Thursday, November 13, 2008

Melancholic Day

I'm feeling a little down today. Maybe melancholy is the right word. And when I get like this, I start to question everything. The big thing today is am I being a good mother to Fritter? What happens when the new baby comes? How can I possibly give him enough attention, when I already struggle with it now? How much attention is enough, anyway? Danielle wrote a post a while back about playing with our children, but since Fritter is the only one right now, and I am really his only companion at this point, do I have more responsibility to give him more of my attention? Honestly, lately, I'm feeling more inclined to sit on the couch and read my book, than chase him around the living room. Not that I get much of a chance to sit and read, the time I had to do that before is now taken up by a much needed nap when Fritter goes down. And I do realize that the fact that I even get the option of taking a nap is a blessing.

His dad gives him quite a bit of this personal attention, by wrestling with him, and chasing him. I tend to read to him, sing him songs, and do puzzles with him. But generally, during the day, he's doing his own thing. Granted, he's usually right by my side, but he's still involved in his own play. I let him "help" me while I'm cleaning up the house, and he seems to enjoy that, but really is this enough? And does the very fact that I'm questioning it mean that it's not? I'm very grateful for being able to stay home with him, but when I get in this mode, I wonder if I'm really doing him any better than someone else would.

My patience is very thin today as well. Not just with Fritter, but with everything and everyone. I even got frustrated at the paper towel roll for refusing to give me the sheet I wanted without tearing it. :-) Maybe it's the hormones, and maybe it's just one of those days. Maybe I'll feel better after my nap.


Michelle said...

Children at this age do parrallel play. If he is happy playing near you while you fold laundry, or cook, or read, then you have nothing to worry about.

If he is misbehaving or having meltdowns often, then perhaps you need to re-evaluate how you spend your time when he is awake. Little pockets of one-on-one time are great at this age: 10 minutes of reading stories here, another 10 minutes of singing and dancing there, outdoor play for 20 minutes in the morning and afternoon. But you should not have your day filled with activities for you both. You won't be able to keep up after the new baby comes.

And that's not a bad thing. The first few months will have you doubting the choice to add another child to the family, but when you see Fritter's love for the baby, and in 6 months or so, when you see the baby's love for older brother, you will understand how wonderful it is when love multiplies instead of dividing.

Cmerie said...

Thank you so much for your comment Michelle. Sometimes I have a hard time seeing things clearly until someone points them out to me. And other than my dear husband, I don't usually have someone to do that for me.

I actually talked to my husband about this last night, because I was still feeling bad even after a nap. He helped me see that while I may not be able to chase him around the house much, the learning and experiences he gets from helping me around the house, and going to the grocery store, and even his independent play is important.

It's so easy for me to get caught up in feelings of mommy guilt. But I think for me, I have an especially hard time sometimes, because I didn't really grow up in a family that I can look to with questions like this. That's one of the reasons I really appreciate the kind words from you and others, and also the advice I get just from reading all your blogs.