Confession Time

December 2, 2011 18 Comments TAGS: Diet & Food, Kids, Marriage

Alright. Today we’re getting down and dirty. Today, you are my priests, and I am sitting in your confession booth. (Alright, I’m not Catholic, but you get the picture).

Today is about thoughts, notions and ideas that I often wrestle with. I know that I am a devoted, good mother and wife, but sometimes, just sometimes, I take the shortcut. I feel like crap afterward, but in the moment, it sometimes feels like the only thing to do.

The purpose of my confession, is to get the conversation flowing. Am I alone? I am the only one in this world who feels this way? I’d like to know.

Soooo, here are Erica Diamond’s mom confessions, on the fence issues and dilemmas.

Confession #1: A video game can bring a mother much peace. My hubby and I laid down the law last year. The kids’ screen time was getting out of hand. Every spare moment, they wanted to play Wii or with the Ipad, or whatever. So, we changed the house rules: NO screen time during the week. At all. And we have stuck to it.

Well, what has happened here? I compare the situation to a man who hasn’t had sex with a woman for a year, and then you put a beautiful woman in the room with him. What happens? He devours her! Same thing here. When Saturday morning comes, my kids are like those horny men for their electronics. The minute they wake up, the PSP turns on, the Wii is going, the IPad is downloading new games. We enter screen hell!

Not my kids!

So here’s the confession: I sometimes let it go waaay too long. I am their mother and I need to nip it in the bud sooner than I sometimes do. By 10am, (if we haven’t left for hockey), it’s time for me to say, “Close those things, and let’s get outside and play.” And I often do, but sometimes I don’t. Sometimes the excellent behavior they demonstrate while they’re quietly playing games as I am lying in bed, is just too good to disrupt. So I compromise being a proper parent for an hour’s respite. Am I alone?

Confession #2: The sibling tag-along playdate. This is less of a confession and more of an ‘on the fence’ issue. This is when, for example, I have arranged a playdate for my older son, and not my younger son (who is almost 5, but very mature, and can do anything my 8 year old can do). I sometimes find myself reprimanding my older son, “Include your brother. He wants to play with you guys, and you’re not being nice. You’re ignoring him, it’s rude, and he’s upset.”

So, my question for you: Should my older son HAVE to include his younger brother in the playdate? Am I asking too much of him? Should everyone have to play together so no one gets excluded, or is my 5 year old really cramping their style and should the older kids be entitled to play alone? I NEVER know what the right answer is. Help!

Confession #3: My kids start EVERY MORNING in our bed, and end EVERY NIGHT in our bed. EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Since the day the boys were born, it has been our family ritual, to let the boys start and finish their day in our bed. They come in before school starts in the morning. They come in again before the day ends at night. Weekdays AND weekends. Our choice. (Slightly more my choice).

They don’t watch their 30 minutes of TV at night in the den, or in the basement. When homework is done, dinner and showers are finished, where do they go? Yup, right into mommy and daddy’s bed. The four of us snuggle, and talk, and it is a full-out bonding fest. After a long day, we reconnect as a family in our bed. The kids smell delicious and clean. They’re calm. We love it.

Confession: sometimes, I get snappy. And the very thing I have recreated, I rebel against. I blurted out last week, “You guys are in our bed every morning and night, and mommy needs her space today. Can you please just go into the den tonight and watch TV?!” They looked at me like I was nuts. I just totally wanted to be alone, and they were crampin’ my style! But, these are my kids. Is that wrong? Should they even STILL be in our bed? We love these special quiet moments together. But sometimes, **GASP** I need my space. I’m not sure…

Confession #4: I gotta confess, sometimes UNDERSTANDING ain’t my strong point. I often don’t know when to give or take in marriage. If my hubby comes home tired at the end of the day, or in a bad mood, my mother (my best friend and therapist for 25 years) tells me I should be understanding. After all, he the breadwinner of the family, has been out all day hunting for his family, and I should, in her words, “cut him a little slack.”

But sometimes, I can’t help not being a little cranky. Why should I always nurture him? Maybe HE should make a little effort too, right? Maybe he needs to be a little understanding of me, and FAKE IT or something if he’s in a bad mood. I never quite know where my needs come into the equation. I actually hear this from my girlfriends a lot. We want to be supportive of our husbands, but what about our own needs? Shouldn’t they make the effort right back? I never know when I’m justified to be resentful, or when I’m acting selfish (one of the unfortunate character traits of my only child syndrome). I sit on the fence with this.

