October 28, 2009

poker and motherhood are related

At least for me they are.

See I refuse to even learn how to play poker because I'm not naturally good at card games and I hate feeling like an idiot as I try to learn. Messing up over and over again in front of a group of people makes my pride take over and I become frustrated and angry. In fact, I become angry if people decide to play the game at a party I'm attending because they are automatically being exclusive. (Even if really they're inclusive and I'm the one refusing to join.)

I'm like this about a lot of things - if I can't do it well then I'm just not going to do it. Video games, math, cutting a pineapple and basketball all fall in this category.

And even though I'm doing it, mothering babies happens to be in this category, too. All day long I just keep messing up as I try to figure out the best way of doing things. The crying and the whining seem to never stop, especially at nap time. I can't even breastfeed my baby without drowning him (literally). There are several moments of every day where I just want to throw in the towel, go back to work and send the kids to daycare - to the arms of someone who knows what she's doing. I feel like a failure at the one thing I ever wanted to do with my life, and I feel ridiculous for thinking I would be good at it.

And then, of course, there are the sections of the day that go well. I nurse Ben down for a long nap and then feed L a healthy lunch and read her books. Or we get out of the house without a meltdown or tantrum and we arrive at our destination only 5 minutes late. And always there is the fact that I want to be the one who teaches L the words to Old McDonald (you should hear her do the "e-i-e-i-o" part!) and who sees Ben roll over for the first time - not a babysitter.

The point of this post... The back and forth of my competency is exhausting and right now the former seems to be winning. But I'm pretty sure I can't give in because I'm much better with toddlers and children than I am with babies, and why work for just a very short time.


  1. Bon,

    Just wanted to tell you that daycare teachers don't necessarily love what they do, even if they know what they're doing (even though I know you're doing just fine). When I worked in the baby room at Proctor, I had a max of 4 babies assigned to me at once. It was often torture. I literally would spend an hour at a time changing diapers...one baby, then another, and another, again. It was the most isolating job, too. We couldn't leave the room unless there was another person who would come in because that all to precious ratio could not legally be greater than 4:1. And, sorry mom's...babies are boring. Yes, they are cute and cuddly, and they can really be fun for short periods of time. But, in the long run, infants are not entertaining. Once they began to walk, they were shipped off to the older infant room. Don't be discouraged if you don't love every minute of it. That was my least favorite job, and I make no apologies for it. Infants are not fun!!! And though I have no data to support my opinion, I would guess that anyone who disagrees with me is in the minority.

  2. Parenting is the most humbling thing in my life - ever. I was just thinking the other day that I used to be a confident person - I knew I was intelligent, kind, thoughtful, organized, etc. Evidently there was some pride in there as well, with me thinking those things about myself. Then I became a mother. More often than not, I feel unsure of myself and my choices, grumpy (primarily with my two year old), short-tempered, and impatient. There are so many little "high" moments from day to day. I wish I could capture those times and replay them when, ten minutes later, the whole world seems to come crashing down in our household. The circumstances going on in our home change so fast and my feelings/mood go right along with them. I keep thinking someday I'll get a handle on this parenting thing. Sometimes I feel like I'm doing alright, but then I'm quickly humbled once again. All I can say for you is that I know where you're coming from, you're not alone in this, and I'll keep praying for you as I pray for myself as well.