I really think I suck

And here's why:

Sometimes I ignore Hawk's attempts to get my attention because I'm doing something else - and not something else like cooking or driving where I really should keep doing what I'm doing - but things like writing, checking email, diddling with my phone. Basically, anything internet-related.

I feel badly about this when I do it during "Hawk time," otherwise known as any-time-NOT-sleeping. I should squeeze this stuff in while he naps, right?

I don't know how WAHMs do it. How can they possibly squeeze a full workday into naps? And what if they have multiple kids on multiple napping schedules?? Oy.

Today I've been feeling particularly bad about myself. This morning I woke up at 6 and instead of getting out of bed to workout I just laid there staring at the ceiling listening to my morning radio show (thanks JB & Sandy!). When I heard Hawk fuss at 7, I checked on him, made sure he had his paci and went back to bed. Of course I laid there and felt worse about myself for not getting up all the way especially since the lil' guy was up and at 'em. My hope was that he'd fall back asleep and I could workout. But that, of course didn't happen. He fussed for a minute or two then dozed and finally woke up saying, "Mama! Mama!" 20 minutes later.

My head stung from too much/not enough sleep and my whole body ached from working out the day before. I just wanted to sink as deeply into my mattress as possible, hope Hawk would be ok, and just be utterly lazy for a minute. My attempt at this was ruined by my own conscience telling me to get off my stupid ass and get my warm, sweet baby out of bed.

After breakfast, normally Play With Hawk Time, I sat down here, at the computer, and started checking in.  Hawk, good natured as usual, was running around touching things and playing with toys and then returning to my knee and patting it and putting his head on it as he mumbled softly, "Mama," and still I typed. I threw him a bone or two and rubbed his back when he'd be at my side, but I forged on in my determination to pretend he wasn't here.

Then, my conscience came back again - and my right mind - and so I closed out the computer and gathered up Hawk and headed out for some early morning errands. By the time I got home an hour or so later it was all I could do to take his shoes off, close his blinds, race through a book, settle him in his crib and sit - you guessed it - right back in front of the fucking computer.

It's been like a drug to me all day. I crave it like nobody's business. It's like some sort of island oasis of intellect and stimulation for me and while it's nurturing the big girl in me, I feel it's also shitting on the mama in me. I took the Facebook and Twitter apps off my iPhone because I found myself checking it obsessively throughout the day like a tweaker - like I'm so popular I can't wait to be at home to check the computer. I embarrass myself - I would be at the park, a bright blue sky above me, my cherub-faced baby before me, the wind playing with our matching hair and on my fucking phone. Who the hell do I think I am? Can I control time and think I can just rewind these minutes, these moments, and get them back any time I want??

Today wasn't a complete failure (or FAIL, as the case may be), I was able to pull my head out of my ass intermittently.  Hawk and I had our first lunch date ever, I took him to the park, I read to him before his morning nap and before bedtime when all I really wanted to do was plop him down in his crib and run.

How the fuck to military mothers do it? With partners deployed for months or even years at a time? Being stay at home moms 24/7 all alone, presumably far from family and friends. I'm 12 days in and I'm going bat-shit crazy. And don't get me wrong, I LOVE being a round-the-clock mom - I mean, aren't we all? But with a partner, at least I get a sense of relief.  Rooster bathes him, might take a night-squawk check, changes a diaper, soothes a temper. Even if he is gone from 9-7 every day, he's still here in the mornings and evenings to share the load, to tell me I don't suck ass. I feel like a weakling that I'm so whooped. I'm struggling and don't really feel like it's justified.

It's only been 12 stupid days...

So, here's the deal: If I insist on feeling badly about something (because God knows I do) I'm going to make a point tomorrow to not let it be this. I'd rather feel bad that I let that receipt blow away in the parking lot yesterday or that I didn't recycle the cardboard toilet paper roll thingy. I'm going to focus on Hawk and on being present with him. It's all he wants in this whole universe anyway.

My attention is more valuable than any park I take him to or any toy I buy him. He only wants my arms around him, my eyes on him, and my energy with him. I think I can do that. No wait, I KNOW I can do that.

