Almost daily diary!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Torn

I am writing this on Saturday morning...

Sometimes I worry abut what I am doing to my children. I worry about what memories they will grow up with, memories about me, about their life. Will they remember this last 9 months above all else? Will they remember how mummy goes away a lot now? Will they remember me being cross? Will they feel abandoned?

Today I am torn. Husband is away, as he was last weekend and I have the opportunity to spend 3 nights in with my children and 2 sunny days together. Last night we watched a film and had popcorn together, but today they don't seem at all bothered about what they do, they are happy to sit around watching TV, and Tall Girl is happy on her PC as I am on mine. But I am torn. Shouldn't I be 'entertaining' them? I have suggested various outings. They don't seem to mind what they do, but I feel guilty if I don't 'provide' them with a lasting and fun memory.

Later today mum is coming to visit. Part of me wishes she wasn't. I am torn again, trying to 'entertain' her and also 'be there' for the children. She wants to sit and chat, I feel I should be 'doing something' with Small Sprog and Tall Girl.

Mum is coming primarily to babysit so that I can go out tonight. Yesterday I broke the news to Tall Girl "But it's X Factor on Saturday night" She moans "I want to watch it with you"
"Well I'll watch the first half with you before I go out, and you can watch the end with Granny"
"But I want to watch all of it with you, it won't be the same with Granny"
And I know what she means. And I feel guilty. I should be here for her. Husband is rarely away and I don't get the chance to sit with her in front of the TV very often.

But I want to go out, I want to live my life, yet at the same time, I am acknowledging that I do that often these days. I feel selfish. I feel I am doing the wrong thing for everyone. And even as I am writing this I know I am just seeking permission.


PS. I went out, after putting Small Sprog to bed, leaving Tall Girl happily tucked up on the sofa with her Granny. She was happy, I was free.

14 comments:

Jennysmith said...

Tall Girl will get over it - and quickly, she really will. You've got to do something for yourself. And as you say, she'll be back on her PC in next to no time.

I don't know about entertaining them really. They're kind of not bothered, are they.

Hope you had a lovely time xxx

Anonymous said...

guilt... thats the thing with motherhood is'nt it! I feel guilty for everything I do!! BUT you are allowed to have a life! And you don't need permission.
A few years ago I was going out to a gig - I rarely go out and this was a really big thing for me... on the day my children were very needy and clingy and everything was 'MUMMMMEEEEE' I almost did'nt go because I felt so guilty... I did go and really enjoyed it :0)
As for being torn ikwym, I often feel that I'm not doing enough with my children. And providing them with happy memories I want to do that too... maybe we're trying too hard? ;0)

A. xx

Fi from Four Paws and Whiskers said...

Well written and I have been there. It is hard to sit around when they don't really seem to want to do anything - but don't like you not being there!
Well, I did it - I went out - and had a ball. I needed to to re establish myself as an available single woman, and an individual person and I don't regret it.
However, my son did go on to develop anxiety attacks and I am sure, in that wonderful state of hindsight, that it was mainly due to the sudden loss of his secure family existence. It was scary for a while and he has since recovered - the family is not the same and never will be - there is step parenting now and new places and lives and changes. However, I do think that my sitting at home, bored and resentful, would not necessarily have made a huge difference to the outcome.... and might have left me angry and alone... such is the price we all pay for grabbing chances and living our lives. If they are secure and cared for - the rest will fall into place - you are not abandoning them - but they will make you feel sooo guilty!

Chic Mama said...

I feel that I have been preoccupied since my husband left and I definitely don't give my children as much attention. I feel so guilty but I'm struggling to get through each day and I am here for them virtually twenty four hours a day seven days a week. I'm sure I won't always be like this and surely we deserve a life as well. I know people that have put their lives on hold for their children but I'm not that selfless. I'm sure none of our children will really suffer from it, they will gain if we find happiness and I think they often use the situation to 'demand' more from us and make us feel guilty. They have to learn that we are people in our own right and deserve some 'me' time as much as they do.
I hope you had a good night, don't feel guilty. Take care. XX

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

very eloquent Sub...I can feel the way you are torn...we all are evryday, every minute, separation or no...
just keep going, you are doing great...

Elizabeth said...

OK you have my permission to go out.
TG will have a family member with her. You seem to do lots of things with her and I hope you have a super evening out!
You are attentive enough to feel guilty.
I think some people wouldn't even think of that.
It's good sometimes just to hang out at home with the family without 'doing' anything.
love from NY

word verification :
inathy

whay on earth is that
inactivity
slight lack of empathy?
a girl's name?

I am compiling a dictionary of these silly words for a children's book
THANKS google!!!

Maggie May said...

You are there for your children and you don't have to be out here, there & everywhere all the time.
Some of my best memories are listening to the radio while doing art work & listening to Mum ironing on the creaky table in the kitchen. Mum was always there & quite often I was just happy to do my own thing.
You have provided a responsible person to baby sit while you go out. Some one who loves the children and who you trust.
You are entitled to a life of your own & you are being responsible about that.
So go off & enjoy yourself. Your children will be fine!

Nuts in May

Steve said...

You can't always be there for your children - as horrible as it makes you feel - to try and do so only gives them false expectations of life. And as for being entertained all the time... that rarely happens at the best of times. It sounds to me like you're giving them the best thing of all - normality.

Marvin -The Hollow Hound said...

oh I feel for you having been down this similar route myself.

Long ago and far away....I was living in a house I hated, with a baby and toddler. I used to worry in the dark nights that all my two kids would remember was a crabby mother who was quick to anger, rage and tears. For that is how I saw myself way back then.

A while ago I was remembering those times out loud with Eldest Daughter......I asked her what she remembered about those "to me" miserable times.

All her memories were happy ones.

So relax, don't worry, children are more resiliant than we think.

And also, if you were "trying" to entertain them, it would not come over as "real and genuine".

They know you, they love you, they accept you for what you are. A good and kind mother.

Sometimes we try too hard, I am guilty of this very thing, and it doesn't work.

Life is for living, your children have proved they are fine, so don't worry!

Your happiness will trickle down to them in time, and love will win.

Letty x Little Girl With A Curl

sorry signed in as my dog once more. ;0D

nick said...

You have to have some time for yourself, and your kids have to learn to entertain themselves when you're not around. I spent a lot of time on my own when I was a kid (or playing with my sister) and I don't think it did us any harm. And as Chic Mama says, they will gain if you find happiness. If mum's around but she's frustrated, that's not good.

Rose said...

This is the curse of being a woman and of being a mother in particular. We always think that we must put others' needs before us and feel guilty if we try to seek a little "me" time. Don't! You deserve a life for yourself, so enjoy those times when you get to go out. The children will survive; I bet Tall Girl had a good time watching television with her grandmother after all.

I'm a great one for giving advice to others when I often didn't take my own advice:) But now that I have an "empty nest," I realize that if you let your life be completely wrapped around your children, once they're grown and gone, you'll wonder what to do with your own life.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Guilt - such a great thing at times that keeps us in check when our behaviour isn't quite what it should be. But it is also destructive when it nags away as a not so wee voice at the back of your mind. Grannies are great things for cuddling up to and sharing time with. See it all worked out in the end!

Liz said...

Sometimes we force our guilt on our children - 'we must go out and enjoy ourselves'. I'm sure they were fine and I bet granny spoils them!

French Fancy said...

You did the right thing and you mustn't beat yourself up.