)

dear nikki (2)

 

I’ve tried. I have. But I just can’t understand what you did. I can’t understand it, I can’t support it, I can’t respect it. I can’t agree to disagree about it. What you did was wrong.

I might, however, be able to forgive it.

I know you were suffering with Bipolar disorder. And I know what that’s like, because I too am afflicted by the same illness. I know sometimes it feels like the best thing really is for your children to be away from you. But I don’t know how someone could abandon their children, I just don’t.

Holden is a little older than Nathaniel was when you first left. I couldn’t imagine not having him in my life. There are times I want to lock him in a closet. There are times I wish someone would just take him, or me, away for a while. But never forever. Never for a year with no contact.

At the time, I couldn’t even bear the thought of being without your kids for more than a week or two. Even now I can’t bear the thought of it, but I have to live with it.

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