Sunday, September 25, 2011

I am a terrible mom.

Yesterday, L rolled over from front to back for the first time. Today, she rolled from back to front. And I missed it.

I had just finished trying, unsuccessfully, to extend one of her 45-minute naps. I try everything: nursing her back to sleep, rocking her, letting her fuss/cry for a bit, curling up with her on my bed. For a while it was working, and now it fails more often than it works. I try to be positive and not resent her for it, but it's exhausting trying to keep her from getting overtired, and I lose my $h!t about every 10th or 11th nap (since she takes 4 or 5 a day, you can do the math).

So after 35 minutes of trying and finally giving up, I plopped her down on her back on a blanket in the living room to play with her feet and took a break from her so I wouldn't get angry. Then I heard her starting to talk to herself. And it got louder and louder. So I went out to make sure she was okay -- and she looked up at me, smiling, from on her stomach.

Milestone missed. Mother guilt-o-meter at top setting. (And still feeling frustrated, to boot!)


  1. Let's put this into perspective: Have you ever heard anyone complain that their mother wasn't there for them the first time they turned over onto their stomach? I didn't think so.

    I say save the motherly guilt for that inevitable moment (in the distant future) when a scheduling conflict will keep you from being able to attend an important first: a school play, a sporting event, a recital--whatever. Until then, remember that you're witnessing little micro-firsts every day, and that it's an opportunity not all mothers have.

    By way of contrast, my mother only had a 60 day maternity leave before she had to go back to work full-time after having me. I imagine that I had lots of "firsts" while at daycare or while being taken care of by a neighbor (though of course I don't remember any of them), but what was important to me was that my parents were there for them when I needed them.

  2. Aww, thanks, Ed. I guess I just felt like I purposefully missed a milestone because I left her alone (rather than having to be gone for work, or whatever). And she hasn't done it again since, so then I feel guilty -- like she thinks it must not be worth doing since no one congratulated her the first time! As if a four-month old could have such an inner monologue going. Bottom line: motherhood makes you think crazy thoughts sometimes.

  3. I love the new layout Courtney! Wonderful articles. (and L is so very lucky to have you as her mom)