Friday, August 30, 2013

What does it take to be a good mother

My son woke me up this morning, wanting to read Green Eggs and Ham and I was too tired, too busy, too frazzled to read it to him. I still feel guilt about it now. It has me wondering what it takes to be a good mother.  I feed my kids, clothe them, keep a roof over their head and play with them as much as time and my pathetically low energy will allow but it feels like it's not enough. I need to nurture their creativity; think like they do and try to explore the world the way that they would so that I can relate to them better. Right now I feel like more of a baby sitter than a mother.

 l love my children more than anything in this world, but, simply put, I think I'm just not doing right by them. I don't play with them enough. I don't inspire and encourage their creativity and intellect enough. Some days I simply count down the minutes until they go to bed so that I can get some sleep too. I don't know why I'm so tired or why I have such a hard time relating to them, but it brings me to tears and I fear that I won't change.

Part of it is my self esteem I suppose. I have such a large amount of disdain for myself that I can't seem to enjoy anything: not even the company of my two beautiful and hilarious sons.

Part of it is the stress of being a single mother. I'm afraid to take them anywhere by myself because of just how difficult it is to take out a baby and a five year old. The five year old is pretty self sufficient but the baby (19 months) demands constant watching and attention. The beach, for example, would be a disaster by myself. It's not like I have friends that I could take with me either.

Part of it is the shame from my job. I just don't want to be seen or, God forbid, run into someone that I know and have them ask me what I do for a living. I suppose I could say that I'm a writer, because in my heart of hearts that's what I've always been and that's what I always will be, but I've yet to get paid for what I do so that almost feels like a lie. I will eventually be paid for it. Just not yet.

At the end of the day I suppose I need to just suck it up, deal with being tired, face my fears, and take them out into the world. I wish I could be a better mother. I've always thought wishing was pointless. But this is a wish that I can fulfill. And I will. One way or another, I will.