Do you ever feel shitty about how you spend your time spent with your kids? Am I the only one?? Or hell, this could even be about anything, not just kids. I used to beat the shit out of myself when I was in school - if I wasn't studying round the clock, then I was a bad student. *sigh*


  1. Oh hon, you are NOT ALONE! I work until 4 p.m. so during the week, I am with my boys from 4:30 until 10 p.m. when they go to bed. And even in those few hours I find myself complaining, and yes, even checking my email, etc. on the computer. We all do it. It's hard to be present all the time, you know? I don't know how you've done it alone for 12 days! I can barely get through a night alone with my two boys, as much as I love it. Don't feel guilty, okay?

  2. Hey don't feel bad!! I was at the park today and Mollie told me to put my phone down!! Yikes!! Anyways, I'd be willing to bet that all mommies allow their kids time to "play independently" while they do something not nearly as important as playing with their babies. Moms would go crazy if all they did was play with their baby 24/7! I do think that babies and toddlers do need to learn to play independently at times...
    Did you watch Oprah when she had a segment on SAHM? the ladies had written a couple of books on the topic, if I think of the titles/authors, I'll email them to you.

  3. No you do not suck. You are not the only one who feels bad for not giving all her time to her baby. Sometimes I totally tune out of Cave Baby, and I can even ignore her crying, because I'm so intent on finishing something on the computer. Then I feel it takes me ages to tune back into her and feel connected to her again. And I can't imagine how I'd feel if I was alone with her 24/7 for 2 weeks. Are you getting out during the day to meet people?

  4. Your comments are all encouraging - Thank you!

    And Cave Mother, Yes, I do get out... a little. I see my mom and step-dad regularly, and I have a friends that I see occasionally (for ex, a friend's coming for dinner tonight and of course I had my ill-fated trip to Phoenix last weekend).

    I know it's crucial to get out of the house each day, even if it's just to play in a park. I think I'd really go crazy if I were cooped up in a house all day long!

  5. Just visiting via Cave Mother and wanted to say that I totally get you on the lure of the evil computer. On a low day, I find myself sitting there tap-tap-tapping instead of interacting with the witchling, and I end up feeling bad about it. I prefer to use the computer when she's asleep (like now!), but if I'm tired, its lure gets exponentially stronger, I think because I'm effectively prevaricating about Doing Anything due to lack of mental resources. Ring a bell?

    Oh, and hello, by the way. :)

  6. First of all, thanks for your comments on my SITS day! Woo hoo!

    Now... you aren't alone. Every mom has felt this way. Being a mom is the best job, but it's also the most stressful. I've been a SAHM for almost 3 years now... and I think my life is stressful more now than when I was working full time!

    Hang in there :)

  7. You're not alone, and you definitely don't suck. I feel it every time I want to do my own thing after a long day at work. Heck, I feel it at work, even though I know I'm doing worthwhile stuff for our family unit.

    This trip has been a great example. I'm lucky enough to get to experience some amazing things, and when the workday ends (rather, if it does...) I'm on my own in some exotic location. Makes me feel a bit like an ass, especially when I know how hard it is at home.

    In the end, we all gotta do what we can do, and if you're putting your best efforts into being the best parent and partner you can be, that's worth being proud of.

  8. Hi Jessica. Yes, I've sucked too. But sometimes you need a little break to make it through the day. I have a son about the same age as yours and a baby of 4 months and sometimes the web is the only thing saving my sanity.

  9. I feel as though I wasted my puppy's entire 1st year like this. I wanted a dog forever, finally got one, and discovered this online makeup review site, and never spent any time with her. I feel terrible about it. Point of fact - she's 2 now, and she's sleeping at my feet as I'm on the internet now. Ugh. I feel so guilty about it I don't think I could handle it with kids.

  10. You don't suck...it's just the mom guilt and the mom love. Wanting to be the best of the best possible for our kids, and not letting ourselves off the hook for anything else.

    It's what a good mother does, and judging by how badly you feel in your post, you rawk this mothering stuff!