Count the Bad Mommies

Friday, July 4, 2008

Feeling Bad

Okay, I know every mother goes through this, and I know it's not the end of the world, but I am feeling a little [okay, a LOT] guilty. Today is The Kid's first time at day care. It feels like I'm admitting that I'm not capable of looking after my own child by myself. Not capable of being a mother, because I have commitments other than my child. The first draft of my thesis is due on the 18th of July, and while I initially thought I'd be able to study while The Kid was home, I discovered I cannot. He demands my full attention.
Which I have now just deprived him of. And dumped him with a daymother. It was slightly heartbreaking, I wont lie. This morning, getting him dressed and ready, he seemed to sense my apprehension. Either that, or I was mistaking his usual moans and groans for something they weren't.
I walked into the daymother's house, with him on my hip, placed him on the playroom floor, and another kid crawled over to him with a ball. My kid took one look at this other baby, opened his mouth so his dummy fell out and just started bawling. And then most of the other kids started bawling too. They seem to set each other off. The daymother quickly ushered me out with assurances that my child would be just fine, he needs to adjust to other children. I didn't even get to kiss him goodbye. I know it's probably better that way, and he probably would have cried even more had I picked him up, but it made me feel awful.
If not for my sister who was with me, I probably would have cried. I managed to last a whole hour before I called the daymother to check on my child. She said he was perfectly happy, had just had his breakfast and was smiling and laughing. I couldn't hear crying in the background, so I was amazed she'd got my child to be quiet.
Oh well. All I can say is she's going to have her hands full with that one. I know I shouldn't worry, as she is the mother of one of The Boyfriend's closest friends, but I cant stop thinking about him!
Tell me it gets better? I know I'm being such a wet blanket, but it would be nice to hear other mommies' first-time-at-daycare experiences, please!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Well hello there, pleased to meet you

I have been invited to join the Bad Mommies, and I can't pretend that I am not super-excited about it.

So here goes - my first piece of Bad Mommy homework...

1. Post a picture of your kid.

Jackson James. He was only three months old in this photo, but, to this day, it is still one of my most favourite pictures of him.

2. Tell us all 3 things we wouldn't know about you.
1. I really have only two major regrets in my life - a. I turned down a job as a TV presenter and b. that I realised I was totally in love with someone when it was too late to do anything about it.
2. One of the many things I have done is study to be a chef. I couldn't handle working in a professional kitchen though, so I quit to do my post-grad in Journalism at Rhodes University.
3. I have been told I have psychic abilities on more than one occasion, and sometimes I feel like I really do. It's kinda creepy.

3. Tell us some things we wouldn't know about your kid(s).
There's not much here, because I blog about pretty much everything that isn't too personal (my rules = no poo or penis). about this:
  • Jackson is almost autistic in his love of routine
  • he still likes me to hold him when he drinks his evening bottle
  • one of his favourite things to do is to look out of the car window and shout "allo, allo" to people on the side of the road
  • even though he is surrounded by women most of the time, he seems to have no fear/apprehension of men, I am very grateful about this
  • he is happiest without his clothes on and would be naked all the time if I let him ( probably knew this one).

  • 4. What quote/saying best describes the way you feel about being a mommy?
    My favourite mistake.

    5. Who's your Famous Mommy Role Model (haha, like there actually are any good celebrity mommies).
    Um...Britney Spears (JOKES, DUDES). I don't really have any celebrity role models, but I think Dooce and Mommy Pie totally rock.

    6. If you could have one wish granted for your kid(s), what would it be?
    That he have a good and kind heart.

    Wednesday, July 2, 2008

    The Stork Has Visited One of Our Bad Mommies...[Again]

    If you've all been wondering where MamaMeeA is... well, she's been hatching herself a new baby boy.

    Due in October. She's taken a bit of a break from blogging to deal with all the overwhelmingness of it all, and hopes to return soon.

    In the mean time I thought everyone would like to know, so they can wish her well!

