A few years ago I saw an interview with Jennifer Lopez about her becoming a mother of twins. The interviewer asked her what was the hardest part of being a celebrity parent. She replied that the hardest part of being a parent was the “mother’s guilt.” She talked about no matter what decision she made, she felt pangs of guilt that she might be failing her kids in some way. I think the interview stuck in my mind because it proved that I do have one thing in common with J Lo. I’m practically Lauren from the Block.
I get the parent guilt. I feel guilty when I’m at work and away from my kids. I feel guilty when I’m at home and away from work. I feel guilty that I can’t afford to take them to Disney World and feel guilty that they don’t have the best of the best. I feel guilty when I’m tired and feel guilty when I take time away from them to nap. I was not adequately prepared for the mom guilt.
I feel less guilty with Jack than I did with Logan. I hope this isn’t a sign that I’ve given up. My poor second baby… Not only is he the second baby but he’s 6 ½ years younger than Logan. From the time he was born he’s been taken to games and school events. Our lives still revolve around Logan’s social calendar. Poor Jack.
Poor Jack wears only hand me down clothes and has mostly hand me down toys. I have only bought him a handful of new things. Santa even brought him a train table that happened to live at a friend’s house.
Poor Jack is often called “Logan…Mojo…Banjo…I mean you…Kid?” I even signed the wrong name up to provide cheetos at the last holiday party for Jack’s class. A teacher prompted me by saying, “Did you mean for Logan (who isn’t even attending this daycare) to bring cheetos or Jack?” I’m sure she was questioning my sanity.
Poor Jack often is stuck out on the town without necessary items. By the time I get Logan, Jack, and Trey out of the house, I can’t be expected to have my purse AND a diaper bag? My brain can only do so much!
Poor Jack gets strapped into the high chair every morning. If you can figure out a better way to keep him occupied while I shower, get dressed, fix my hair, put on makeup, feed myself and both boys, get Logan up and dressed, get Trey up (he dresses himself), and feed the dogs, I’d love to hear it but for now strapping one kid in is my best option. If I could strap Logan down too, I totally would. Trey too. It would just be easier if I could only deal with one person at a time.
Poor Jack fell out of our camper into a hail storm and into the mud. The next day he also almost drowned (an ever so slight exaggeration) when I only inflated one part of his “safety” float device.
Poor Jack poisoned himself for 3 days before I figured it out. Three mornings in a row he suddenly had white powder on his upper lip. Since we don’t have cocaine on hand, I thought he was finding pixi sticks. (Even though none of us really like pixi sticks and I had no idea where he would have found them.) It was 3 freakin’ days before I realized he had tasted to top of the Comet can. SERIOUSLY!? I didn’t even properly child proof my house for the poor kid. I called Poison Control and was told he’d “probably be ok.” Probably!? (Note: this occurred several weeks ago but didn’t make the blog until I was certain he’d survive and that Child Services wasn’t going to be involved. I have since removed the Comet from his reach. I have also not told Trey this story. Now we’ll know if he is reading this blog…)
Poor Jack. I hope he feels loved and knows that he really was wanted. I hope he understands that he is a priority even when it might not seem like it. And when I’m feeling my most guilty about my parenting of poor Jack, I remind myself that I’ve also failed Logan on many occasions. I’ve dropped him off at school with only one shoe. I’ve lost him in the mall and accidentally fed him moldy cheese. I’ve dressed him in clothes that were too small because I didn’t want to admit he had grown. I’ve allowed Elmo to babysit when I was too tired to engage. I once let Logan get stuck in the dog door to “teach” him not to do it again. I once looked away and failed to prevent him from falling off the top of a playground slide. And, in one of my finest moments, I lost track of him momentarily only to discover he’d held onto the rising garage door and was then hanging like a little spider monkey. At least they’ll have each other and be able to share all of the times I’ve failed them. Hopefully they’ll also laugh those times off (as their therapists have helped them learn to do) and share some positive memories too.