Some days, I feel like a horrible mother. I’ll lie awake in bed, thinking over the day’s events and list all of the things that I did wrong.
I didn’t tell my daughter she was smart, I only told her she was “so beautiful”. Will that give her a big head? Will she only find value in her looks?
I didn’t get in the floor and play blocks with her, I just read a book to her. Is she going to miss out on critical cognitive development?
She didn’t have a vegetable at dinner. Now she’s lacking the vital nutrients she needs to be successful in life and I’ve effectively doomed her chances of getting into a good college.
Then, after worrying about all of the things I didn’t do right, I try to justify it.
Well, I had to cook dinner. Even though she’s not two yet, she could see I was busy and she’ll understand, right? Right?
Even though I don’t go into an office, I still work all day. I was tired and didn’t feel like getting on the floor and chasing her around. That’s valid.
After this, I start to get a little resentful.
Well, maybe if I had help cooking, I could’ve played on the floor for half an hour with my daughter like Someone Else.*
Why does He get to come in and look like the hero and ‘Fun-Loving Dad’ while I’m stuck doing all of the housework?!*
I’ll lie awake and stew for a little bit and feel myself getting angry at the bearded man lying less than a foot away. I think of all the things I’ve done and how I’ve carried this family through. Who cleans? Me. Who cooks? Me! Who takes care of Huff the Babe, makes sure we have food in the pantry, and keeps track of everyone’s appointments? ME. ME. ME.
Then, I hear a Soft Voice. “Who gives you the strength to do it?”
Humbly I have to say, “Not me.”
Finally, my thinking changes.
Who pays the bills so that I can go grocery shopping?
Huff the Hubs.
Who pushed himself through college to get a degree in Electrical Engineering so we could have a better life?
Huff the Hubs.
And who supports me through all of my craziness, no matter how insane I get?
Huff the Hubs.
The Soft Voice returns and asks: “And Who has trusted you with all of this?”
You, I say.
“And who are we supposed to serve?”
“And how are we supposed to serve?”
Soon, instead of tooting my own horn, I’m shamefully reproaching myself for my attitude. I have turned my own insecurities into a “Battle of Who Does More” and before I knew it, I was contemplating shaving off one of HtH’s eyebrows.**
As if knowing the train of thought that had already derailed in my mind–and in perfect timing–HtH rolls over and says, “I love you.”
He still loves me. After all the things I think I did wrong today, he still loves me. Finally, I can fall asleep.
Do you ever do this? How do you talk yourself out of the “All About Me” trap? Do you find yourself growing resentful because of your motherly duties? How do you split responsibilities with your spouse?
*This is not husband-bashing. These are real thoughts I’ve had (and I know other women have had). They may not be accurate–actually, they’re not accurate–about life in the Huffman Homestead. Huff the Hubs is an EXCELLENT father and laughs, plays with, reads to, and loves Huff the Babe so much. He is also a WONDERFUL husband and helps out quite a bit. We’re a team.
**I wouldn’t do that. Well…maybe. No, I wouldn’t.