    Monday, June 30, 2008

    It's All Been One Expensive Mistake

    I have this theory, and it seems to pan out mostly. Unplanned pregnancies have an effect on the way you feel toward your child. Women who plan their pregnancies are grateful for them, switch automatically into mothering mode, and seem to relish their new role. I also think that the kind of birth you have, affects your relationship with your child.
    Now my pregnancy was definitely unplanned and I never wanted to have children. Children, I thought, were far too much responsibility, far too much of a burden, and I was fine with being a single, career woman for the rest of my life.
    One month after having moved out of home, and started my second degree, my boyfriend of two months took me to the doctor. We discovered I was pregnant. At first, abortion seemed like an option. But then I felt a little flutter in my uterus, and realised that there was someone in there. Someone I had created. I dont know whether it was hormones, or whether I had bonded with this little collection of cells, but I suddenly felt protective.
    I couldn't picture having a procedure to flush this tiny person from my body. But at the same time I couldn't picture myself changing nappies and wiping snotty noses. But I insisted I was ready for this, and nothing anyone said could make me change my mind.
    I was determined to have a natural birth, no drugs as I was told this was the best way to bond with your baby, as once he's out, the doctors put him straight to the breast. And you also apparently feel some sense of achievement at having achieved 'the miracle of natural birth'.
    I never got my natural birth with no drugs. I had a c-section under general anaesthetic. The gaps in my spine weren't big enough for me to have an epidural. I awoke about an hour after the birth of my son. I wasn't present for the moment, and even though I have pictures of the event, I sometimes feel a bit excluded. Like I was the last person to see my baby, although I should have been one of the first.
    I had no problem bonding with him in the artificial environment of the hospital, where there were nurses on hand to help me out when I felt overwhelmed. I stared at my sleeping baby for most of the time I was in hospital and was in love with this little red-faced squishy thing.
    Eight months later when my baby only has eyes for me, and his face lights up when I walk in the room and he laughs and shrieks at the sound of my voice, I feel like a mother. When he cries, is sick, has made a really smelly nappy or is uninterested in his food, I feel like I was coerced into this mothering thing. When he refuses to sleep, play for a while by himself with some toys or doesn't want to know anything about his father and cries to return to his mother, I feel like it's all a little bit too much.
    When I realise that I have 18 days until the deadline for my 10,000 word thesis I feel resentful that my baby wants so much of my attention that I cannot devote myself to my studies the way I used to. I call this 'The Accidental Mommy' syndrome. An intense love-hate phenomenon.
    Every time he comes back from spending Saturday night at The Boyfriend's parents, I make a promise to him that I'll try my best to be a better mommy this week.
    I'll try to be more patient, understanding, playful, and less resentful of sleep/study time lost.Right now I feel like a part-time mother or baby sitter. Biding my time until he has a nap or its bed time, so I can do what I want to do.
    Perhaps one day when he opens his mouth and says 'mommy', I will actually feel like one. Until then, ever Sunday I make the promise.
    I'll try harder to be a mommy.
    I promise.

    Sunday, June 29, 2008

    Does It Ever Really Sink In?

    I have a friend who is a very new mother. Her baby boy was born last Tuesday. She has been battling like I never imagined possible. Seemingly no natural maternal instincts, no idea of what can harm her baby.

    It may seem judgmental to say that. And you might think that it's the pot calling the kettle black, and I wish I could help her, but her and her boyfriend seem to be refusing help. Which is very brave. I guess I have probably forgotten my own cluelessness far too quickly. Replaced it with memories of calm efficiency.

    Well. Mostly I was calm. Mostly I was efficient, although not necessarily both at the same time. I sent her a message yesterday asking her how the first weekend went. She said it was intense, she never ever felt that out of control about something. But what really got me thinking was the fact that she said she didn't feel like a mother, that it hadn't really sunk in.

    Then I realised I didn't really feel like a mother either.

    Where am I going with this?

    Simple. I want you all to write a post explaining when it is that you most feel like a mother. And when it is that you dont. When did you first realise that you were somebody's mother?