I feel much better today. When I wrote yesterday’s post, I really debated whether I should publish it. I knew things would be better in the morning. I knew I would wake up with a fresh supply of patience and would decide against telling my mom to just keep Meg forever. The post was really depressing and I worried if I published it, you’d be worried I’m depressed or think I’m more worried or down about parenting than I really am.
I decided to publish it, though, because although the feelings I talked about were magnified yesterday, they’re always in the back of my mind. I think everyone worries about those things. What if I’m a bad parent? I know I’ll love my kids, but what if I don’t ever like them? Would I have been better off never having kids?
Everyone’s had a day when your kid(s) push ALL of your buttons and your insecurities about parenting come rushing to the front of your mind, right? I don’t worry that much about being a bad parent. But yesterday I felt like a terrible one. I had an extra large amount of patience, because Meg was sick. But she ran through it all anyway and by dinnertime, I’d had it. I yelled at her: eat your dinner! don’t throw food! stop whining! stop whining! for the love of all that is holy, STOP WHINING! And yet she continued whining. Because she didn’t feel well. Because she didn’t have much of an appetite and didn’t want to eat. Because she wanted comfort. So I started crying because I couldn’t take it anymore. I felt like maybe I’d never have enough patience to not yell at my kids. That I’d never get to just enjoy Meg because she never. stops. whining. But I’ve read a lot of blog posts about whining and I think whining is a mother’s Achilles heel. It seems to be the thing that drives us all really crazy. I do think it will be at least a little easier to deal with when there are more things I can do about it. When she can talk, I can say “use your words” or give her a time-out. It might not help, but it’ll make me feel better.
I know things won’t always be like this. Some challenges will go away. New challenges will come. But I’m a good mother. I love and like my daughter, at least most of the time. And although its natural to wonder whether you’ve made the right decisions in life, I have never thought I’d be better off not having kids. There’s just no way to know how bad the bad days will be until they come and you’re shocked at how hard it is to deal with a run-of-the-mill bad day (especially when you haven’t gotten any sleep). But the good days can be shockingly good, too. Its just hard to remember that when you’re in the middle of a hard day…
P.S. When I think about Meg growing up, I do worry about other ages. Will I be able to stand having a tween in the house? Will I like it? But I try to not think about it, because there's no way to know.