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I'm a terrible mother, a fret.

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by learningyoghurt, May 6, 2011.

  1. learningyoghurt

    learningyoghurt New commenter

    Hiya, you needn't reply to this if you don't feel like it, I just need to worry about it out loud. I'm fairly sure that guilt is a pretty common emotion for working mothers though so I'm sure I'm not the exception!
    Yoghurt Lite is now six months old. I am a single mother, and moved in as a lodger with an elderly relative in the back of beyond to eke out my maternity leave. I went back to work full-time just before Easter, and Lite goes to a childminder.
    It's all going well on paper - Lite is an absolutely gorgeous child - very happy and bubbly, the childminder is ace and I suspect that Lite has a better time with her than he would with me. I'm really enjoying being back at work so everything should be great.
    Only I'm starting to feel really guilty about the quality and amount of time that he spends with me. We have about an hour together in the morning, which I spend rushing around like a mad thing, getting dressed, getting him dressed and packing his bag before dropping him off, I pick him up at four and his bedtime is eight.
    In the morning I'm zapped (he still isn't sleeping through) and have to remind myself to chat to him as we're getting ready. After work I'm also zapped - used to have a snooze in the afternoon pre-baby - and am not really a lot of fun then. When I play with him it feels really forced and sometimes I feel a bit despairing about how to keep him entertained - you have to be all-singing all-dancing all the time at the minute and rotate his toys every three seconds so that he doesn't get fed up.
    Being in the back of beyond in a rural area, there aren't many options for going out without packing him up in the car and driving somewhere - even the walks are limited - and even then there aren't many places to go or things to do in the evening.
    He goes to his dad's twice a week for a few hours at a time. When this falls on a weekday I barely see him from getting-up to bedtime. I used to go to his dad's house with him, but the relationship has deteriorated and it wouldn't be prudent for us to spend time together (I don't want to risk a HUGE ROW and as I have trouble Not Punching him every time I see him it's just not advisable) so that's more time that I don't spend with him.
    The worst thing about not seeing him very much is that I don't mind - generally it means that I can get some marking and prep done and perhaps get to bed before midnight. I think that I love him very dearly but then surely I wouldn't feel alright about being apart from him so often and for so long? Also I'm worried that he will feel the absence and it'll damage our relationship as he's growing up.
    Sorry, I know that this sounds very whiny and I know that I am really lucky in a lot of ways, but I feel like I'm doing everything wrong all the time, and I don't know what to change to make things work better.
  2. If you are worrying about being a good mother then you almost certainly ARE...you wouldn't be worrying if you were rubbish!
    I'm not a natural 'playing' mummy so I work to pay for them to go to nursery to get all of that sort of stimulation and it gives us something to talk about when we're together. I now have two happy, healthy, confident little girls who love nursery but still want mummy when something goes wrong.
    I also live in the middle of no-where and don't have any 'baby friends' nearby so this is also a great way for them to socialise and meet other children.
    My mother worked when I was tiny, one of very few among my friends, and I have enormous respect for her and what she achieved in her life. I think my outlook on life was shaped by having to be a bit more independent and outgoing when I was young and hope this is something I will pass onto my girls.
    Give yourself a break...it's too easy to pile on the guilt but stop and look at the lovely life you are giving you little boy. And enjoy him!
  3. learningyoghurt

    learningyoghurt New commenter

    Thank you again for your lovely replies :)
    This made me laugh and laugh.
    mrscad, I'm not sure that I'm that way inclined either, my childminder is though - she does alsorts of exciting activities with him and takes him to all the groups and so on. Feel a bit sad occasionally that I didn't do those things with him when I had the chance but hey, if she's good at it then I guess I'm very sensible to delegate. [​IMG]
    fs - I think I want your job! How lovely.
  4. MrsDetermined

    MrsDetermined New commenter

    Oh learning yogurt, you are obviously a very good mother.
    - If the child minder is great than that makes you an even better mother for choosing her, let her get on with being great and giving him all the fabulous experiences you don't always have time for.
    - I consider myself to be doing a decent job. I think I a fairly good mummy but my goodness it's hard work, and I've got an easy baby. BUT I am not back at work yet and and I have a partner so I have things easy compared to you. That means you must be a fabulous mummy to have got through this far.
    - Do not feel bad for being tired, you are trying to support you and your baby by yourself, a very commendable thing to do when you would be entitled to all sorts if you gave up work.
    - Never feel guilty for being happy that your LO is being cared for by someone else. Enjoy the peace, it makes you a better, calmer mummy when you are together.
    - What FoundationStage! said was sooooo true. Children love their mummies no matter what, it's built in!
  5. It is a great job and I take it for granted. Just saw my baby's heartbeat at 5+5 yesterday so preoccupied with that now!
    I just wanted to add that babies need constant repetition to learn. You can do the things your childminder does with him during the holidays when you are feeling rested. And when he is bigger and you take him to the groups he will be showing you off to all his friends! "This is MY Mummy"

  6. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    Could you maybe take a friend/s to his dads, as problems may be better like that, it can stop arguments developing, that willl give you more time with LO

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