Dear Mom: Come Home Soon

Alright, this is pathetic, frankly.

My mother has been out of the country at my cousin’s wedding in the Dominican Republic since Sunday morning. And today, about 3 p.m., was when I reached my ‘ok, you can come home now’ limit.

Don’t think that my Dad’s not with her – he totally is. But I don’t talk to my Dad EVERY day. I talk to my Mom EVERY day. At least once. If not eight times — because some days call for that many phone calls.

Some days, I regress and call her eight times until she picks up the phone because I frankly can’t believe there’s anything ELSE she would rather be doing than talking to me.

Spoiled, I know.

But – and I’ve been thinking about this for some time now – I sincerely hope that I am the kind of Mom my Mom is — that Elle and I grow into the same kind of relationship that she and I have. It would be a shame not to, really.

So, there’s my big woe-is-me today.

Come on – at least I’ve got my Mom to call still, to talk to. At least I know I’ll see her again on Saturday morning. Lots of people don’t have that. So I know that I’m lucky.

But that doesn’t change the fact that I want my Mom to come home soon.

I’ve come to know this as a mother myself — but sometimes a girl just needs her Mom.

Mommy Confession #1

It’s supposed to be that a mother loves motherhood above all things and her child more than that, even.

And I do.

I find being Elle’s Mom completes me in a way I didn’t expect that it would.

However, I have a confession.

Last night, we were across the street at Rick & Jen’s (Jon’s brother and his gf) having dinner, grilling out and having a bonfire. It was awesome. Perfect laid back Saturday night in which I drank far too much wine. Which could be a confession in itself.

But, here’s the real one.

The fire was beginning to flame, Elle had awoke from what I thought was down-for-the-night sleep and Jon’s Mom and Dad, who’d come over, were taking turns hanging out with her outside, wrapped in a few layers of blankies.

It was getting very dark and very cold.

It was time for Elle to sleep.

My wine glass had about 3 sips left in it.There was more wine to be drunk and the fire was really starting to flame.

Elle becomes extremely irritable and I take her inside to rock her/feed her/soothe her/lay her down, etc. And as I lay there on the living room floor where Elle was dozing off to sleep, I wondered how long I’d been in there. Wondered if anyone missed me at the fire.

So I confess, I wanted to be doing cool shit, like hanging out by the fire, not laying on the floor of Rick & Jen’s living room, hoping against hope that Elle would fall asleep and stay asleep.

I realized in those moments, alone in the quiet of their house, that a mother’s job is to sleep a little less in order to get to do both the ‘cool shit’ and the required Mom stuff. I thought back to growing up, my younger cousins, my aunts disappeared inside the cottage for stretches at a time, and then reappearing to continue sitting by the fire/around the counter/around the table.

Sometimes, you have to hit pause on the cool things you’re doing as a Mom and do the Mom things that aren’t as cool. Because that’s what we sign up for when we take on this whole Motherhood challenge.

I confessed this last night around the fire and I said that people should talk about it being ok to feel this way sometimes, because it IS ok to feel that way sometimes. Jon’s Dad (who I love, btw) said he thought it was ok to feel that way but not to say it out loud. Which convinced me that I was writing it here – because some days, mom friends reading this, there are interludes where you may want to be, you know, sleeping instead of rocking your baby, reading a book instead of making a bottle, enjoying a glass of wine instead of changing a diaper. And that is OK. It is normal. It is healthy. And there’s no need to not do the cool shit — you just have to fit it in around the Mom stuff some times.

The guilt that comes with motherhood is absolutely unparalleled to anything else of which I’m aware. Doesn’t mean that I don’t love being Elle’s Mom and that I don’t love motherhood itself — it simply means that I’m searching for balance and finding it is hard. 🙂

 

 

 

 

In General, Today

Just a few thoughts top of head…

Valentine’s Day has come and gone. I was not here on the actual day to celebrate with Elle, but…such is my life right now. However, I got home today and started going through Elle’s lunchpail (it’s the thermal tote from thirtyone with her name on it, a gift from Molly). There’s a whole little white lunch sack folded up in the bottom of her lunchpail and I realize: IT CONTAINS VALENTINE’S.

Shit.

I saw the signs at the daycare when I was dropping off/picking up in the lead up to Valentine’s Day. I even thought ‘that’s nice that they do that for the bigger kids’ and went on my way. I got Valentine’s Day cards printed and mailed them (real mail!) to her friends and relatives. But I did NOT purchase the cliche box of Valentine’s and give them to the kids in the infant room.

