Thursday, January 15, 2015

A good mom

I really try to be a good mom.
My son often tests that.

Yesterday was more of the same.  Ben wanted to go outside so I bundled both of us up, grabbed the dog's leash and off we went.  We got close to a mile away from home when Ben jumped out of the stroller to walk.  Of course, he wanted not just to walk but also to push the stroller with one hand and hold the dog's leash with the other hand.  Let me just say that the cops have come to our house not once but twice about Ozzie.  Allowing a not-even-two-year-old walk him by himself is not a good idea.  So my son and I undergo a battle of the wills, which finally, after much effort and testing of my patience, is resolved with him sitting back in the stroller.  Then when we finally return home, he freaks out again.  Apparently a two mile walk in 20 degree weather is not far enough for my son.  He screams, legs kicking, as I literally tuck him under my arm to carry him back into the house.  At which point, he stands at the garage door screaming for another 15 minutes about how he wants to go back outside.  Pleading with me.

I tried to rationalize with him, told him it was cold out and we spent enough time outside.
I tried to distract him.  "Hey, Benji, do you want a snack?"

I told him I was going upstairs to change my clothes, asked him if he wanted to come.
He just wanted to stand there screaming.

So I let him.
For 15 minutes.
Until he finally realized we were not going back outside and started to play with his toys instead.

When your daughter dies inside of you and you don't even know it and your son throws temper-tantrums that last for 15 minutes at a time and you are so deep into your grief that you're not really present, it's really hard to feel like a good mom. 

It's actually quite easy to feel like an incredibly shitty mom.


  1. You are a good mom. Kids are hard. Toddlers are incredibly hard.

    You love your kids. They love you.

    You are a good mom.

  2. A) You're a wonderful Mom.

    B) I know this feeling so well. I'm sorry, Heather. I wish it was different for us. I wish we were only feeling guilty about not having the perfect-Pinterest-life.

    C) You took Ben on a walk! In TWENTY degree weather? You sound like a kickass mom to me. I don't think I would have done that.

  3. Oh Heather.
    I'm so sorry, but would you believe I'm laughing through tears pricking at my nose? (Do you ever get that, it starts in your nose before it ever hits your eyes? Anyway…)
    Because OMG. This is a recurrent and Very Familiar conversation. And one I think is held amongst every Mom whether or not all your children are alive or not, from what I can tell. Laughing because I seriously JUST WROTE about this to my BLM friend group maybe 2 weeks ago.
    You are soooo not alone in this. Except if f-e-e-l-s so lonely because grief is so isolating. I second what Jen said and multiply it x100. You took him out at all? In this weather? My 2 1/2 year old has been outside all of about 45 minutes since November. No joke. I think you're a flipping HERO. All toddlers test their parents. 15 minutes of screaming will give the most rested, content parents in the world a run for their money, no doubt.
    So cry over your grieving heart, your beautiful girl, the empty space in your life, and know that your son is exactly as he should be. A healthy, button-pushing boundary-seeking toddler. Who loves you to bits, no matter how absent you feel.

  4. Thanks girls. I needed to hear this.

  5. Heather,
    As the others have said, you are an incredible mom (and I am not just saying that to try to make you feel better.) A lot of parents (myself included) wouldn't venture to take their child out in such cold weather, grieving or not. Despite your devastating grief, you are doing a great job. Please try to be kind to yourself while your grieving heart heals.

  6. Toddlers are so hard, and dealing with grief while parenting a toddler is indescribable. I have been there, and as I have told you, I remember so little about that year if Sloane's life, it kills me! You are doing great. Just do your best, some days will be better than others. <3


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