Saturday, September 1, 2012

My (imagined) failings as a Mother

In my heart of hearts, I know that I'm a good mom, however there are still some days that I have doubts.  To start with, I still have a tremendous amount of guilt regarding the fact that I don't have custody of all the girls. Now, I know that my ex is a great father and they are very well taken care of, but that doesn't change the fact that I do miss seeing and talking to them every day. I have never been that mom that calls her kids from work every single day to check on them and that is never going to change. Usually when I do call, I get silence on the other end of the phone or a couple of them are busy and don't want to talk to me anyway. I've learned not to take it personally. There is also the issue of dealing with a 16 year old with her own social life who periodically texts me (not calls, mind you) to ask if she can skip a weekend for one weekend or another. This weekend was one of those times.

On the weekends that I do have the girls I almost feel like I have to make up for the all the time in the past two weeks that I didn't see them. I try to take them out places or buy them things as a result of my own guilt. I know that my kids don't need me to buy them things to prove my love for them, it is just a hard idea to get past. I have been getting better about just enjoying spending time with them... until they complain about being bored.

A well stocked craft box helps entertain bored kids

Today we had plans to go to Crown Center to do a little shopping and hit up Kaleidoscope which is fun and free. Win-Win. There is also the Irish Fest going on which I thought we might do as a backup. Of course, after getting no rain all summer, it decides to rain this weekend and with the Irish Fest going on, parking was at a premium. Oh, and we forgot to bring the stroller. We had to walk a little ways, but got to Kaleidoscope with no issue and the girls had a ball. It is basically a free craft bonanza sponsored by Hallmark that allows kids to go in and color and make crafts with paints, markers and crayons. After that, we walked around and were going to look for a couple birthday presents for Elsa since her birthday was last week. She said that she wanted to shop with me for her presents instead of me buying them for her. We looked in a couple stores, but she couldn't find anything that she loved. We went outside to inquire about the Irish Fest, but discovered that tickets were $15 a piece. So, back inside to find somewhere to eat lunch. We stood in line for a cute little burger place with a train theme and Miss Em decided to turn into a giant pain in the ass. She had started acting up a little bit while we were shopping, but it turned into a full blown tantrum. She quieted down a bit, but after we got seated, she got mad about the menu and started screaming. I was so frustrated at this point as was Jason, so we just decided to leave before we even ordered. This decision set Elsa off and she started crying and basically threw a fit the entire walk to the car. I ended up yelling at her on the walk (and I'm sure I got some dirty looks), but I was at the end of my rope. I tried to do something nice and it turned to shit.

Now that I've had a few hours to mull this over, I realize that this is not a result of me being a bad mom. It was Miss Em's naptime and she is a stubborn two year old with the capability of shutting down everyone's good time. Elsa's behavior is nothing new and will have to go in another post as this one is too long already.
Perspective is a tricky thing and it is difficult not be hard on yourself when you are in the middle of a situation with your trying, cranky, screaming children. I'm still going to struggle with guilt, but at least I am confident in the knowledge that my girls do know that I love them very much. I'm not perfect, but who is?

Since you have stuck this far with me, here are a few pictures from our day today.