Bad Mommy

I was reading Mama C-ta's blog and feeling like a bad mommy. She has some great shots of her little guy eating homemade smoothies, organic yummies and a variety of other items that have never seen the inside of my fridge. (See daughter enjoying a bowl of cool whip).

As you may know once you start the "Bad Mommy" chant inside your head it tends to get stuck on repeat. I kept thinking about the time I sprayed my son's head with Febreeze.

Son had acid reflux and could shoot a stream of spit up across the room, and often did. As a result, if he didn't get baths every day he smelled like a soured dairy product. I was a desperate, lonely new mommy and got a spontaneous call for a mommy get together. I doused smelly son with febreeze, his head in particular since that's where everyone takes a whiff on a new baby. No doubt he'll get some sort of febreezecancerofthescalp when he's 30.


"Bad Mommy" quickly segways into "Bad Wife". As I try to quell the simmering resentment I sometimes have (ok often have) towards husband. The man is a saint. He works like a dog for our family and wants nothing more than our happiness. That said, he still pisses me off. Dumb things, the thermostat wars, opening curtains that I want closed and picking stuff I throw away out of the garbage. It's nothing really. But it's everything too. Because it's a manifestation of the growing distance between us as I stay at home and he continues to work in an office.

As a stay at home mommy (with side jobs) my entire focus is on family. While husband's is rightfully split between work and home. So when he gets frustrated that I'm taking too long to arrange the stroller on an outing I remind myself that he's coming from the business world mentality of hurry, hurry, hurry to get things done. Whereas my job as a mommy is less like a sprint and more like a marathon you need to pace yourself for.

Perhaps the biggest "Bad Wife" episode comes from just wanting to be alone. Alone. Alone. Alone. To wake up to an empty house, a silent house. Some Saturday when I suggest that husband take the kids camping by himself. He says, "But don't you want family time? No, we should be together as a family." Son of a bitch, "My life IS freaking family time!", I want to yell. But I say, "Of course I do". Because I know he needs it after feeling disconnected all week. But my bedtime fantasies have evolved from hot sex with Vince Vaughn to visions of myself laying out on a towel, on vacation, ALONE.

My friend Carol has been getting sucked into the Bad Mommy repeat too often these days. From an outsiders perspective, she rocks as a mom. She rocks as a wife. But internally, there are days when she can't shut off the chant either. It's almost become a prerequisite of motherhood. I mean what if at your next playdate, when everyone is complaining about what they did wrong as a mother/wife that week you just said. "Well, frankly ladies I can't relate. Because I fucking rock as a mom." You would be out on your happy little ass, that's what.

So imagine my great and utter excitement when I found the blog, Her Bad Mother and her Basement. She's out there telling it like it is and I adore her for it. I'm personally sneaking over some of my husband's beer into her basement for a long chat.

14 comments:

Lisa Goldstein/Kelly Kelly said...

Amen. Amen. I feel the same way you do. My husband is also a saint. And when a vacation is discussed, I'm like, "Oh, yo all are coming too? How is that a vacation for me then?" And I feel like such a bitch. So thanks for saying what we all think and feel. Makes me feel not alone!!!

Lisa

Lotta said...

I'm so tempted to "win" a spa vacation for 1. I'll need to find someway to launder the $ though.

Her Bad Mother said...

Thanks for leaving your link at my blog - this is great! That desire for a free Saturday - for any free day, to just sleep in , watch TV, do nothing, ALONE - I know that too, too well.

We all feel like bad mothers some of the time. It's liberating to call ourselves out on it.

Nancy said...

Love this line:

"my job as a mommy is less like a sprint and more like a marathon you need to pace yourself for."

I need to remember it on those days when it seems much more like a sprint: good to slow down and pace yourself.

And I'm completely an introvert on the Myers-Briggs scale and NEED time alone like I need the air I breathe. It's tough with a job and a family.

Lotta said...

Thanks for the understand'n ladies.

Tuna Girl said...

I love this post! I sometimes get stuck on the "I'm the worst mother ever!" repeat. My best friend has a list of examples of way worse mothers that he throws at me every time I say it.

And I'm lucky enough to get away for some alone time but then I feel so guilty about it I can barely enjoy myself.

My husband wanted us all to go camping for some "family time" too. I just had to look at him and say, "Have you met me?" Camping is my idea of hell on Earth.

Lotta said...

Tuna - good to see ya!

That's a good strategy. "Um did you drive your kids into the lake?", "No? Well it looks like your doing A-Ok there little mommy".

Domestic Chicky said...

I LOVE this post. It says exactly what goes thru my head eleventy million times a day. I stay up late some nights just because I.am.totally.alone. I enjoy grocery shopping for the same reason. Our darling husbands get to physically and mentally leave work each day, but we just don't have that same luxury, and we NEED to disconnect. I try to go out each friday night, close to bedtime to make it easier on DH, and I meet a friend somewhere-seriously? It's usually the bookstore. Somtimes coffee. Sometimes the mall, just walking, talking, hanging out. I'll go by myself even. Just to get the voices outta my head. Great post Lotta!

leahpeah said...

great post. you said it very well. when the kids were little, i used to ask for 2 nights in a motel all alone for my birthday and christmas every year. i never actually did it because i felt so guilty....
i love her bad mother's basement.

jen said...

I was on the phone last night with my mom...in tears. I have been feeling stretched soooo thin and I feel like I am not being a great mom or wife or friend to myself. It SUCKS!

Lotta said...

Jen! Big hugs!

And we wonder why our children's therapists will blame it all on us. We have already laid the groundwork!

Veronica said...

Alone-time is absolutey necessary for my psychological health and I would NEVER give it up for anyone =(

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