Tuesday, April 26, 2005
I need your thoughts
Lately I've been feeling quite guilty. I'm almost positive that my actions are due mostly to my being pregnant, but I really can't be sure. I know there are millions of people out there that can help me with this problem, and I'm calling on at least some of them to help.

Okay, here's the deal: I feel terrible, b/c I'm sucking at being a mom lately. I can honestly say that being home with TJ all day everyday is taking its toll on me, and that I had no idea how very exhausting it was going to be. I know I've said it before, but it's so much harder than working was! He has so much energy, and demands so much attention. I feel so terrible, b/c it seems like everyday I pay a little less attention to him and try to get him to play by himself. I feel like I'm short changing him, and I'm being selfish to want to ignore him so I can sit on the couch for a while and watch tv. Tonight when I opted to read a book while he took a bath (I sat on the toilet and just kinda monitored), I felt horrible afterwards. He's used to me playing along. What's really getting to me is that his behavior seems to be getting bad. I mean, he's a good kid, don't get me wrong, but he's started having these little fits all the time now, and he keeps ignoring me and doing exactly what he wants until I punish him. I used to just be able to say no and he would go along. Now I say no three times, then have to put him in time-out. After time-out he's alright, but I've gone from time-out once in a blue moon, to four or five times a week! His temper sucks, too. He's me when I was little! Oh, my poor Mommy!

Anyway, I didn't feel good a couple of days this past week, so we pretty much sat around the house and did next to nothing those two days. We didn't even go outside. I already felt bad about that, b/c kids need to go outside. I would play with him sporatically, but overall I just vegged out. So today I tried to make it up to him, and I took him to the playground and the library, and then to Trey's work to see him. He seemed to enjoy it, even though he ran away from me and had to go to time-out at the park. I felt so bad, though, b/c I really just didn't have the energy to play with him on the playground, which he really wanted, and he had to play alone. I told him I didn't feel good, and for a few minutes, he sat next to me and said he didn't feel good, either.

I know that some of my problem has to stem from the fact that I'm pregnant. I mean, my energy level has gone from decent to none in just the last few weeks. I can't even walk a set of stairs anymore w/o having to stop and catch my breath. Not to mention, the baby is having a hayday sitting on my nerves, so walking is not fun anymore, and every muscle in my lower body is as sore as it can get now. However, I feel like maybe I'm just being lazy, too. I can be lazy at times, I know this, and I'm trying not to be. I think maybe I am, though. I feel so horrible, b/c I just keep thinking I really want Trey's mom to come and take him away for a couple of days so I can sleep. Then I start thinking and feel bad b/c up until now I never was a full-time mom. I think TJ's tired of me, too, b/c he hates it when Trey leaves for work now, and begs him not to. I think I'm the mean parent and I'm no fun. That's not cool.

So maybe my question is this: Do you think my current behavior is just from being pregnant, or do you think I'm being lazy? Also, for those of you who've had two kids, did you have this problem? If so, what did you do about it? I don't want TJ to think I suck as a mom. What's worse, I don't want to stay this way and be a terrible stay-at-home mom. What if this isn't what I'm supposed to be doing, and really I should go back to work instead? Am I just being irrational b/c of the whole hormones and braindead thing? Please help....

Alright, I'll talk to you later. Have a great day!
posted by Christi at 12:22 AM | Permalink |


  • At 12:47 AM, Blogger Anvilcloud

    The fact that you are concerned shows something about your committment. your routines have changed. You are home. Ironically, this could lead to less attention from you because you can't be "with him" actively all day long. Can you set up specific "together" times and "not really together times," so there is some routine and some paramaters. This assumes that you are well. When you're sick, there's not too much that can be done.

  • At 7:15 AM, Blogger B$

    I don't know much about parenting, but here is my two cents.

    I think you being TJ all day might coincide with him entering a new boundry pushing phase in his life. You allowed to be tired and give him some alone time. It will make him a well rounded little boy.

    It's better to ease him into not having 100% of Mom's attention for when the baby comes.

    I think your doing great.

  • At 7:27 AM, Blogger Julia

    I can identify with what you are saying so much. It was especially like that toward the end of my pregnancy and Alison's first year. Especially that last trimester, I was so on edge I would just pray that someone would offer to take Andrew off my hands for a little while. The guilt was awful. Things are easier now that they are 6 and 4, but I honestly still have days like that, just less often. I'm sure it's even harder for you because you've been thrown into the full time mommy thing all of a sudden, whereas I started from the beginning and had time to get used to it gradually.

