Thursday, July 1, 2010

Time For Some Uncomfortable Honesty

*Disclaimer: I am not fishing for compliments or validation. I am just trying to be as honest as possible about all of my feelings concerning motherhood. Promise. In fact, a future post will address my compulsion to be completely honest about the less desirable parts of myself and that this self flagellation is not done because I’m looking for absolution.

Tonight Z and I sat at our table eating frozen pizza while I sobbed none too quietly. I know I know it was very glamorous all around. At first Z didn’t know what I was crying about. He knew I had a pretty bad headache. He knew we were both exhausted because T is teething and was up crying in the middle of the night. He was doing all his regular things to make me feel better. Calling me cute, gently laughing at me, offering to watch a Harry Potter movie, “We could watch the one with Dobby!” That was a really big deal. Z hates the one with Dobby.

At first I was crying too hard to tell him anything, but eventually I got to the sniffles stage and swallowed my embarrassment. Today we figured out that T understands “Dada.” If you say to him “Thomas, where is Dada?” He searches the room until he finds Z. We also found out that he doesn’t understand “Mama.” “Thomas, where is Mama?” results in a blank stare. Don’t get me wrong, I am truly happy T understands “Dada.”, but as I told Z I am crushed he doesn’t understand “Mama.”

So yes, I am wallowing in self pity. I’m not proud of it.

At first I was able to make it into a joke. I told T until he learned I was Mama I was cutting him off-no more boob. But as the afternoon progressed and I kept making Z ask T where I was to see if he’d figure it out I started to feel worse and worse. Eventually Z told me to cool it. T would figure it out when he is ready. I know Z is right.

And I know I’m being a ridiculous drama queen. But as I explained to Z it makes me feel like T doesn’t love me enough. Or he thinks that I don’t love him enough or do enough for him. I’m a stay at home mom for fuck’s sake! I’m his go to person. He is almost 11 months old and I am still breastfeeding 4 to 5 times a day. I’m committed fully to this kid. I’d like him to figure out my fucking name thank you very much.

And there you have it. Motherhood doesn’t magically make you a less selfish person. My first impulse is always to be selfish and my fragile feelings are hurt so easily. If I’m going to continue to be selfish I guess I’ll just also have to be self aware. If I realize I’m being unreasonable at least I’ll be able to adjust my behavior and protect T from my toxic insecurity. With the never ending hope that if I’m self aware enough someday I’ll be able to stop being an over sensitive self absorbed child. Now that would be a pleasant change for Z.

T and his cousin Gabe wearing their matchy matchy PJs.


  1. The first time Jamie smiled, it was at the wall. Not me. Not the person who had grown him for 9 months in her body, giving up all her favorite foods and pastimes and comforts. Not the person who had pushed his 6 pound body out of her loins. Not the person who had been up every 2.5 hours for months to feed and console him. No, his bedroom wall got the honor of his first smile. And continued to for about 3 weeks until it was my turn.

    All I can say is, it's gonna be pay-back time when they have kids.

  2. firstly. i *too* hate the one with dobby. the fact that yer husband also hates the one with dobby just shows you have good taste in men and very much "snagged a good'un," as they say in alabama. or something...
    secondly. that baby. well. that baby is going to continue to underappreciate yer hard-working, nurturing, meal-cooking, diaper-changin, booboo-kissing, money-spending, mama-giving self until he's about, ohhhh,

    20 years old.

    if yer lucky.

    so. my thoughts? try not to take it personal. get thee to a therapist or support group fer what you call yer "toxic insecurity" and free yerself, mama! cuz yer lovely. and gorgeous. and a great great mama. and you deserve mountains and oceans and skies fulla of self-love.
    that's what i think.