It was suggested recently that I write a post about parental confessions, opening the floor to anyone who wanted to chime in. Oddly enough, I'd been planning to do this as soon as I had a moment to scrape brain remnants off the floor to mold a coherent thought or two.
Lord knows I could start a new blog chock full of my bad parenting moments rather than a single post, even at this early stage of my job as a shaper of a young mind. However, I'll have a go and it will no doubt be equal parts appalling and arresting.
-Floor food: P is a thrower. Our kitchen is painted in what is surely 50% matt paint, 50% smeared foods. The ratio has perhaps shifted in favour of Miscellaneous Food after tonight's dinner of mashed potato and Ham and Emmenthal slice was added to the wall, you know, to mix it up a bit.
I work full-time and as a person not particularly fond of large amounts of housework, things may get a bit untidy at times. Food, may, hypothetically, sit on the floor for a good 24 hours. Child may, hypothetically, eat said food every once in awhile. In fact, the child may actually prefer floor food at times. Whilst chewing on a crusty lump of the previous night's dinner, P often ruminates on her love of day-old food, preferring its slightly crunchier/bendier/congealed texture. There are times when she will purposefully throw her food on the floor and refuse to eat, then, an hour or two later, go back to said (now) floor food and consume it happily. I don't stop her. In fact, I will usually just ask her if the floor food tastes good. It's tremendously unhygenienic and I'm far too casual about it, so no doubt she'll spend the rest of her life trawling through dumpsters for rancid meat and black bananas. It brings to mind one of David Sedaris' tales about his father Lou, a man who favoured rotten food. God I love Sedaris. Anyway...
-TV is my saving grace. P isn't in front of the TV every hour in which she is home with me, but I'll confess I put it on some evenings when I'm trying to make dinner, and I almost always put it on first thing on a Sunday morning when I get up with her. I blame all of you, because if it wasn't for reading blogs, I'd spend more quality time with my kid. Fuckers. Tearing a loving mother away from her darling child who needs to be nurtured and taught many exciting things each day...for shame!
-We get down to Jay Z. So he says things like, "You're now tuned to the motherfucking greatest" and "I got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one", but damn, that stuff is catchy and I cannot give up my Jigga, not even for the fruit of my loins. I tell myself that she can't possibly pick up any swearing when the words are being sung or rapped, but I'm sure I am deluding myself. In case any of you are particularly worried about poor P's ears being bombarded with swearing, I am strictly Disney around the kid. I don't even say "crap". Look at that restraint.
-I sometimes laugh when she cries. Not only do I laugh, I take pictures. With flash. I then laugh at the picture and her at the same time. The proof is in the sadistic, day-old pudding:
-I sometimes wish P could sprout some hair on the sides of her head to banish the mullet for good. It's beyond lame, but I do think to myself how she would look so much cuter if she could grow a full head of hair, rather than 60% of it. Could I be any more shallow? If I was smart, I'd confess such things anonymously in my own comments section.
-Despite confining P to a nursery all day, every day, I have quite a few evenings during which her bedtime couldn't come fast enough. This means I have spent a grand total of about 2 hours with her and I still want her to be in bed so I can have some time to myself. I blame the constant teething for making her an evil hellbeast, thus forcing my hand. Not my actual hand, as in I hit her, because I don't. The metaphorical hand. Hey, this is a confessions thread, I didn't want you to get the wrong idea!
-Last but not least, the confession which would banish me from the company of most mums, at least the ones I know - I don't want to spend every waking hour with her. In fact, I could quite happily go away for a week or so and not spend all of my time pining for my daughter. That is not to say I'd miss her, because I would. Tremendously. Would I spend most hours of those days wishing I could leave my vacation so I could be home with her again? No. Every mother I know seems to feel the complete opposite, to the point that I wonder if I love P enough. I think I do, but maybe my love is more finite than theirs, I don't know. I can't tell you how many times I have heard the expression, "I just can't bear to be away from ::insert child's name here::!" from some gushing mother. It happens in real life, and it happens in bloglandia. I don't feel this way, and I haven't since she was born. I spend a significant part of my working day thinking about her - wondering what she's doing, revelling in her assured brilliance, smiling at the amazing little girl she has become, but during none of this time do I think that I simply must be with her.
I would feel guilty enough feeling this way if I was home with her all the time, but I'm not. I work 40 hour weeks so I'm separated from her a lot, but I still feel like this. One of the hardest things for me to cope with immediately after P's birth was my (our) complete lack of freedom. Our lives were not our own, which, after all, is the basic premise of parenting. I really struggled, and obviously still do, with this notion. When I am given this time to be me rather than someone's mother, I take it. I need to not always be identified as Mummy. I need to sometimes be Pru.
So that's my sad tale of shite parenting. Please, add your own comments, anonymously if you wish. Though I have a stats counter, I hardly have the time nor inclination to match ISPs up with trails and times, or what have you, so anonymous means anonymous. I will make this post a permanent link in my sidebar, so that anyone can leave a comment there at any point and not need to trawl through my archives. I don't think this needs to be limited to current parents either. I think there are plenty of guilt-inducing confessions which can arise from the whole trying-to-get-pregnant scene as well. In my case it would have been my distinct lack of maternal feelings even in the midst of years of fertility treatment. Going through the emotional and physical rigors of treatment all the while disliking children could be perceived as a slight conflict of interests. It was always the pink elephant in the room for me, and even today I like my own kid, but the list almost ends there.
Tell us your confessions and fears. NO JUDGING!
Quick whoring moment - I have been avoiding actually doing any work at work lately, so I hang out doing the Google chat thing in Gmail with my Cheese Hand to make the hours melt away. I would love to mix it up a bit and talk to other people as well, so please, indulge me sometime and message me (BarrenAlbion). I'll probably be frightfully dull and you'll regret it always.