    I was just feeling guilty yesterday because I think Andrew watches too much TV, and whines too much and I'm the one that allowed it to get like that. Just know that you are not alone.

    Oh yeah, I just remembered that I read a lot of parenting books because Andrew was fairly wild when he was 2. The main thing I learned was being consistent about the rules and enforcing them every time. I found this incredibly mentally draining. Sometimes I found myself just going through the motions numbly because I was so tired and I was a afraid I might lose my temper and do something I would regret later.

  • At 11:11 AM, Blogger Tammy

    OMG, I totally felt the samethings when I was having my second child. "M" was 4 when I had my Son "E" and near the end of my pregnancy it was very hard. I was working and then coming home and having to care for her and the house. I worked right up until the week end before I had my baby. I was tired all the time and she was not liking the fact that I was not playing or spending the time with her like I used too. It was very hard.

    And let me tell you that for the first month that the baby was home things with her were not normal. She was acting out like she had never done before. I have never had a problem with her going into a store and having her act out because I couldn't buy her something and one day we headed out to WAL-MART and we had to leave because she was she bad. Screaming because we didn't get her what she wanted and she had never done that before. Whenever I couldn't get her something she would just say OK MOMMMY. But this day I was getting things for the baby and she didn't like the fact that I only got one thing for her. She wanted more.

    But the point I am trying to make is that what you are feeling right now is normal. Your body to going through so much right now. You are not being lazy you are tired. And now that you are done work you have become a full time mom and that is one of the hardest jobs there is. Your son is so used to having all of your attention and now it is getting to the point where you are tired and getting ready for a new baby to arrive and he knows this and now he is seeing you are at home and wants all of your attention.

    With my daughter I just found that she would like to just sit with me on the sofa watching one of her favorite movies or reading a book. Theses were things that I enjoying doing with her cause I was able to sit and relax while doing them. Now with you, You have a son so he may not want to do that. He may just want to run around and play. I don't know. But try finding things that he likes to do and do them with him. I find all they really want is just that alone time with you. And when the baby comes try to spend alone time with him as well or let him help you with the baby as much as he can. Get him involved. I found that helped with me.

    Please don't feel like you are being lazy cause you are not. Your Pregnant not lazy.

  • At 3:27 PM, Blogger k8

    Am I just being irrational b/c of the whole hormones and braindead thing? well i'm not even touching that one sugarbuns. ha! but seriously i do the exact same thing when Im home with the monkmonks. i feel guilty bc i want them to play while i use the computer, clean, etc. im sure your being pregnant has alot to do with it but i have the same guilt and i aint even prego.

  • At 10:30 PM, Blogger hgdyhdyrd

    Awe ... you're such a cute mom. My little nephew is exactly the same way, he never listens to his mom and started having temper-tantrums, we don't know what to do either.
    And being a stay home mom is very exhausting, trust me. I am always the one staying home watching me sisters, ever since they were newborns while my mother had to work, and that was not fun.

  • At 10:56 PM, Blogger Traci

    First off Christi ......Welcome to MotherHood! You just don't know the half of it yet. Boundries have to be set. You are very lucky to have Trey for a buffer. You have to have your time. As you work thru the days to come and the ones after the baby, you will find your spot in parenting. You like most new parents * and you are still new * try to entertain their kids, buddy it up with them, have fun and want to befriend them. You have to set the line between Mom & child. I know being a mother is fun & you want TJ to like you ( trust me he does and will even if you were a sorry mother) But you have to get his respect. You can't do that being his friend. The time to befriend your child is after they are young adults & later into adulthood. You are molding TJ, you can not mold him while attempting to be a peer. It took me forever to understand these words I am saying to you when they were said to me. I wanted my children to like me. I wanted to be the fun parent.......and after the boys father died it became worst. I didn't want to desciplin (?) I would cry everytime I felt I was harsh, I allowed my parents to set the boundries, mine were very lax. After a while I saw with my own eyes that if I didn't change the way I parented I was hurting my children. Because they were spoiled brats.......something I caused because I wanted to be the cool parent.
    You will find your balance. When you do all will fall into place. Form a plan and stick to it. You don't have to be bullish to gain TJ's respect. Just set rules and boundries and stick to them, be constant. Start with a schdule ( I am sure you already have one, now fine tune it) the schedule can change but for the most part it must remaind constant. If you find that 11 AM is when you want TV time then find something that is for TJ to do at 11 AM until your TV time is over. If 1pm is nap time take advantage of it. I know you learned Time Managment skills in college?
    You are not feeling anything abnormal, pregnancy is a hard I don't care how many chaps you have. Don't become discouraged, in time you will be a pro!