Most men love to come home to a yummy aroma in the house, a nice home cooked meal, happy and well behaved children, and Miss Happy Wifey. I definitely try… just a little appreciation and thank you once in a while would be nice. C’mon honey, throw me a bone.

Confession #5: Sometimes I wonder why I bother cooking a fresh home-cooked meal altogether. For the same $25 is costs me to buy healthy salmon, veggies and rice for dinner, (how I was raised), I can order 2 cheese pizzas for the family. And guess what? My family prefers the pizza over my chicken, steak, or salmon. When I make my healthy dinners (which is obviously most of the time), the food gets left on the plate, and my 8 year old has even gagged on my salmon. Buuuuut, when I order plain pizza, my kids are smiling. Happy. They clean their plates, and are THRILLED with the dinner.

Confession: I’ve convinced myself pizza is not really junk food, and I order them pizza at least once a week. I just can’t fight, and I rationalize that there’s a carb and protein in the pizza, I throw a few veggies on the plate, and call it a day.

Am I alone? Do I suck?

 

Alright, I am over 1000 words and I try to top things at 750.

These are my confessions and truths as I know them today.

Can you relate to anything I’ve said? Am I a horrible person? What are YOUR confessions? Feel feel to write them anonymously. As I always say, misery loves company. 😉

xoxEDxox

 

    18 Comments

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    2. Seyi says:

      I completely understand your need to confess, and I can relate.

      I know I should send my children off to bed at 9.00 pm (and it’s a strict rule), but I sometimes don’t bother to. I tell my husband to do it but he always pushes it back to me. Can you imagine?

      I tell them too much sweetie ain’t good for them, but I hide in my room to gorge on chocolates.
      I tell them prayer is very important and they ought to say their prayer before bed, but do I say mine? No!

      I guess confession is good for the soul. I feel better already

      Thanks again

    3. Anonymous says:

      Hey I live next to people who would not buy me bread when I got out of the hospital and could not walk.

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    5. Jenn says:

      Thanks for cotnriubting. It’s helped me understand the issues.

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    7. Amy says:

      You are not alone. You certainly do not suck. I’m a single mom of a 10 year old boy and I can confess it all – and probably should, as I AM Catholic 😉 – though not so much the “be understanding for hubby” part. If I did, I wouldn’t be a ‘single’ mom. Thanks for a great post!

    8. I can relate 100%! We must both suck-LOL. In all seriousness, I think taking shortcuts sometimes is what keeps us sane in motherhood, after all we’re only human. 🙂

    9. As a working mother of three teen boys I feel like I don’t do anything well enough. I am never as good a mother, wife or employee as I would like to be, and am constantly a) rushing and b) feeling guilty. Perfection is impossible, so I have tried over the years to stop beating myself up over it. And now that my kids are older, I can look back with some perspective:
      1) They have had way more screen time than I would like, but yet they are all well-socialized kids who are doing great in school/university.
      2) Tough one. I found that the best way was to discuss it with them, even at an early age, and then make the call. If the play-date sibling was ardently opposed to having the other one join in, then maybe there was a good reason for it. Other times he might be fine with it. I have taken a lot of leads from my kids over the years and I think it pays off.
      3) Before you know it, they won’t want to be anywhere near your bed or bedroom! Enjoy the cuddles and bonding while you have the opportunity, but if you need the odd night alone just explain that to them. Sometimes moms need timeouts too!
      4) I earn half the income in our household, yet still have to be the nurturer. I dash home from work to get food on the table before the evening’s activities start up and then, at bedtime, on goes the “nice wifey” hat because my hubby needs some attention and nurturing too (well OK, I admit, some nights I have had it with everyone and don’t do the nice wifey thing so well). So yes, I’m exhausted most of the time… but my guilt is less because my kids are happy and my marriage is good!
      5) I could vent about this one for a loooong time. I used to like to cook before I had the three-person jury passing judgement on every dish: “Oh, yuck!” “What IS this stuff?” Then I began to hate it. The aforementioned mother-guilt just wouldn’t let me go the fastfood route every day, but I did figure out some quick and easy meals that all three would actually eat. And…. it’s finally starting to get better because now I have three starving teenage boys to feed and they are like a plague of locusts when it comes to my cooking.

      Erica, you crack me up! You don’t suck and your boys will grow up to be wonderful human beings even if they do play video games and eat lots of pizza. Trust me on that.

