You Are My Sunsine

I sing that song to Emma every night I have her, while I rock her to sleep.  ❤

So many feelings came up for me today.  Shit, maybe all this therapy is actually doing something.  Side note: Sid is back from vacation.  I’m glad.  This week was the first time I didn’t cry in session with Tess… so I’m wondering if I might be ready to cut back on therapy in some fashion.

Anyway.

First, was my realization that the energy drinks I’ve been struggling with are a coping mechanism.  No shit, really??  😛  But, really, it all comes back to the “I wasn’t supposed to be doing this alone.”  I was planning to be 50% parent 100% of the time… not 100% parent 50% of the time.  In an ideal world, I’d be able to step away from the baby and take a nap while Dad handled things.  But when you’re flying solo, that’s not an option… I can’t take a nap, and expect the cats to cover. 😛  So when I get that overwhelming tiredness…. caffeine is my answer.  I don’t know how effective it is anymore, since I’ve abused it pretty heavily the last few months, but I digress.

Then, a Facebook post got to me.  It took me a while to digest, and even realize that it had an effect on me, let alone why.
One of my friends, who I met in an online forum community for trying-to-make-babies, is also going through a separation/divorce, and presumably has shared custody.  She posted, “[Little girl] weekends are the best weekends!”
Fuck.  Feelings.  Why?  Because I don’t feel that way.  But not only do I not feel that way, then I beat myself up, and feel like I should feel that way.
I feel like I generally look forward to my weekends “off” from Emma more than my weekends on with her.  And that just makes me feel incredibly shitty, and guilty.

I posted in my single parents group a few months ago: “The nights alone with her are hard.  The nights alone without her are hard.”  It’s all true.  Whenever she’s with me, I feel like I’m constantly looking forward to handing her off to Seth.  But then, when Seth has her, I miss her like hell.

I do not want to feel like my little girl is just an obligation.  I do not want to resent her.

And then, mommy guilt on top of mommy guilt, I looked at her playing with her toys by herself, and thought about how I was distracted on my smartphone, “ignoring” her, and had this overwhelming anxiety and guilt feeling like I’m not enough for her.  I texted my sponsor, and she reassured me that I am absolutely enough for her.  And I replied, “I guess it would be too much, for both of us, if I paid 100% attention to her 100% of the time.”

It’s ok to let her do things / play / explore by herself.  As long as I’m present enough to keep her safe, and kiss her boo boos when she bonks her head.
Here I was beating myself up for being distracted, and feeling like I’d ignored her all day.
I bought her a new toy today, and even played with it with her.  I took her swimming, which she loves, though it is no small feat to take a not-quite-2-year-old swimming.  I rocked and sang her to sleep, as I do every night she’s with me.

So obviously I am a lazy, unloving mother, because in that moment, I was letting her contentedly play by herself while I was distracted with my phone.

I think the guilt was compounded by what I was doing on my phone.  Browsing through guys on the online dating site I’m on.

I feel guilty because I wasn’t planning to do this alone.  Then I feel guilty when I invest time I could spend with her in myself instead (see also: guilt over IOP), and not being so damned lonely.

Ugh.  I’m glad I see Sid tomorrow.

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2 thoughts on “You Are My Sunsine

  1. My therapist tells me that perfect parents are more damaging to children than parents who make mistakes and show they’re human. You are human – your daughter needs to witness that to understand how to grow into herself as a human, as her own person who makes mistakes and gets it wrong sometimes. That’s a hugely important part of her growth. Also, smothering her is not good either – I teach a lot of smothered children because parents think it will help, when actually in real life we have to entertain ourselves quite a lot of the time – it’s important for her to experiment with independent free play, as much as it’s important for her to have times with you in structured play.

    Sounds to me like you’re doing a brill job. Honestly.

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  2. 100% of you 100% of the time would be overwhelming to you & an unhealthy enmeshed relationship. You’re providing her autonomy & self soothing skills. It’s important they learn to create their own fun at times. If you to try create constant entertainment & play, you will burn out. Yes, we need a break sometimes a parents. We’re human. And I can’t even imagine having done it alone. 😱 Not easy:( Hugs

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