Posted by: Kate | June 13, 2008

Despite Evidence to the Contrary

I know certain things.

I know that I love my daughter beyond measure, and that she loves me back.  I know it because I spent time, last night and again this morning, getting my eight-year-old dressed and ready for a “Tropical Celebration” at her school.  With a special, if slightly goofy-looking and undoubtedly cheap, outfit brought back from Hawaii for me by my great-grandmother 25 years ago.  With hair and nails done, and time snuck away from work for the event.  I know it even though she ended up insisting, last-minute, upon wearing a sweatshirt to hide her special, slightly goofy-looking outfit from her friends, and flatly refusing to remove it despite the heat and plaintive entreaties from the various authority figures in the room.

I know that my son and I have a special, close bond.  I know it because I’m planning his birthday party six weeks in advance even though I know better than to send out invitations so early, and this has required some mechanations on the part of myself and his school to be able to obtain everyone’s home address for old-fashioned mailed-out invitations when appropriate, since today is his last day of school.  I know it even though I just missed his year-end “graduation” ceremony because I was at work, dealing with an obstinate and offended man who believes that volume will win out over state laws. 

I know that I’m a good enough mother.  I know it because my kids are healthy, and well-behaved, and sweet little people whose company I (usually) crave and enjoy.  I know it because I need to work in order to provide the income and health insurance and stability that the family needs for a while longer.  I know it even though, right now, alone in my office, wishing I didn’t resent Emily’s wilfulness and missing out on Jacob’s year-end get-together, I don’t feel like it.  At all.

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Responses

  1. Maybe plan something special you can all do after work/school tonight to celebrate with Jacob and (try) to forget about the wilfulness.
    Go for ice cream, see a movie. Maybe that’ll take your mind off. We all go through it, and it sucks.

  2. Parenting is a wonderful/frustrating thing sometimes. You are a great mom, and your babies love you very much. Thankfully the wonderful part usually outweights the frustrating crap 🙂

  3. A good mother has to make the tough choices. You’ve done that. And, the right ones. From the little I’ve learned about you through your postings I’m betting that your daughter will be end up your friend, and Jacob will never fault you for missing this graduation. There will be more.

    Remember that without that job your entire world might be different.

    “good enough”? Again, from my readings, I’d say that is a serious understatement.

  4. Good enough sometimes just has to be good enough. Good thing there are tons of similar events throughout the school year. You’ll make up for this time at a later and probably more important date like maybe their college graduations or weddings, right?

  5. Kate –

    Ahhhh… the Mother’s guilt. Something most of us Mom’s can relate too. I put it at the top of my “long and irrational list of things to feel guilty about”… 😉 I like to try to convince myself they are irrational anyway – but, sometimes, despite logic and facts to back them up (like the many you mentioned in yours post) – it’s still so hard to NOT feel this way . Especially when it comes to our babies – isn’t it?

    Of course you want the best for them… and, want to be able to “do it all”…. “All the time”. But, of course, that’s just not possible.

    On the other end of things… Is it just me, or do more and more employers compound this problem tenfold?? It seems more and more people, are less and less understanding when it comes to putting our families first. I’ve noticed this trend where I work a lot lately. Everyone is burned out. Everyone is working too hard… doing too many things… and it’s not just their choice but due to unrealistic expectations put on them by their bosses or places of employment….

    At any rate – take the things you do know… and run with them. I know “good enough mother” is a common term in your field – but, you should also know that you are obviously much more than “good enough”. Just ask your kids… I’m sure they will tell you.

    ~smj

  6. […] I just commented to this effect recently on Kate’s blog, to this post: https://katesaid.wordpress.com/2008/06/13/despite-evidence-to-the-contrary… […]


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