I love my time with my daughter. She is the only one I will probably ever have unless quite a few things change for me, and so I appreciate my time with her. I am a hands-on parent, and really try to give her as many varied experiences with the world and people around her. I believe in learning through play, so we play quite a bit, and I always get whatever needs to be done, done, that way I can spend most of the day playing with her.
With that said, I am not a woman that should be confined to the home. I am not a never-ending cup of patience. Someone asked me if I wanted to nanny children while home with my doodlebug, and to that I say, “Hell, no.” For a day? Absolutely. Randomly for a few hours, here and there? Sure, I’m your girl. But there is no way on this earth that I was meant to care for a bunch of little ones at one time, unless of course, it’s in a classroom. I don’t want to wipe another kid’s ass, or have someone ask me to give more emotional energy, when I am running on very little myself.
I’m not designed that way.
I feel guilty because while I love my time with my daughter, I am not a homebody. I could never not work. I don’t know how people do it…I have been sick for three days, and haven’t left my house in four days. It’s a modern miracle I have not stuck my head in the oven.
I guess, like my father, I am a bit selfish. I think when people grow up not having their needs met, they become selfish to survive. That’s me. Selfish to survive. Of course, does this “survival” or coping skill work for me anymore? No, I’m a mom. I have been meticulous and scrutinizing and gone above my skill set to be a better mom. It is the one thing no one will ever put me down for. I am a good mother. I may be a pain in the ass, neurotic person. I may be an average worker or maybe an average writer, but I am a good mother according to my values and morals. No one will tell me different.
For some reason despite her being healthy again (she was sick), my daughter has been very demanding today. Nothing is suiting her needs. I feel like I am living with a miniature me.
I mean, a very blonde Napoleon.
I mean, a little me.
She knows what she wants, and how she wants it, and normally, she will make her demands, yet be reasonable about things. She’s a fairly easy-going kid, but she is opinionated. She is so independent. She doesn’t even want to sit near me, unless of course, she’s feeling snuggly, or some other kid comes to sit in my lap. If that happens, she just walks over and tells the kid, “No–move!” She wants to read on her own, color on her own, and sit in her own spot while watching Charlie Brown. She is more than I could have expected, and has more of a chance of being a confident and happy girl because she has two secure attachments with her parents. I guess I’m not doing so bad.
Right now, I have the ability to be home mostly because I cannot find suitable work that will cover daycare, and pay my bills. I manage with part-time teaching and freelancing, and haven’t quite gotten enough work yet to where it’s financially successful, but it keeps me from going down a rabbit-hole.
Some days, like today, I feel like a horrific mother and person because I just don’t want to be some domesticated housecat. I feel like my talents and resources are just barely used, and goddamnit, I want to do something with my brain. I don’t care about recipes, home remedies, or laundry. I’m young still! I have ideas damnit! I am not just a uterus, cook, nurturer, or nurse! I am more than how I am currently being defined, and more than how others define me.
Other days, we both are so very fulfilled through play, art, and socialization that I feel as if we are the luckiest people to be with each other daily. In fact as I write this, I realize my own kid might just be bored to tears with me. She might just be sick of this damn house like I am. Maybe she just can’t take coloring or painting anymore, and needs to do something else with her day, but I have been too sick to take her anywhere.
Maybe I am creating a mini-Laura.
I feel like I am drowning sometimes, and that I am trying to get myself to the surface. Other days, I feel as if I am managing everything and everyone just fine. I feel hopeful and know that my life has seasons, and that one day all my talents will be used accordingly and that if I just work hard enough, I will see the rewards, and have the benefits of a well-adjusted child with a secure attachment to her mothers. I know I will not fail myself or her.
Other days, I feel hopeless and wonder when my time will come. I have yet to even construct a really meaningful sentence about the end of our daughter’s potential sibling’s life.
I can’t write anymore about that, not because my heart will break, because it’s already shattered.
I do the best I can, and truly believe experience shapes the precious strands of DNA each person holds. I don’t think my daughter is smart necessarily because of what I do with her each day, but I feel she is smart because her genes wills it as such, and the experience allows her to develop these particular intelligences. (That’s where I come in, and of course, her father and social experiences).
I just hope on these days when I am not so patient, and not so understanding that one day she can turn to me and say, “It’s okay mommy. I know you’re nutty, but I love you anyway.”