Tuesday, June 28, 2011

This Weekend

My plan for this weekend has me all torn up inside. Recently, as you may know from my previous blog, I have been pretty stressed out with the kids, specifically L. I do ok during the week and then the weekend comes along and I find myself yelling, seething, and constantly losing my patience.
And it's scaring me.
I don't want to be that mom. I don't want to be.....my mom.
I hesitate to write that, because I love her so much. She was a great mother. But most of my memories of my older childhood are of her yelling. A lot.
I can't blame her. She was a stay-at-home (mostly) mom of four kids. My dad worked, often long hours. We had a limited budget. Many, many things that will stress a mom out. And although she had many friends, I don't think she had a large support network. She didn't have ECE training, or parenting magazines, or the internet to help her learn new ways to deal with different situation. (Ok, that sounds conceited. I'm not trying to say that I'm a better mom than she was just because I have ECE training, I just maybe have more insight into some situations.) She did the best she could. But my memories are of a grumpy mom. I specifically remember loving the holidays (vacations or Christmas) because that's when my mom would be happier.
And that proves the old adage: Happy mom, happy kids.
So back to my dilemma, what's tearing me up. Last weekend, I found myself crying, and telling myself that I really needed a break. And that I would take one.
DH is planning to go to the cottage this weekend. As you know, not my favourite place, but it is his. For you Americans, it is a long weekend here; Canada Day is July 1st, and happens to fall on a Friday this year. So that means DH would probably leave and go up to the cottage on Thurs night.
I told him yesterday that I wasn't going.
DH- "WHY?" (now looking very disgruntled)
Me- "I really need a break. I really need this if I am going to spend the next nine weeks surrounded by kids and fighting."
DH - silence.
Me- "What are you thinking?"
DH- "I'm just disappointed I guess."
Here's where I'm thinking, Does he want me to come because he will miss me? or Does he want me to come because he knows this means he's left with the kids on his own?
I thought I'd give him the benefit of the doubt. I assumed he meant he wanted to be with me. So I offered a compromise. "Why don't we give the kids to your mom, and we could have the weekend to ourselves?" (We haven't had that in, well, forever.)
DH - (in an almost whiny tone) "But I really want to go to the cottage."
Ok, fine. Guess that answers my question. So apparently, my needs are not important. It doesn't matter that I'm stressed. It doesn't matter that we haven't had couple time in forever. It only matters that he gets what he wants. So now I'm made to feel guilty for wanting some sanity. For wanting to regain my composure, to feel like an adult instead of a mom.
Part of me is saying that it's not as bad as all that. Maybe I'm making a mountain out of a molehill. We aren't very good communicators. Probably because I bottle everything up out of past experiences of learning that being emotional gets me nowhere with him. He is very stubborn. And if he does give in to what I want, he will sulk and be sullen about it, for AGES!! Boy that guy can hold a grudge! So I probably should talk to him, and let him know that us spending alone time together is very important to us as a couple.
But then there's the selfish part of me that wants to be ALONE alone. No one else. Free to have the whole bed, to eat when I want, to eat what I want (not what I think is a decent compromise of all the family's likes and dislikes), to run on my own schedule. To have NO schedule! So I don't know if I want to change his mind...Plus that selfish part wants him to suffer. I want him to see what I go through. Of course knowing my luck, the boys will be angels all weekend. They'll save it all up for when they get home.
So there is another reason I want to stay home. It's my mom's birthday on Sunday, my nephew T's 2nd birthday tomorrow, and my Nan is arriving from England for her annual summer visit. Three good reasons to go visit with my family this weekend. And due to the holiday, we almost ALWAYS miss my mom's birthday. And I feel awful about that. I want to celebrate with her. She deserves it.
So what, you say, is my problem?
I feel bad. I feel like a horrible mother for not wanting to be with my kids. I feel like I'm letting them down, that I'm giving them some idea that I can't stand them. And I know I'll miss them. Especially when I'm hearing or watching the fireworks here in town on Friday night. But, it's not enough to make me go with them.
I think.
We'll see.


  1. Wanting time to yourself does not, I repeat DOES NOT make you a bad mother. My kids are spending half of next week at my parents and I am doing a happy dance, and I'm not ashamed of it. I love my kids, but I also love and know myself. Personally, I need the breaks from them in order to be a happy mommy.
    Guilt is a completely useless emotion. Let it go, please. When you feel guilty, figure out why, then act on that. If you lost it with the kids, apologize to them for that. If you feel guilty about not being around for your Mom's birthday, then go and spend time with her. You can't please everyone all the time, and you'll go crazy trying to.
    Also, try to make some time for you and DH. Alone. Without the kids or other distractions. Go for a walk, or out for dinner. Maybe it doesn't work out this weekend, but definitely send the boys to your inlaws another weekend for a sleepover, to give you guys some time.
    And be gentle with yourself. Don't beat yourself up. You don't go around town beating up other people, so why do it to yourself. You are a great mom, and a wonderful caregiver to other peoples children, try to remember that.

  2. Your weekend alone sounds wonderful. And the boys need some time with just their dad. A boys weekend.