Last night, I couldn’t sleep.
Now, I am not one of these women who can’t sleep when they’re stressed. I LOVE sleep. In fact, most of my life I feel as if I’m scurrying around to make more time to write, read and sleep. When I pull myself out of bed and find those three dreaded figures flashing on my alarm clock, I hurriedly scan through the day to see if there is any possibility of taking a nap. Of course, there rarely is, so I tell myself I am going to bed as soon as I get home from work and let my husband take care of the kids. Sort of like getting those glossy magazines in the mail with expensive, cool clothes and pretending you are actually going to BUY half of what you marked. Then, two weeks later, you find it on the bottom of your messy kitchen counter and you snort and throw it away.
Back to my sleep.
OK, so my little one was plastered to my side and my husband snored away contentedly and I thought the following:
I don’t think I’m as good of a mother as I should be.
Yep. Don’t you just love it? The sneaky, sly voice of doubt having some fun with you when you just want to turn off your brain and sleep. I lay on my back, stared at the ceiling and made a list of all the things I feel bad about.
- 1. My younger son is still in my bed. I leaked this information to someone and was met with a surprised, “OH! You’re still allowing him to SLEEP with you?” Ummm, yeah. I am. I had a big talk with him when he turned four last week, and he made two attempts to sleep in his own bed, but it was too stressful for him and he ended up back in mine and I was too damn tired to do the proper Super Nanny thing and make him go back. Will he be in my bed when he’s 10 years old? No. That’s what I keep telling myself. My older son did the same thing and about 4 and a half, he suddenly stopped being scared and slept by himself. It will work out. But the night guilts cackled and tore through my mind with glee…bad mommy….
- 2. I am not spending enough time doing schoolwork with my older son. Yes, he’s in kindergarten. He’s amazingly eager to learn, and does his assignments quickly, and is involved in an after school reading program, but last night I remembered he wanted to read 3 of his library books and I told him I was busy. I then began an endless list of things I remembered I did not do with him: I’m supposed to practice with him counting to 100. I was supposed to drill those flash cards to learn site words. I was supposed to have him practice his name because he keeps putting the J in the opposite way. Now, remember, this was not the: I am the worst mother in the world I suck syndrome. This was the: I could be better if I just step it up a bit.
- 3. Religion. I am not a strict religious type. I believe in kindness and nonjudgment. I have practiced yoga and meditation, been involved with Buddhist concepts and come from a strict Catholic background. But, I have been reminded that this is the age to talk with them around bedtime. Teach them prayers. Talk about God or whatever is on their mind. Instead, after a certain threshold of time, I’m done with them. I kick them off to watch a movie before bed, or play, and then tuck them in. Done. The day has been long enough and I don’t want to extend it. So, I have been feeling bad about not taking the extra time and effort to help them learn more.
- 4. Miscellaneous Stuff:
- a. My boys sing the Spongebob song “Idiot Friends.” This is not a good thing. Whatever happened to Disney?
- b. My oldest got a children’s digital camera. We were looking at some of his photos and this handsome man came on the screen. When I asked who it was, he said, “Mommy, that’s Brad from The Bachelor. I took his picture when it was on tv.” OMG, he knows it’s my favorite trashy show on Monday nights and that his name is Brad. And what does this say about women? Will he think he needs to give them a rose when he’s older?
- c. My youngest tore into his birthday gifts and after a million presents I waited for him to say thank you. Instead, he looked up and said, “Is that it?” I swear he’s not a brat but where did that come from?
- d. I didn’t sign up to go read to the elementary school children for Reading Week even though I am an author. I want the day for myself.
All of these wonderful thoughts crammed their way through my brain. Instead of beating myself up, I decided to take it as a good lesson. My intentions are good – I aspire to be the best and give the best. Sometimes I will succeed. Most times I won’t. And being a mother means an occasional night going over the current list of bad mommy moments.
Does anyone else lose some sleep over the bad mommy moments? Drop me a comment and share. We are all in this together.