I posted yesterday about Summertime Depression. I didn’t particularly want to post it, but I feel like as a mom (or dad) these days we are always supposed to be “on.”
We are supposed to enroll our children in activities and then make sure we get them there. We are supposed to make them study and play sports and play an instrument. They should know which fork to use and how to give a speech or at least do a backflip.
Frankly, I’m pretty impressed with myself when my kids have clean clothes and I remember that they need haircuts.
Does that mean I’m a bad mom? I don’t think so, but I’m no expert. Right now I’m in a fog of depression and I can’t decide if my cat is really this big of an asshole or, if I was in better spirits would I not mind that my back is clawed up the way it hasn’t been
since that one ever.
I think that my kids know that I love them, even on my worst days. I know my kids have food to eat and clothes to wear and more gadgets and gizmos than I have myself.
Do we go to “activities” four times a week? No. Do I feel guilty about that? Sometimes. Sometimes I just think they have extra time to be kids.
I can’t, mentally or physically, be the PTA Super Mom. I don’t like to play with Legos or Barbies. I’m a terrible cook. (Also, I suck at juicing.) But I will bake a cake on my kid’s birthday, and if I don’t have decorations I can make them, and if someone is sick or sad then I can stay up cleaning puke and rubbing backs for days.
I don’t know if I’m trying to justify my lackadaisical parenting to myself or to you or if I’m really trying to justify it at all.
I think I’m trying to explain that I posted my Mommy Depression post yesterday because I am SURE, positively, absolutely sure that there are other moms out there who feel the same way. And I don’t know why it is so frowned upon to admit it.
Today I am not the best mom I can be. I am better than I was yesterday. Tomorrow I hope to be better than I am today. But I’m not ashamed of the fact that I’m not “on” every minute of every day. Being a mom (or dad) doesn’t magically imbue you with super powers. I don’t have endless patience and sometimes I’m cranky.
Being a mom doesn’t take away the problems, mental or physical, that you had before, and sometimes it even awakens ones you didn’t know you had.
I think being a good mom (or dad) means just trying, every day. Trying to love yourself and make sure your kids know that you love them. I know that my kids know that they are my world, even on days when I’m sick or sad. I know that my kids know that I will be there for them no matter what and they can talk to me.
I hope that I’m showing them by example how to be a decent person, even if I do struggle with depression and physical limitations. I hope that I am showing them how to laugh and enjoy life, whether it is through or around the pain.
I’m trying. Every day.