Mommy Guilt

Disclaimer: I am fully aware of the fact that I am not actually Cadence's mom.  She has a fabulous mother already, one who loves her so much she sometimes sneaks out of her marital bed and into her daughter's bed in the middle of the night just to snuggle her.  I am in no way claiming to or trying to replace Amanda (or Noah, for that matter) as Cadence's parental figure.

With that said...this stay at home mom business is no joke.

While I do feel the Lord has blessed me with a bizarre heart that actually finds joy in cooking, cleaning, and organizing for others (though I could go without the grocery shopping and meal-planning part), and that has not wavered one bit since I arrived here in the desert, there are a few things about "motherhood" that have kind of surprised me.

Namely, I'm shocked at the tremendous amount of guilt I feel every night after I tuck Cadence into bed.

You see, I've always kind of prided myself on being "good" with kids.  On recognizing their unique needs for individualized attention and remembering how crucial this affirmation is for their development.  In my professional work with parents, I've preached patience and the importance of slowing down...being intentional...noticing the little things.

And yet, it seems no matter how much fun we have during the day...
Early morning play time at the park before the bus comes. 
Apple "smile" snacks.
Beauty Spa Day.
...there are still moments when I feel like I might lose it if she corrects me one more time on some arbitrary term during play (example: Did you all know the vast definitional differences between "beauty spa day" and "beauty parlor day"?  Because to a 5 year old, these two terms are practically opposites) or gets distracted while completing her night time routine or forgets to wash her hands after going to the bathroom again.

The truth is, Cadence is an absolute rock star. Seriously, she is a total doll. She sings when she does everything (her life is practically a musical).  She loves to "imaginate" and is obsessed with all things glamorous.  Just yesterday while I was making lunch, she walked up to me, put a clip in my hair and a necklace around my neck, and proudly proclaimed, "There you go, Natalie.  I made you just a little bit fancy."  

She has the most beautiful, tender heart.  Her childlike faith is unreal.  While explaining to me some problem she was having with a girl at school, she stated quite simply, "____ is so bossy!  Doesn't she know GOD is the only one who is in charge of everyone?!" 
I've been here less than a week and already have about a million other little anecdotes that evidence her preciousness. So why is it quiet time never seems long enough and bedtime routine never goes fast enough? How can I adore her so much...and also be desperate for a break at the same time?

And why do I feel so dang guilty every night - like somehow I didn't love her enough, praise her enough, cuddle her enough, or make her feel special enough to make it through to the next morning?

Is this...normal?


M.Anderson said…
Yes my love it is totally 100% normal. Really appreciated the blog entry. You speak from the heart which is a great place.
Carol Brown said…
Bless you for stepping in to help! Yup, normal stuff. Why do you think her mommy sneaks in to cuddle? And Amanda has the right idea--to schedule you some time away which you will probably feel guilty taking, but that's okay.
Joelle said…
I need to know. What does Cadence think the difference is between a beauty spa day and a beauty parlor day? Won't be able to sleep until you reply.