Can I be honest with you? Motherhood is kicking my ass these days.
Most of the time, I love being Charlie’s mom. He’s so beautiful and amazing. There are days when he’s loving and cuddly, when he smiles from morning ’til night, when he laughs at our funny antics. These are the days when my heart is bursting with joy and I want 10 more babies – STAT!
And then there are the days that I feel helpless and stupid and overwhelmed and generally bad for Charlie that he got me as a mother (pity party, begin).
First of all, he’s been sick since Christmas. That’s probably not true, but it feels like it. First it was a cold, then it was croup, then an ear infection, then teething, and now he’s having crazy diarrhea from the antibiotics – it’s never ending! I know he’s exposed to a ton of germs at my MIL’s school, and I know it’s good for him to build up resistance, but COME ON! I feel like I’m waiting to discover who my kid is when he’s healthy.
On top of that, my loving and amazing helicopter mama is kind of a helicopter grandma. I know she cares about him deeply – and I LOVE that she does – but I hesitate to tell her when Charlie isn’t feeling well (“He’s sick again?”). Then she’ll call/text throughout the day to check up on him (“How does he feel?” “What’s his temperature?” “Did he eat?” “What’s his poop look like?”). I know she absolutely doesn’t intend this, but I kind of end up feeling like a failure. Why can’t I keep my kid healthy?
Also, I’m at my wit’s end with the changing table. Charlie screams bloody murder when I carry him toward it. This morning he started thrashing like a caged animal and I almost dropped him. I’ve tried singing games, explaining what I’m doing, distraction with a special toy, and standing him up to change his diaper (not easy, by the way). I’ve even plopped him up there just to hang out. He hates it ALL!
I’m sure this is related to his development. He’s always been pretty independent, so maybe this is part of his distaste for being confined. Either way, it’s not like we can NOT change his diaper, and I’m getting tired of getting beaten up and screamed at every day. Please, someone suggest something else that I can try.
I just don’t have the answers for this kid. The other day, he lost his shit when I tried to put him on the nursery floor after a morning bath (the changing table was obviously out of the question). He would not stop crying no matter what I tried. The crying gave way to screeching/sobbing and pretty soon the entire neighborhood was up. Charles stumbled into the room (it was his turn to sleep in), and managed to calm him down.
People are always commenting that Charlie is such a happy baby. Sure, he’s a peach when he’s out and about and in his element. At home, I tend to feel like nothing pleases him. His toys are boring. His food is bland (and probably lacking adequate nutrition). His bottle isn’t made as good as when MIL makes it. I know I’m probably projecting.
This is incredibly cliche, but being a parent is so darn tough. As a chronic overachiever, I want to “succeed” at motherhood, but I’m far from having the answers.
Perhaps this is the Grand Lesson of being a parent. Charlie is doing all of the developmental things he needs to be doing, and I just have to ride it out. My son is not an extension of me, but his own being with important lessons to learn and complex emotions that he is far from understanding. It’s got to be really tough to be him!
So let’s hope that tomorrow is better.
It better be – I think my warranty expires after one year.