Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bad mother?

Ok, so I am still upset over our counseling session with Gillian last night. All she talked about the whole time was how I sucked as a mother. I could have titled this post...How do I suck as a mother, let me count the ways. To hear her tell it, I spend all my time on the computer. She does everything (or Cheryl does) and I do nothing. When Gillian walks in the house at 4PM, I am usually on the computer checking mail and/or doing something for someone. Sometimes I am even (GASP) doing something for myself. The thing is, with Gillian, you can never do enough for her. I go out of my way to not ask her to help with Katie so that she doesn't feel resentful of her. I don't bother to ask her to help out around the house because then I just get attitude and it drives me nuts. Of course this sets Cheryl up because then when she asks her to do something she looks like the bad guy and I feel like crap because I have put it all on her. Nothing is ever enough. But to sit there last night and just list the ways that I suck as a mother was almost too much. Because you know secretly down deep, I think she is right. I should keep the house cleaner, I shouldn't let Katie watch as much TV as she does, I should be in the kitchen whipping up gourmet meals and have them on the dinner at 6pm. (Oh, wait, they really should be on by 5:30 so that they don't interfere with Gillian's karate schedule.

No, I think the real problem is me. I could sit with Katie all day and it wouldn't be enough. The house could be spic and span and there would still be something else to do, I could cater to Gillian's every whim and she would still be there with her hand out telling me that it's still not enough. I am tired of feeling guilty when I take time for myself (Like right now as I type, Katie is playing on the floor with her toys and I feel as though I should be down there playing with her...come on, what kind of mother am I anyway?) For the record, Cheryl is very good about coming home and jumping right in. If anyone in this family gets the bum deal, it's her. The biggest part of this whole problem is accepting that I am disabled. At 38, I am not able to do the things that most adults at this age can and it SUCKS big time. I am angry because of it and there isn't a darn thing I can do but accept it huh? Mayb

I am tired. I am tired of trying to do the right thing all the time. I am tired of the expectations that I try to hold myself to. I know that if you are reading this that you are surely tired of all the darn whining I am doing lately.....

OK...I am off...maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

11 comments:

Kerry said...

Wendy

I think you need to give yourself a break. Being a parent of an almost 15 year old daughter, 13 is a rough age for them. There is NOTHING wrong with expecting her to do chores. You have been through alot the last couple of months. Give her something specfic to do, Liz does laundry and cleans up the living room. Robbie cleans the kitchen after dinner and I expect them too.We have the 3 younger ones help as well. I stay home too but will not and do not feel guilty about asking them to help.

Judy said...

Never mind that I think you're one of the best mother's out there....

Sonya said...

Ahhh man this stinks!

I agree with Kerry... you should be able to expect Gillian to contribute around the house with minimal flack about it.

I'd also imagine that it is a tough age and there is probably nothing you can do that is right. I am so not looking forward to those teenage years with the girls. LOL

As far as the disability... This is one area I need to better manage my own expectations of my mother. It is hard! On one hand she keeps everything to her self... tries to make everything look "normal". On the other hand... it really isn't "normal". Sorry... I could go on and on. Sure, Gillian "knows" about your situation but does she really get it? I'm guessing it isn't at the forefront of her mind in every day situations and what she should expect out of you.

Maybe you could talk with her about the mother you really want to be vs the mother that you can be. Maybe she could talk with you about the mother she really wants you to be (the things that are important to her) vs the mother that she sees you as.

Good luck!

Sonya said...

clarifying...

I'm not trying to imply that you 1) aren't an awesome mother (because you are!) or 2) that you aren't being the mother you want to be... and only you can answer that one.

Personally in my own parenting efforts I find that there are areas that I feel like I'm not living upto my own expectations. In my mind I know how I'd like to respond or execute but I feel like I fall short. I feel like I easily fall into the trap of doing exactly what I don't want to do.

littlefeet said...

im gonna email you...

peace...

Cheryl, the other horrible mother! said...

There you have it folks! She's a terrible mother! Simply the worst! I know. I watch her with her children everyday. Katie is a delightful child; smart,funny,independent and HAPPY despite all the horrible misfortunes her bad mother heaps upon her! How can this be? Oh, I guess all those characteristics are inate in her personality. Nothing to do with the parenting skills of her BAD mother! And Gillian? If only her parents would be nice to her,(her words), aka, give her everything she wants, everything would be fine. Alas, she is doomed to a life of misery!
Love you sweetheart! And for the record, there is no one in this world I would choose to parent with other than you!

Gandksmom said...

Thank you all for your wonderful and supportive comments. I do just want to add that Gillian does have chores to do every Sat (along with keeping her room clean everyday) so it's not that she's not being asked to do everything. I will keep plugging along. I will be trying to remember that I am a good mother and what I can do is what I can do. Thank you all!

Sue said...

I get a lot of this from my five year old. She prefers Daddy because he is a pushover, he's around a lot less and always trying to make up for not being around by being more patient than he would normally be if he was with her 24/7. So she makes sure I know how much I suck when anything makes her uncomfortable or unhappy and how much better it would be if only Daddeeeee were here. It doesn't even have to be something I did, I was just in the room so I must be to blame!

It is, in part, a hazard of being the always physically available one, and the one who has to do so much of the discipline.

Did the therapist help the two of you communicate better? It's gotta be tougher at her age because I don't doubt that she can hold onto a grudge a lot longer than a five year old can. But still I know how it wears you down.

FWIW I think I know you just well enough to say you so do not suck as a mom or a person!

mommabrown13 said...

Honey, you are the best mother I know around. I also remember going through hard times with you and your brothers and sisters when you all were teenagers. But as someone once told me "this to shall pass" and believe me it will and Gillian will some day become human. Love you, MOM

seasonalkat said...

Wendy you are an awesome mommy, its the age...truly it is. Hang in there!!!

Dharma said...

Oh honey. It's so much Gillian's age. I don't know if you have worked at all with kids/adolescent, but they are so hard and even if you had and had forever it's so different when they are your kids.

Be gentle with yourself as you have additional concerns regarding your health that impact everything, and *everyone*, including and perhaps especially Gillian.

love ya!