Sometimes I wonder if I have this whole parenting thing down correctly. I’m not sure how I feel as a mom. I work from home while watching my son play on a mat with toys and I see in his eyes, as the minutes go by, a glimmer of “Why won’t you come play with me already?” and I feel guilty.
My alarm goes off in the morning and I press snooze and go back under the sheets for a few more seconds of rest. I finally get up and rush through my shower before it’s time to push the bottle once more, dress and comb Ian’s hair, but my timing isn’t quite perfect and instead he watches me blow-dry my hair, a task that used to be entertaining to him. Now, the hairdryer going is just something he stares at instead of looking off into space wondering when he can break free from the chains of the bouncer I have grown so accustomed to placing him in while I shower and apply moisturizer.
I feel guilty.
I’m exhausted from entertaining mandatory guests in our home. After running around cleaning as my son sits in his highchair in the background clicking toys against one another and squealing at the maniac I’ve become to tidy it all up, the guests arrive, some late. We feed them, sitting on the sidelines as Ian naps, and I watch everyone socialize. This is my Sunday. They finally leave, and I count the moments down as to when I can sit in peace, well after Ian has laughed his last chuckle for the day and drifts off to sleep.
I feel guilty.
I stand with an almost tremble as I twist my hands in one another in front of the daycare owner listing off the things I want them to do differently, what I want for them not to do at all. I feel that I come across as bossy, anal. I try to hide my concern, my irritation in my voice, but I am no good at it.
I feel guilty.
I play with Ian on the mat last night at home. He is covered in random activities which show on his clothes: sweet potato splotches, sandbox grit, and he has the scent of the outdoors mixed with his vanilla drink and baby drool. He is dirty. I yearn to give him a bath immediately, before his last round of solid food before bed. I know better than to bathe him and then feed him food that will end up on clean PJ’s and skin that is freshly moisturized. I do it anyway.
We wait for the tub to fill and I take the moment to admire him in all the joy and glory he brings me each moment I am with him. He is in just a diaper in his crib. We’ve shared some laughs. I spot a favorite mini cow under his crib. I go to grab it and he watches with intensity as I move to the opposite side from where he perches on his belly. I pretend to be a mooing cow. (I do not feel guilty.)
He army crawls over to me and we share a laugh different from the others. A laugh my heart won’t forget. He attempts to pull himself up to stand firmly with two feet. I think to myself: soon enough.
We retire to the tub for playtime. Ian learns what it means to splash water with each hand. I focus on his new found fun and let the guilty accumulation melt down like the dirty water that will soon wash away.