Book club– on being a bad mother one time

With the help of a book entitled Writing Motherhood, by Lisa Garrigues, I write this post.

Jeez, he’s only 2 years old what could I really have done, what outrageous act, or one of omission, could I really be accused of? He punched me in the chest tonight, right below my neck, as I dragged him to his bed for the thousandth time. And I plopped him in, again, for the 15th time in the past minute. Yes, I read to him about dinosaurs. Not just about tricerotops and the mighty T-rex but about the apatosaurus and iguanadon, diplodocus and parasaurolophus.

I can’t always reconcile my fake nice self with how I really feel but he doesn’t experience that so much. He doesn’t know about sarcasm. He’s not aware of the way I roll my eyes and walk away while people are still talking to me. But kids are intuitive. They sense tension and they pick up more than we initially give them credit for even at an early age.

Crying in front of him and fighting with my husband in front of him are my gravest concerns. Eventually, it will be slightly more okay, at least the crying, because he should understand that I’m human and not a rock. But my self control seems very important to his stability and it plays into the consistency, boundaries, and routine that make his days predictable and safe so that he can be the one to test limits, push boundaries, and explore.   

The last time I brought him into bed tonight I said, “enough is enough.” I threw in white bear and big brown bear and jammed his blanket in the corner of the bed. He pulled his pillow over himself and said, “goodnight daddy,” still goofing around.

I’m pregnant (my standby excuse) and I wasn’t nice to him after an hour and a half of in and out of bed. If it wasn’t for the fact that he’s night trained for bathroom use, he’d be in his crib. Be careful what you wish for.  

2 thoughts on “Book club– on being a bad mother one time

  1. Hi, Cynthia, I just returned from a three-day vacation w/o kids to find a google alert of your post. I must say, your words eased my own feelings of guilt about having abandoned my children (many years older than your son) for a much-needed getaway with my husband. I am the author of Writing Motherhood and so glad to see that my book has inspired you to put into words some what we mothers often leave unsaid. Alfred Kazin once wrote that humor is the writer’s armor against the hard emotions, and clearly you have a gift for delivering the truth with wisdom and laughter. So keep on writing–for your sake and ours.
    Lisa Garrigues

  2. really enjoyed this post. i felt your frustration yet the humor came through as well. i recall a night where we were training our older one to sleep in a bed b/c the younger one was on her way. i was 9 months pregnant and had to carry her back into her room over 50 times (i actually tallied per the book i was using to do it) man it was the pits. i finally told hubby he had to get home for bedtime – no more 11pm.

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