Monday, October 17, 2011

Pressure of Parenting After Placement

Sometimes I feel such a back-breaking pressure. Pressure to be the best possible mother that has ever lived. I'm sure most moms feel pressure to be more patient, more loving and kind and more humbled than they are. For me, because of Dawson, I feel like I am somehow failing him (and Cookie) if I am not the most wonderful person and mother.

Ok, so here it is: I'm not perfect.

Far from it actually. I get beyond frustrated when Cookie does something I have told her not to (I mean is it really neccessary to throw the dog's food into her water every night?). Some times I wish I could throw in the towel (no, I cannot hold you every second while still stirring dinner and trying to get you juice at the same time). I feel guilty for being away, even though I know that working is what I need to be doing right now. I find myself feeling lazy for not going on lots of outings on my days off (Who needs the zoo? You've got Mommy's bed head to gawk at). I dont have the time or energy to make her home-cooked meals every night (hello microwave!). I probably feed her more junk food than what I should (another cookie? Sure, as long as mommy can finish folding this laundry). I get angry and yell sometimes, I used to have such a long fuse but she seems to know just how to shorten it.

Most days I come out of it all feeling like I have won the battle but am losing the war. How do people make this look so easy? What am I doing wrong here?

Honestly, the worst part for me is my own self-flagellation. I find myself thinking awful things like "what if I was just not made to be a mom?" and it hurts. I can write all of the posts in the world about how other people hurt me, but in the end the person who berates me most is myself. My heart aches for this little girl with huge eyes all day long, and then when I finally come home to her I find myself so tired and run-down that I cant enjoy being with her. I count down the minutes until she goes to bed and I can sit still for a few moments. I worry that by being a "bad" mom I will somehow dissapoint Dawson. I know he wont know right now what kind of mom I am. I guess I just feel like my choice to parent Cookie needs to be validated by me being the best mom. It seems silly now that I think about it. I guess lately I have just felt so burnt out. It feels like a huge effort just to get out of bed in the morning. Getting through the day is like trudging through quicksand. I'm stressed because of thinking of court with R coming up, and wondering what the outcome will be. I'm tired of working at a job I can no longer feel any joy in. I'm frustrated that I cant spend more of my time doing the things I love, like watching my Cookie-bug grow and learn. It's all coming to a head, and I am truly scared of what will happen if I dont get a break from some of this pressure soon.

When I was pregnant with Cookie, my mind was filled with all the wonderful things we would do together. All the things I would be a part of that I never had the chance to experience with Dawson. I'm learning through time that my best laid plans are bound to go awry. In some ways I am ok with it, and in others I wonder if I can keep my sanity through it all. Dont get me wrong, there are plenty of moments that make my efforts worth it (like her clinging tightly to me after waking in the middle of the night, knowing that having me close is a comfort to her as it is for me), and I love my Cookie for always. She is just getting to that age where she cant decide if she wants to do it herself, or have me by her side for everything. It's very frustrating (for both of us).

I know that many mother's have gone through similar struggles, and I know that this too shall pass. I know that there will be times when Cookie is more frustrating and times when she is a perfect angel. I know that I have some unhealthy feelings about myself to work through. I'm hoping that being able to write about it will be a healing process.


Sharon said...

Red, you know, I don't think motherhood is ever easy. I wonder myself about those Mom's that make it look like they have it all together. Like you, I also feel the extra pressure because of our circumstance. Whenever I get impatient or fail at something involving mothering Ava I feel as though I've failed our birth mom too.
Hang in there, just keep on keeping on and somehow things will get easier.
P.S. Cookie is really gorgeous!

Jen said...

Wanna know a secret about those Mom's that "have it all together"? They feel exactly like you sometimes. I am in the bad habit of comparing my worst self with others "best self" that they show in public. No one is perfect. We all struggle, we all have insecurities and our kids drive us crazy sometimes. That's life. Anyone who tells you different is lying! As long as we are trying our hardest there isn't anything else we can do. (I'm talking to myself mostly with this post--you can ask Jason about my breakdown a couple days ago) ((HUGS))

Coley said...

I feel this sometimes too, Red. Just hang in there and do the best ya can!