    10. Barbara says:

      I love your honesty. It’s very relatable. I know we have all been there time and time again so thanks for the courage to say it out loud. You’re a great mom. I have been a long time reader so I know. 🙂

    11. This is why I blog.

      To have a community where we can all share, learn, vent, and self improve is why I started.

      I love you all.
      xx

    12. cathy says:

      Dear Erica, you are not alone and I am sure that more than the majority of the moms out there can relate to every single of your confessions. I, however, fell the need to add my 2 cents about your confession number 4-Your mom is right! Believe me, as a single mom who comes home everynight to a smelly and messy house, I would love to have a working husband so that I could stay home and clean it so that I could smell the fresch scent of citrus everyday ( I am dreaming…) On that note, don’t be too hard on yourself:)

      Cathy xx

    13. Anonymous says:

      #1 – My kids aren’t video game kids, but they do the t.v./computer thing. So your good to get a little quiet time when needed.
      #2 – I can likely top this…sometimes my one daughter will get invited to a friends and well they too have a younger sibling…and often it will come up if the other daughter can come too…and the fight then ensues. “Why does so and so have to come…Can’t I just play with my friend?” I make them all play together. It is good for them to learn to all get a long. Hopefully they will appreciate the time they aren’t all together.
      #3 – This one I struggle with. It has always been a rule in our house that the kids are not allowed in the bedroom. Now there are times when they have been really sick and need that extra love and snuggle…however at 9 & 12 they have a profound respect for our privacy and our room. They almost always knock and when they do come in and hang out, it’s a nice treat! We also have zero issues when it come to bed time. They head to their rooms and wait for their tuck in.
      #4 – I would love to be a fly on the wall at the house where hubby comes home to the home cooked meal, well-behaved kids and Miss Happy Wifey….oh wait that doesn’t really exist…does it?
      #5 – There is a pizza place that offers “Toonies Tuesday” in our town. Slice of pizza and pop for 2 dollars. So for 8 bucks and change….we fill our bellies….You’re not the only one. And you’re absolutely right…I have never had anyone complain when this is on the dinner menu.

      Overall Erica…I think you are doing just fine in comparison with the norm. Miss Happy Wifey really doesn’t exist and if it did…I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want to be in that house anyhow. Take a big breath and know you are a great person, wife and mother!!!

      🙂 J

    14. Maureen says:

      First – you are not alone! I bet very soon there will be many comments stating that fact. I think the guilty feelings might stem from our need to be Super Mom and believe me I’m not even as close to that title as you are.
      I also don’t let the girls play video games during the week. There is too much going on with homework, dance, etc. When they play on Saturday morning and I get to sleep in a bit, it’s a little guilty pleasure. I get how you feel about it.
      My girls are almost 2.5 years apart so I stopped the tag-a-long awhile ago just to make sure my youngest didn’t learn anything too soon – the girl talk is crazy. I think your oldest might need some of his own ‘alone w/ the guys’ time too.
      I really like the start the morning and end the day in bed thing – seems nice and I wish there was more time for it (oh, yes I guess I could make that time right?) Maybe at night. Maybe you are feeling that way because you don’t get any alone time at all? You need your space too, don’t feel guilty about it.
      Pizza – make your own – wheat crust, low fat cheese, sauce w/ extra veggies and let them add their own toppings; you both win. Oh, can I have you cook for me? I’d love to be able to cook lots of healthy meals, just not that good at it, but I really appreciate it when it happens. 🙂
      Lastly I don’t have a guy so I’m not going to comment on that one, but I see where you are coming from.
      In my humble opinion you should cut yourself some slack, you do so much for your family! These feelings you wrestle with might not go away but give yourself permission to have some down time without guilt and it might help.

    15. I relate! Sometimes I think to myself, being a mother is knowing you’ll never be alone (to take a shower/get dressed/etc) and privacy is a thing of the past! As soon as I drop my 2nd child off to school to head into the office, an awkward sense of loneliness comes over me – just what I was wanting is now bothering me. So there’s always going to be that balance between being you and being mom:)

    16. Jill says:

      Guilty as charged on all five counts (except the husband thing). Moms aren’t perfect and never will be, but just because you give in sometimes doesn’t make you not perfect. In fact, I’m pretty sure your kids think you rock!

      If it makes you feel any better, “pizza is now a vegetable.” http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/45306416/ns/today-today_health/t/pizza-vegetable-congress-says-yes/#.TtkH0NWzkXY

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