Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'm Not a Bad Mom, I just need a bathroom break once in awhile

This compose post window has been sitting open all day on my work computer. It's been open because I've been busy and I haven't had a chance to write. It's been open because I haven't been sure about what to write. It's been open because I forgot about it for a little while and just realized that it was still open!

I had a rough week last week. This week was shaping up to be even rougher but I took things into my own hands and I took a sick day yesterday and I went to the doctor. I got myself a Z-pack and I'm already starting to feel better. (I also went to be at 8:30 last night which could not have hurt!!) I shared my frustrations with last week on here and everyone was so kind and thoughtful and left really nice and sometimes funny comments that helped to cheer me up. A lot of people let me comments about how they understood what I was feeling with my Snow Day post and the kids being home with me. I got a lot of comments about how when we feel as if we just can't take our kids anymore, we're failures or we are bad moms. I felt that way, too. I felt as if I was not allowed to feel overwhelmed by my kids being home with me on the snow day. I felt like I was a bad mom because I just wanted to put them to bed or have them leave me alone for a little while. I felt horrible feeling those feelings. It made me feel a little bit better once I realized that I was not the only mom feeling that way. Then I thought about all of our feelings.

We are not bad moms. We are not horrible people for wanting some time alone. We are not failures at life because we want our kids away and out of our hair for a few moments in an otherwise crazy day. We are not terrible parents because we ask for a break from the fruit of our loins. We are human. Plain and simple. We are human beings who have our limits. I don't recall any part of "What to Expect When You're Expecting" saying that now that we've chosen to give birth we have to relinquish our rights to emotions that aren't pretty and happy. I don't remember "Pregnancy for Dummies" telling me anything about abandoning all emotions relating to feeling overwhelmed, overworked and over tired. My limits were stretched quite a bit last week. I really did feel as if I was slipping back into that dark place that I was in right after my daughter was born. My fuse was beyond short. I was a raving lunatic bitch and I cried at the drop of a hat. I couldn't stand to do anything, I didn't want to do anything. I just wanted to be alone and away from everyone. All of those feelings came rushing back and very easily took over my life. Does that make me a bad mom? I'm going to go with 'no' on that one.

I don't think my husband thinks this way. I don't know that anyone's husband thinks this way. I often wonder if my husband feels horrible if he loses his temper with one of the kids. I wonder if he feels like he's failed as a daddy if he just doesn't want to deal with the kids anymore. I wonder if thinks he's the worst parent ever if he just wants to drop the kids off at daycare for a little bit so he can get a few things done and sit for a moment or two. Part of me would like to think that yes, he sometimes does feel this way. The other part of me is pretty sure he doesn't. I think it has everything to do with the fact that he is daddy and we are mommy. This obviously does not hold true for every dad out there. I know there are dads out there that have these feelings, too. I know that occasionally my husband does have pangs of guilt as I do. I just don't think they are as frequent, nor as overwhelming.

These thoughts of guilt can sometimes overwhelm us as moms because I think we feel as if we shouldn't have them. I often feel like it is wrong for me to need and want a break from my children. Sometimes, I just don't want to be around them. I said it. I feel bad about it, but I said it. Sometimes, I don't want to be around my husband....or me for that matter. I am human and I have these feelings. I'm betting other people have them, too. We are not failures at mommyhood. If anything, we are the success cases because we are honest about our feelings. We let them out and we let each other know that our feelings are not unique or bad, just our feelings. I'm not locking my kids in a closet to keep them away from me. Although, I have locked myself in the bathroom to keep myself away from my kids. Sometimes we just need a break....and that's ok. I think it would be worse if we didn't need a break.


The Sports Mama said...

I actually think it makes me a better mom to admit (to them, even, sometimes) that I don't want to be around them for a little while. If I'm going to tell them that its ok to take some time for just themselves, where they don't have to deal with anyone else, then I need to practice what I preach, and let them see that.

Its the same reason I apologize to them for losing my temper. I don't apologize for being upset at something, just for how I handled it. Our children need to know that emotions, no matter how erratic, do not need to be justified. But that behavior needs to be controlled accordingly. Does that make sense? :)

Also.... I'm glad to know that I am not the only mom who locks herself in the bathroom for some peace and quiet!

Grandma said...

Bathrooms breaks are what every mom instinctively resort to when they are at their wits end. I did it with you and I am sure my mom did it with me (albeit she had some other reasons for bathroom breaks as well). God didn't make moms perfect and with unlimited patience and tolerance. God does give moms the ability to know when they are at their wit's end and the wisdom to know how to deal with that. Being able to say "I can't deal" is as important as having confidence in dealing with all of the issues that moms have to deal with. Wanting alone time isn't wrong not taking it can be not only wrong but destructive.

OHmommy said...

So true. We all need a break and we all feel guilty afterwards.

Check out this brilliant post that Cecily, My Chaos My Bliss, wrote today... she captures that very essence so perfectly with her poem.


Girl said...

I get what you're saying. While I realize the only job I want is to be their mom, I sometimes just want to pee alone or not have to buckle 7000 carseats when going to the store.

George said...

Sounds like you and your kids are better off having you stay a working mom

Stella said...

Wow, George, thanks for your vote of confidence. Actually, regardless of whether I choose to be a stay at home/work at home mom or a working out of the home mom, my kids and I are very happy and I'm a damned good mom.
While I appreciate your readership, your comment is not needed. Some things are better kept to yourself.

Stella said...

Thanks for all the comments ladies! Knowing that we're not alone in needing a break regardless of what
"type" of mom we are is so important!

Apparently, the bathroom is quite the popular place in each of our homes!

ladybugsnlizards said...

George is a man. (I think???) That means he has NO clue how a mom feels. And your feelings are totally normal. I have been a SAHM for 8 years and while I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, I desperately need a break sometimes. If a mom says she doesn't, she's lying (or on something really good. lol Kidding)

The thing is, everyone complains about their "job" once in a while. (Probably even George) No matter what you do or how much you love it, everyone needs a break. I know I do! Especially now that we have 2 weeks out of school! Ack!

So don't feel bad for saying it out loud. Most moms feel this way. Some are just afraid to admit it.

design by suckmylolly.com