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WHEN SATISFACTION TURNS INTO GUILT

7.27.2015







Let me just start at the beginning...

Last Friday was a particularly rough day. Adelaide had been whiny and crying at the littlest things all day. Actually, it started the previous day. On Thursday I remember telling my sister-in-law how glad I was that I had a doctor's appointment that day and that my-mother-in-law was going to watch Adelaide while I was gone. A break from the crying, whining and "Boo-hoo-hoo"ing. Yes, when she's in that kind of mood, she literally says "Boo-hoo-hoo...". It's funny, cute and annoying all at the same time. In Adelaide's defense, she is working on three molars right now. 

Side note: At what point does it stop hurting? All three of those have broken through, but randomly she seems bothered by them. I ask again, where oh where is the consistency???

Anyway, it's Friday night, 7 o'clock and we're in the home stretch. Bath time is imminent. We had just gotten home from a trip to Lowes (to buy stuff for a play kitchen for Adelaide) during which I endured no less than 3 crying fits about something or nothing. I was spent. Jordan was out of town (had been since Wednesday, and would be for a while yet), so no help there. I was DONE! I knew it was one of those times when she was going to want to be carried to the house. One of those times when she would cry the second her feet touched the ground. Been there, oh, a hundred times? But 1) I had my hands full, and carrying her wasn't a reasonable option, and to be honest, 2) I didn't want to carry her. I was frustrated and annoyed with her! 

So, it went just as I thought. She broke into crying fit number 1,239 for the day. What did I do? I just kept walking. I figured she'd cry, but follow me once she realized I wasn't going to pick her up. She didn't. She just stood there crying screaming. I got to the house (for those of you who know our house, she was at the truck out back by the shop, so she was a pretty good distance away), she still wasn't budging. I yelled out in that I'm-boiling-with-frustration-and-masking-it-with-a-way-too-sweet-voice "Adelaide, baby, come on...", not a step. For a moment I debated going to grab her for fear that the neighbors would hear her and think I was allowing something horrible to happen (yes, it was that loud, ask my sister-in-law who's response to the video I took was "Oh my god, she's so loud!"). Yes, I took a video. Maybe that's completely insensitive and mean, but something about videoing things like that helps me separate from the situation and kinds comforts me knowing I'll have proof of what I was dealing with. So this goes on for probably an hour a minute, me inching closer trying to coax her to the house, her not buying it. Then our neighbor who was mowing his yard comes around to the side of his house (closer to us). Adelaide sees this and gets a little freaked. Now, I would like to point out one thing here: where our neighbor is, is still a good hundred feet or more away from Adelaide. She absolutely was not in any danger. But yeah, I think it scared her a little. I used that fear, yelled another "Come on Adelaide..." and she did. Not because she was listening to my request, but because she was scared. 

At the time, I was satisfied. I guess I felt a little like, well that'll teach ya. I had won. Moving on.

Fast forward to the next day. We're playing in the back yard and a weird air horn thing honks. Adelaide gets this fearful, trying-not-to-cry look on her face and I tell her it was just a horn. Weird, that kind of thing doesn't' usually phase her. I ask what's wrong. She says "No Jimmy." (that's our neighbor's name) and asks to go inside. This is really weird. She never wants to go inside.  So, in we go. The next day we go outside and she wants me to pick her up. Won't play. Keeps saying "Jimmy?" and looking over at his house. Cries when I put her down. At this point, it's starting to dawn on me. She's scared of Jimmy. And it's my fault. 

Suddenly, guilt comes crashing down on me so hard I have to sit down. My eyes go wide and hand comes to my mouth in that "Oh my god." moment of realization. I've scarred her, is my thought. 

Parenthood is destined to be full of these kinds of moments. For me especially. I am a second-guessing, ruminating, over-thinker. About that car that cut me off, about that thing I said or should've said, about the way I handled whatever situation. I'm trying to work on it, but it's really hard. 

Being a Mom is really hard. It comes with tons and tons of guilt (for me anyway), from more sources than I ever could've imagined. But I do my best and that's all I really can do. 

But even with all the guilt and frustration and hard times, it is more than worth it to be her Mommy. She's the love of my life, for sure.


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