This is a mom post, so prepare yourself for the mom voice that I warned you about.
I am pretty sure that I am not the only mom in the world who feels like she is failing her children. When I think of career driven women, I think of someone with a tidy, pitch black bob and crisp business suit. I am writing this with the same messy, blonde rats nest of a bun that I have worn for a week and the only clean clothes I could find (a severed head t-shirt and skinny jeans).
This topic has been plaguing me for a while now and I feel so desperately hopeless that I’m now clutching on to the thought that I might not be alone.
I don’t have time for my child anymore and he knows it.
I thought that I knew the sharp crack that your heart makes when it breaks into a million pieces, but I didn’t. I didn’t have a clue about how much pain you will feel when your child looks at you with such disappointment. Nothing hurts quite like realizing that your child thinks that they aren’t important enough for your time anymore.
Yes, adverts have been made about this. Memes created and shared like wildfire on social media by all of us, as if we aren’t guilty of being those parents. But I am guilty of it.
We are all so swamped with our daily lives that I am sure I’m not the only one who literally runs on autopilot. I sit in traffic so that I can fetch my child from school, only to get home so that I can switch the TV on, then resort to feeding him peanut butter and jam sandwiches for dinner. My husband has stepped in to parent in my absence, while I sit in my office and try squeeze every last drop out of the day. When I do come up for air, it’s to moan at him for not picking up his school uniform from his floor or to remind him how busy I am. I can’t even remember when last I asked him how his day was and actually listened to what he was saying.
When did I become that parent?
How silly? I’m choking up as I write this because I’m so absolutely shattered that I have failed my son.
Yes, I know that I need to work hard to provide for him, but he is a 9-year old and doesn’t need to worry about my grown up issues now.
Yes, I chose a hobby that is very time-consuming and better for my health in the long run. But it isn’t going to matter how long I live if my only son doesn’t want to see me anymore?
When did Riley stop being my first choice? When did my priority go from being the best mom that I could be, to “not now my boy, I’m busy.”
It doesn’t matter how often I tell him that I love him either, if he doesn’t believe it. Not if he is coming to me an hour after we’ve gotten home to ask me how my day was, in an attempt to get me to speak to him. What kind of monster have I become?
Do we all do this? Are we all making our children feel like they aren’t important enough for our time?
I really wish that I could offer something of value like a clever, little how-to make time; or top tips for being a hands-on fit mom. But I can’t because I am not that mom anymore. I wish that my last Google search wasn’t “making more time for your kids”.
All I can do is swallow this deplorable self-loathing that I am experiencing right now and try figure out how I can get all my adulting done and be the kind of parent that my son deserves. Because he is the most amazing kid, and I am saying that as his mom and as a human who sees how patient he is. I see how strong he is to deal with all of the changes that we keep putting him through, he is a champion who is wise beyond his years.
And I am missing out on all of that.
No clever GIFs or one liners. No tips, tricks of fitness related anything this time.
Just me. Raw, exposed and so desperately wanting to hold my child close this evening.