Thursday, February 21, 2008

Guilt to Gratitude

I think as mothers it is easy for us to feel guilty about everything pertaining to our kids - I know it is for me at least. I don't remember feeling that way so much when I had only Ella, although I'm sure I did, but as soon as I was pregnant with Addie I definitely remember feeling guilty...guilty that I wouldn't be able to spend the time with Ella that she was used to (and deserved in my opinion) and guilty that Addie would never get to experience that attention. It seemed unfair to everyone involved.
Although most of the time I feel fine about how things are going with the girls, I definitely have moments where I break down because I feel like I cannot be what I wish I could be to everyone. Life gets crazy, as we all know, and I can begin to feel like nothing I'm doing is quite enough. I'm not being as patient with Ella as I should and the house isn't as clean as I would like it and poor Addie gets shuffled around from one activity to another and I'm behind on laundry, my book, finishing Addie's baby book and I haven't even had time to watch the shows on the DVR that I want to :-). Most of all though, I feel guilty for not spending the one-on-one time with Ella and Addie that I want to and think they are entitled to. I had one of these moments last week and Mike reassured me that the girls just love to be with me, even if they are just playing in our room as I fold clothes. It did make me feel better (what a man :-)!) and hopefully that is true!
Anyway, tonight as I watched the girls playing together and laughing together I really felt completely at peace about everything. I suppose in the end there is always something else we wish we could do or that we think we could do better, but we seem to turn out just fine all the same. The only way I would really have been able to maintain the time I spent with Ella would have been to not have any more children and I believe that would have been more of a disservice in the grand scheme of things.
I am the oldest of 5 children and I don't remember feeling like my parents didn't have enough time for me ever in my life (even after having them all to myself in the beginning), but I do remember having lots of fun with my siblings growing up. We built tree forts in the back yard and held our own Olympics in the basement (we used a picnic table bench for our balance beam and a stool for a vault and even used baby powder on our hands to seem like hard core gymnasts). And yes, we fought too, but I can't imagine how boring my days would have been had I been all alone.
(of course if you are an only child reading this, I'm sure there are also many benefits, but that wouldn't help my cause right now :-)
So, in conclusion I am very grateful that my girls have each other, especially now that they are reaching ages where they can interact with one another. It really does make my life easier. Take tonight...Addie saved me by laughing over and over again at Ella, because in my boring adult way I can only pretend that Ella's crazy nonsense talking is funny for so long, but Addie genuinely thinks it is hysterical. I'll just have to re-read this the next time I am having guilt-filled moment to remind me that I really should be grateful instead!


The Chrissy Herself said...

You are an incredible Mom, Marci! You are always so on top of things! And now, the girls are learning how to entertain themselves and build relationships with others, and all you have to do is sit back and watch! :)

Kendall and Lee'sa said...

I hear ya sis! Maybe I'll read it again too later! Thanks for sharing.

Heber and Chalonn said...

Well said Marci...I think we can all relate to this post!! Thanks!

Sara Jean said...

So cute. I love this story/reflection by you, Marci. I know alot of moms that feel the same way when number two comes along. I'm sure it is such a wonderful thing as a parent to see your kids playing and getting along and loving each other. My best memories from growing up involve me siblings. I'm so glad I wasn't an only child.