my fault, mom guilt, and balance


the pitiful pup in question
it's been a rough month for the fadel ladies.

we traveled to north carolina, traveled back home, immediately moved into our new home, packed her up and traveled to the west coast for a week, flew the five and a half hours home as soon as she adjusted to the time change, and then she began the tedious work of gaining her last two teeth. we've also been living out of boxes with absolutely nothing organized in our new place. she's into everything and i've been the "no, no, no, marlo!" mom, which i absolutely despise being.

needless to say, this month hasn't been our favorite. it's sucked balls, actually. it's sucked really big balls.

and then there was last thursday where i experienced a professional high. i participated in the production of the holiday campaign for solerno liqueur (that i told you about here) and had such an amazing time being a part of it with two other mamas whom i respect and love. and while i should've been enjoying the day of hair and make up, wardrobe, drinking cocktails before noon, and living in the moment with a fabulous creative team supporting me and my gals, i instead found myself on the phone with my husband, crying in the corner because i left my sick and miserable babe at home.

the emotional dam collapsed.

not only did i feel the guilt of leaving my sick, teething, and growing-pains stricken little lady at home, i also felt the weight of the past month on my shoulders. her misery and lack of contentment felt like all my fault.

you see, i know my kid. it's my job to know my kid. she craves a routine and stability; she's just like me in that way and she's been this way since she was a wee little infant. so, when i give her absolutely no stability and no consistency for an entire month, what the hell am i to expect? surely, not my normally happy, silly, and feisty kid? hardly. i get the marlo you see pictured above, the marlo who isn't happy with anything, who thrashes on the floor until she hits her head and screams, who doesn't sleep, and who hits me in the face because she's so frustrated she can't see straight.

that's real life. that's my real life. admitting that i contributed to my baby girls' current state is real mom life. motherhood is all about balance, all about learning not only about your kid, but about yourself. i know that without a doubt. so, as i mentally prepare myself for this week, i just want to help my baby girl get adjusted to our new normal. i want her to be happy. i want her to feel comfortable. i want to be happy and feel more confident at this role. i want to know that i'm doing a good job because it's not a job i am okay with sucking at.

have any of you other mamas out there felt this way? how did you recover emotionally? how did you get your babe back on track? i'm desperate to know.

god, this job is hard. love to you mamas out there.


Anonymous said...

This is a heartwarming and heartbreaking post, Mama. You are so in tune with Marlo and, yes, that connection is part of our job as parents, but I believe the instinct is stronger in some people - you're one of them. Marlo is incredibly luck to have you.

And it's not your fault. I tell you this knowing that after several deployments and moves, blame for my family's inconsistent rhythms is often a heavy burden I carry. I'm still trying to find peace with it all, but I'm hopeful for the future. It's easier to tell ourselves that we're totally fucking up our kids, rather than pour a stiff drink at the end of the rough days and accept a big pat on the back because we're doing the best we can.

I do believe that just having you and Joe near is ultimately what Marlo needs most. Find strength and comfort in each other as you make your way through each day.

Hang in there. xx

Chelsea Mac said...

Lady, I feel your pain! We've uprooted our peanut, changed daycares twice and moved twice in 4 months during our relocation. It's been a hot mess. Some weeks are better than others. But I have learned to cut myself some slack, that focus on what our guy need is the most important (like I don't need to unpack that box if he needs to cuddle) and a glass of wine at the end of the day can be a lifesaver. The good news is that kids are resillant (not that we should take it for granted) but I am sure you are doing a much better job than you think you are. Good luck mama! And hopefully at the end of it, there's a girls weekend or night out or spa day or something waiting on the other side for you!

nicole gonzalez said...

Oh my love. We all have these days. Weeks even. Just wanted you to know I think you're an amazing mama and you are raising a happy, beautiful daughter and you should be proud! Love you lots!

ss said...

Oh mama, this is so beautiful. I, and every other self-reflecting mama in the world, can think of a time (or two!) where this was the norm. Ramona's downfall is sleep; it always has been and we had about a year and a half of terrible bedtimes. Tears, screaming, mama tears, mama screaming, apologizing, self-loathing. We have gotten through it and sleep is no longer an issue, but I still hold onto a bit of that mama guilt. You always will, but you have to balance it with mama pride in all of the wonderful things you give her, too.


Unknown said...

your introspection is more than most moms are doing. you're beyond a good mom with that, you're a great mom.

josie renee said...

*hugs* I totally related. From what I see, you are a great mom. Changes happen, teeth poke through, and schedules get thrown off.... what matters is that you are there as much as possible, and that your baby knows that she is loved. Which, it's pretty obvious that she does!


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