Sunday, May 8, 2011

I'm not a perfect mother

I'm not a perfect mother.

I yell more than I would like and find myself hiding in bathrooms, curled up against the door just to get a minute alone, sometimes lightly banging my head against the wall to drown out the noise.  I am not proud of my frustration or anger.  But being a mom makes me more conscious of it.

I say "no" far more often than "yes" and find my little curly-headed two year old laughing at me more than obeying.  But I stay firm, believing, maybe in my more insane moments, that consistency is the key to raising a well-behaved child.

I spend several hours a day behind a computer screen, hoping that my son is content to play trains.  He usually is.

I feed him boxed Mac and Cheese for more meals than I've had it in my entire twenty-eight years.  And I often forget to include vegetables.  He seems to survive in spite of yellow dye no 7.

I'm supposed to be strong, to comfort my son when he's afraid on the airplane.  Instead, I clutch the arm rests and repeat, "It's going to be ok."  You could pretend I'm saying it for both of us.  But really, it's mostly for me.

My son knows phrases like "mommy's medicine" and "doctor" and "spaceship" (the hyperbaric chamber).  All he has known is a sick mom, and I worry that he will one day resent me for that, wishing his mother had been able to be there for him in times where she was stuck in bed.  He'll never know the amount of time I spent worrying about his well-being if I died.

I'm not a perfect mother, not even close. And often I think being a mother makes me even more aware of my shortcomings.

But I love my son.  And that seems to be enough to overcome my faults.

Happy Mother's Day to all the other imperfect mothers out there!

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