Friday, June 25, 2010

Guilt


I'm pretty sure I'm a terrible mother. Twice at the park this month, someone has saved my two year old. Once, she had run to the street, the other because she had fallen from the toys and bloodied her lip. Both times I felt like such a heel. How could I not be standing by her the whole time? I did when I only had one. Now, this fifth baby is left to her own devices. Often, she is supposed to be with one of the older kids, but they aren't really paying attention to her. Also, they might abandon her on the slide in favor of the monkey bars--an activity she can't do. We have very busy parks so it is easy for her to get lost in the crowd. Even when I think I'm being vigilant, I don't have my eye on her at all times.

It's times like these, when others can be so critical of my mothering, that I understand the hermit. If no one saw my children, they wouldn't know that they had marker on their legs. If I never allowed visitors, no one would know that there is, right now, as I type, peanut butter on the girls' carpet. If no one saw my house, I wouldn't feel self-conscience of my unswept floor, her unbrushed hair and the kleenex blowing around the back yard that was the decoration for a "beautiful wedding."

I am under no illusions about my lack of parenting skills. I know I am not lazy, but I also know that because hair bows don't match and cheeks still hold the evidence of lunch, there are dishes in the sink and a broken bicycle in the backyard, it would be easy to assume that I was. It doesn't matter that so far today I have fixed two bicycles, washed a sink full of dishes, learned something about surfing, caught the escaping child 100 times, swept the floors, fixed a balanced breakfast, took the kids to the park, read some of my book, arranged babysitting and meals for a needy neighbor, and, now, written a blog post.

No, I am not perfect. No, my children are not perfect. But, guess what, honey, neither are you.

3 comments:

  1. We had a ward activity at a local park last week. Cannon was walking underneath some monkey bars and an older kid was crossing over them, swinging his legs to help him move across. I could see exactly what was going to happen to Cannon, but I saw that the boy was wearing crocs and it wouldn't have hurt Cannon too much. So I didn't move my "lazy, 8 month pregnant" self to intercede. A grandma there watching her grandchildren rushed up to rescue Cannon. I claimed his as mine. She immediately asked what number child he was--- #5. She understood that those later children are left to learn life's lessons a little more independently than the oldest kids. I think you're a wonderful mother.

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  2. no guilt no guilt

    Chay is the "protective" one. He is like crazy man watching every move of his girls when they are at the park or riding bikes...

    I literally can't be an "on watch" all the time mother or I will drive myself insane.

    When Chay tells me to be more watchful, I tell him to be more trustful- being over protective can make a child less confident...and have a lot more bruises...but I can live with bruises- the big bumps and cuts I feel bad about...

    I lack major parenting skills too...but as long as we are honest about it and not pretending to be something we're not, then I think our kids will sort of benefit from it...at least I hope.

    It is when Kenzie uses ugly words that I know she learned from her Mom...or you know- acts moody like her mom is moody...then I start to feel guilty...

    and so I keep on trying to do my best...like you and most moms...and I have bad mommy days where I think I ruined my kids for sure...but at the end of the day we say family prayer and read our scriptures...we read stories and I give them lot's of kisses and I pray Heavenly Father will compensate where I fail so miserably.

    I am pretty sure your feelings are universal...

    and you homeschool for crying out loud??? Hello??? Please no guilt...no no guilt please. You put us all to shame Emily.

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  3. I'd like to echo Betsy's last 6 words and April's last 7 words. And I'd just like to say that I love this post. LOVE it.

    Many thanks,

    The one whose 2-year old backed the van down the driveway and crashed it into the neighbor's garage which sent the Dept. of Child and Family Services to my home to interview us all which altogether almost sent me into premature labor.

    P.S. - Having 5 kids rocks!

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