"Thank heaven there is tomorrow. Because there is tomorrow, all our yesterdays have meaning and all our dreams have hope."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Little Mother's Guilt Is Normal . . . Right?

I wish Jack could have Gavin's mom. I feel like I have been two totally different moms to my two boys. It drives me crazy. I wish I could be now what I was like with Gavin. I felt confident, strong and capable then. I felt like I had patience and love towards everyone. I did things no mother should have to do. Made decisions no mother should have to make. And yet, through it all, I felt like I was a good mother. I felt like I had all the time in the world for my sweet Gavin. My life stopped 100% and I spent every moment I had with him.

I swore that I would always remain that capable and loving mother.

I don't feel like that anymore.

I feel like life has somehow swept me away and I am struggling to tread water. Try to keep my head above the daily chores of laundry, dishes, bills and other motherly duties.

This has actually been a sore spot for me for a few months now. I wish that I could be the mother Jack deserves. I don't feel as confident as I did with Gavin. I worry about what foods Jack should eat and fret about how long he does or doesn't sleep. For heaven's sake! I used to feed Gavin through a port in his stomach and change a trach. I would resuscitate Gavin multiple times a day. I did all of this for three intense months and now I worry about Jack crying in public? I care what people say to me when he screams for 30 minutes on a plane ride?

Who have I become? I am starting to do all those things I swore I would never do again. Gavin helped me reinvent my life. Helped define me as a person and as a mother. Now, I find that I lose my patience on a daily basis even though I swore I would love and appreciate everything that came my way.

I am sure there were angels that carried me through our time with Gavin. I am sure they were there to give support, comfort and provide the assurance that I needed to have in myself. It just all feels different now. People talk about a "mantle" when someone is given a specific church calling or position. I felt like I had that with Gavin. I felt like I could do ANYTHING.

Now, I just feel like a normal girl raising a little boy. I never feel alone, but I do feel much more insecure and doubtful raising Jack. I wish that Jack could have known me when I was Gavin's mother. But, for now . . . I will do the very best I can. And through all my weaknesses and mistakes I will make sure that Jack knows he is loved insanely by his mother. I will do the very best I can to help him be who he needs to be. Because really, nothing else matters in life.


Kevin and Natali McKee said...

I had moments like that and still do, not to your intensity because I don't think I ever had that "Mantle" but I felt like I was a good mom for my first. Then my second came and he was incredibly fussy and tried my patience. It can really be hard at times. You are doing great!

Kristina Whitney said...

I hate to tell you this but it doesn't get much better. The only thing that I can tell you is that it is GOOD to be worried and concerned and to wonder if you are doing the best that you can. That at least means that you are trying and that you want to do all that you can for Jack!! Good luck!

Teresa, Brandon and Xander said...

you will worry about the dumbest things for the rest of your life....I feel the same way, except I feel even worse when i lose my patience because i think of people who would give anything to have sweet babies that I got so easily, and here i am wishing they would just sleep and quit crying for 2 hours so i can have some me time....its a daily struggle for me too.

alli may said...

two totally different experiences with bring about two totally different experiences. A lot of mother's guilt is completely normal! Kids... gotta love em! :) wish they came with a manual. Lucky for Jack, Gavin's mom is his mom too.

Heather and Billy said...

First of all... you are NORMAL. Secondly, one of the most important things you can learn as a mother is that different kids need different types of mothers. Each child you have will need to be taken care of a different way. You were the perfect mother for Gavin. And even if you don't feel it now, you are Jack's perfect mother as well. Are you still going to fall short? Probably. But that's what God is for. Seriously, I pray every single day for Heavenly Father to help me to be the kind of mother that each one of my kids needs. And they all have very different needs.
So you don't want to be the average girl raising a kid. I don't think you will be even if you do the average and normal things. As your time with Gavin becomes more distant you will still be attached to him. You will still have that memory of what you went through and it will still always affect the way you feel- even if it's just in how much you care. That's not a bad thing!
And I do disagree.... It does get better. It gets different and there's always something to worry about or stress about or lose your cool about. But I think it gets better as your kids get older and you get to know THEM better because you can be more in tune with their spirits and better able to help them. Sure, the worries get more serious...We've moved on to worrying about bullies at school and teaching about stranger danger or wondering just how serious a phobia is and if a child has an anxiety disorder.
I know I said that my last was my hardest... He was my fussiest and he did try my patience the most. BUT it was easier because by then I realized that you just have to let some things go. My house might have been a wreck and my kids might have watched too much tv some days. But I had a baby who needed to be held all the time and that was more than some people could ask for. That time is short. You know it. My other kids were helpful and it was good for them too. While my youngest are my most troublesome and most mischevious, I don't feel like any less of a mother. In fact, I feel a little better because I am learning to laugh more and be grateful for more in spite of the times where I literally do have to lock myself in my room for a timeout. You learn to let go and you'll get the hang of finding what works for the two of you and feeling more confident about yourself. I think you're a fantastic mother! But I do think you need to be easier on yourself- Gavin needed a certain mother that you were able to give him. Jack needs another one and you are that one as well. Remember it isn't just that you are taking care of a baby or a child- it's that you are raising one of God's children that He has trusted in YOUR care and that will grow up to be an adult doing the same thing one day as well.

Heather and Billy said...

p.s. Sorry so long!!!!