Thursday, January 27, 2005

Mothering isn't for Wimps

Yesterday I yelled at my son. The kind of yell where my throat still hurts. I am still sad. Yes, he was being difficult. Yes, he was being a pest. Yes, I was at the end of my patience, obviously. But, No, he didn't deserve it.

He was just being himself.

And -- this is where the trouble began -- I was just being myself. My self-ish self.

My son is a talker. A noise maker. A very verbal being who NEEDS interaction like I need silence. Yesterday, apparantly, I didn't want to be needed. But, that's not really my choice anymore, is it? We are such opposites, he and I. And most days, home alone together. The afternoons are sometimes very long.

At the root of my impatience with him is guilt. Guilt that eats away at me for not being a more creative, loving, selfless mother. And regret. Regret that I ever allowed him to watch TV, that I don't pray more, read to him more, seek activities that will stimulate his amazing brain more.

Pursuing my own interests & needs above his sometimes is what keeps me sane. But, doing so also makes me wonder what it is costing him. And us. What he will remember from these fleeting days. What I will remember.

Truth is, kidstuff bores me. His endless stories seem like nonsense to me. His running noise an assault on my senses. Someday, and soon, he'll prefer his friends to us. I know this. And, I don't blame him.

I know he'll not always be around. Knowing this doesn't change my need for solitude, time, quiet. But, it should change my attitude. It hasn't, really. Sometimes, though, he does.

When he climbs in bed with me in the morning to snuggle and hold my hand, I am reassured that he knows he is loved. That he believes me when I tell him I am proud of him. That he is affirmed, deep inside, that we love him for who he is.

He's a funny kid. An entertainer, a leader, a smart and witty boy who is learning to negotiate life and build friendships. He knows how to laugh and make others laugh. He's resiliant. I'm starting to see that he is a peacemaker at heart.

I still have so much to learn about myself, especially about being a mother. Guess I couldn't do it without him.


Katy said...

Sandra,thanks for your honest post. No mother always enjoys her role. We all get tired, we all feel disconnected from our kids at times. But your son sounds like he's doing great, and you're doing fine, too. Remember: nobody kicks Mommy, not even you.

Michelle Pendergrass said...

Oh I could have written that post.

Sounds like the same relationship my son and I share.

Thank you for putting this down. I know that I'm not the only one feeling guilty for letting him watch TV and not having his brain exposed to great things every minute.

I'm guessing that's my son's downtime, his quiet time. We separate and come together several times a day.