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.
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.