    Just my 2 cents.

  • At 12:20 AM, Blogger MiMi

    OK, I just HAVE to get in on this... First, read, re-read and totally absorb everything that Traci wrote--she is absolutely right! Second, have you heard of the "Terrible Twos"? Well guess who's 2 years old?!?! And, unfortunately, it's probably only going to get worse after Taryn comes. You HAVE to discipline TJ now, even if it makes you feel guilty--it is for his own good and you will be glad you did in the future. He will not love you any less; actually, he will love you more because he will realize that you care about him. Neglect is much more harmful than discipline. Discipline will build love and respect. Third, you need to stop setting the bar so high that you can't get over it--you are continually setting yourself up for failure. Parenting is the hardest job there is and there is no manual that can tell you what is the right or wrong way to rear your children. Every parent has to do the best job they can based on what they feel is the right thing to do. Most people just look back to what their parents did with them and try to imitate what they felt was good and change what they felt was bad. But you really need to try to stop setting your expectations so high for yourself. You can't be the perfect mother no matter how hard you try, and there's no shame in that, because there's no such thing as a "perfect" parent. You just have to do your very best to do what is good for your children and hope they will come out alright. But they will love you no matter how much you think you've messed up, just like you will love them with all their faults. The love between a parent and child has to be unconditional. Lastly, you need to chill out for now. You're tired and have a full plate. Yes, it's good for TJ to get out and play sometime, but he doesn't have to get out every day--he can play inside just as well right now. Keep in mind that he's only 2 years old, he will get out more as he gets older and it will be more important then. It won't hurt him to have some quiet time more frequently while you're pregnant and after the baby comes. The more you keep him on the run, the more he expects to be going all the time, so try to stay at home a little more and spend some quiet quality time together. Who knows, he might get into taking a decent nap if he's not having to run the streets all day. Remember what Traci said--don't try to be his friend, be his mother--set boundaries and stick to them. Just hang in there and hopefully, it will get better. Love, Mom

  • At 9:37 AM, Blogger Julia

    I agree with your mom, your expectations are too high. I am the same way. The thing where you said you sat next to him in the bathroom and read a book doesn't sound bad to me. Our washer and dryer are in our bathroom, so I do laundry while they are bathing.

  • At 10:58 AM, Blogger Tammy

    I think Traci and Dee said it all. Listen to them and you can't go wrong. I have two kids and I can tell you that I can't take my kids outside everyday to play and you know what that's ok. Quiet time is great for you right now and for him and it's true when you take him outside everyday he is going to want that everyday cause it's what you do. Set a routine that is good for you and him.
    SOunds like you have some great people that care about you. Listen to them. You can't go wrong. ~HUGS~

  • At 1:46 PM, Blogger Charles

    It is not reasonable to spend every waking minute with the child, and he won't wither with some time alone or not doing things with mommy every minute. :) Traci's post was great. Get some balance, schedule things for him and time for you. If you're overly tired, you might ask your OB/GYN to check your hemoglobin to be sure you're not anemic. Keep the faith! :)

  • At 5:30 PM, Blogger kathy

    You seem like a great Mom Christi. I like what everone had to say...i can't add much here. except for take time out for yourself...without feeling guilty.

  • At 5:37 AM, Blogger cesca

    I so hear you.

  • At 9:12 PM, Blogger suze

    I totally identify with what you are saying. (I need to go back and imprint the good advice you've gotten on my mind. Heh.) I have a two year old and a four month old. I feel so guilty about ignoring the two year old, but I just can't give him the attention he used to get pre-baby. We also watch a lot of TV. And he's starting to act out and I feel like it's my fault. Argh. Anyway, thanks for putting words to what I've been thinking. You'll get it all figured out, I'm sure!