So, I’ve been trying to decide if I feel like an asshole mother for not doing this. Will the other mothers judge me that their kid didn’t get the same amount of Valentine’s as they gave? Will their kid even know the freaking difference?! I guess I felt that I really was ahead of the game by sending out real live Valentine’s early…and then I return from the road today and just feel like a giganto-turd-Mom.

Oh well.

There’s always next year, I suppose.

~~~~~~~~~

I kid you not – I began thinking of things to do for Elle’s first birthday party (mark your calendars friends and family, October 13, 2012 is right around the corner). [Elle’s birthday is definitely the 14th, but I already evaluated dates and the 13th is it].

Seriously?

Seriously.

And then I tried to minimize my own judgement on myself by thinking ‘well, if I decide on a theme NOW I can pick up items on sale/clearance as I find them’. Which sounds good IN THEORY but I’m not a huge bargain shopper and have a tendency to change my mind. So it’s much more likely that I’ll just wind up with party decor for three different first birthday parties.

I even went so far as to Google the football schedules for Michigan/Michigan State to see if Elle’s birthday could have a football rivalry theme (nope – Michigan play Illinois; Michigan State plays Iowa).

~~~~~~~~~

I get to meet Holden this weekend (I’m hoping!). A fresh, new, cuddly little guy. So excited to meet him!

~~~~~~~~~

Last night, my Mom was watching Elle because Jon had a meeting to go to. Jon had called my Mom earlier in the week to coordinate this plan – which I was so proud/glad that he had done.

I called my Mom earlier in the day while she was still at work and asked her if she would call me later, when she was with Elle, so I could talk to Elle before she went to bed.

My Mom called me on her way home from work to catch up and say she was on her way to see Elle (who was with my Dad and Grandma) and have dinner. I asked her again to call me later on and she says she will.

I watch the clock. It’s 7 p.m. so I go to the gym at the hotel. I get in a 30 minute work out and figure that I’ll hear from my Mom any time. I wait. I text ‘hey don’t forget to call me and let me talk to elle’.

Nothing.

I think, well, they did go to my Grandma’s for dinner, so they must just be hanging out…can’t believe that Elle’s not cranky for them.

Finally, at 9 p.m. (which is about an hour after Elle’s bedtime) I call my Mom.

She reports that Elle got a bath, got her medicine, is sleeping soundly…and I’m in tears on the other end of the phone, in a Homewood Suites in Indianapolis, hundreds of miles from my baby for the second night in a row.

I finally manage to collect myself enough to remind my Mom that she was supposed to call me and let me talk to Elle.

Silence.

She had TOTALLY forgotten.

I made my Mom feel bad (which was not the point, but it did make me feel better since I felt so rotten, at least I had someone else in the rotten trenches with me…) but I was so disappointed.

It’s SO FREAKING HARD to be away on all these over nights. I need to find a job that doesn’t require me to travel each week; find a way to be home, develop a consistent schedule for our family. But, I also need to pay the bills and this is the way. This is what it is. I have to do it. And it SUCKS friends. It totally SUCKS. I cry every night when I’m gone. I cry as soon as I get home and see my happy, smiling girl.

I forget that it’s only been about five weeks since I returned to work and I’m still working out exactly how this will play out…but it’s hard to be optimistic when I’m spending SO MUCH time away from my girl.

And then, you read those dumb baby websites and the emails you sign up for from them and they’re talking about perhaps the best way to celebrate your baby’s first birthday is with your FIRST OVERNIGHT away from your child.

HA!

If only.

If only.

~~~~~~~~~

That’s all – good night.

“I Don’t Know How You Do It”

This conversation took place yesterday afternoon over the phone, as I’m traveling for work…

Me: “How’s Girlfriend doing?”

Jon: “Good. … … I don’t know how you do it, get anything done with her around. She falls asleep, I set her down in her chair and she wakes up in like a half hour.”

Me: “Yeah, you have to learn how to get things done in 30-45 minute increments, because some babies sleep for long stretches, some are cat-nappers. I think we’ve got a cat-napper.”

Jon: “Seriously. It’s long enough to make a sandwich and eat it and that’s about it.”

Me: “Being a stay-at-home-Mom is hard work, isn’t it?”

 

This conversation was awesome. Loved it, every minute of it. Wanted to capture it for posterity’s sake.

Happy Thursday to all!