Spit….. Sh*t!!! F***!!!

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I was drawn into a discussion/debate on an online infertility support forum I frequent on a very interesting article that had been published – All Joy And No Fun, Why Parents Hate Parenting.  I loved this article and I really enjoyed the debate because the article really hit a few home truths for me. I’ve learned a lot about myself over the past 7 months.

I learned that I don’t fit into the mould of a SAHM, wrapped in an apron, baking cookies in a large, clean, homely kitchen, with a large table in the center of it, my children scattered around the table, being supervised by me, as they each work on various arts and craft projects. That was my ideal, it sounds so romantic and so wonderful, but I’ve learned it’s not for me.

Then I read the Reluctant Mom’s blog yesterday and the About Celeste section really struck a chord with me. Celeste is a mom after my own heart. I feel very much the same was as she does. I love Ava with every fiber of my being, it’s a love that no words can ever fully express but there are aspects of parenting which I hate. And the All Joy and No Fun article summed it up perfectly when it said: “Loving one’s children and loving the act of parenting is not the same thing”.

The blog and the article really provided an aha moment for me.  And it also gave me permission to let go of some of the guilt I’ve kept hidden deep inside my soul over the past few months. Guilt that I don’t want to spend every waking moment of every day with my daughter. Guilt that I look forward to dressing up, putting on my make up and heading off to work. Guilt that I like spending a Saturday mornings getting my hair highlighted and my nails done. A large portion of this guilt is as a result of not feeling like I was a good mother, or like I measured up to other mothers, this is partly because of the mother I have. My mom stopped working when she was half way through her pregnancy with me, she hasn’t worked outside the home since then, more than 38 years, she’s the type of mom that was always wrapped in an apron, the smell of baking hovering around her as she made home-made cookies and biscuits while my brother and I played at the kitchen table. The truly selfless type of mother. But I am not that kind of mother, I never will be and to try to force myself to be would be both detrimental to me and to Ava. I know that now, and its articles like these and blogs like the Reluctant Mom who give women like me permission to let go of that guilt and to recognize that we’re better mothers because of the choices we’ve made.

A case in point, one of those scenario’s that fits perfectly into the realizing that “loving one’s child and loving the act of parenting is not the same thing” is Ava’s weaning process. I’m HATING it! Hate it! Hate it! Hate it! This weekend she learned how to spit! Now all she wants to do is spit! Not just the new foods but everything in between and the things she loves, she just spits it and it lands up in my face, on my glasses, on the floor. It takes every ounce of my energy to try to keep calm and not lose it completely. To sit there with speckles of food on my glasses and patiently and calmly attempt to shovel another spoonful of food into her mouth even though I know that’s probably also going to get spat at me. It takes every ounce of control and energy I can muster to not scream the F word or throw something in the process. And then Walter wonders why, when he gets home from work, I’m so frazzled I can barely hold a conversation. I wish I could go back to just bottle feeding, it was so much easier!

At least now I can remind myself that I’m not alone in feeling this way. That there are loads of other mom’s out there who love their child/ren but don’t necessarily love the act of parenting!

July 14, 2010
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15 Comments

  • Reply natasjap

    Wonderful post! I absolutely get how you feel. Sometimes parenting is just THE hardest word ever!
    I remember that stage where he used to spit out his food, but I am very strict and used to make him know it is NOT on!
    We have now entered the terrible two’s and it is exhausting!!! He is a very obedient and good-mannered, easy child, and I still want to run for the mountains by 6 in the evenings… Hubby also doesn’t quite understand, as he only spends about 2 hours a day with our boy. I feel your pain of holding back the F words… I am not always able to…! Good luck!

    July 14, 2010 at 10:55 am
  • Reply ldr1604

    I think that the feelings you’ve expressed here are so important. I know I am not going to do everything perfectly and I know I am going to hate myself for it. I think learning to accept that you are not Mother Theresa but that you are still an awesome mom is a skill that is crucial.

    July 14, 2010 at 11:01 am
  • Reply ldr1604

    Wet and dirty nappies I’ll deal with. Snot on the other hand, can’t abide the stuff, don’t what I am going to do…

    July 14, 2010 at 11:03 am
  • Reply zamom

    What I found quite significant is that all the studies were done with working moms and dual-income couples. Makes you wonder, is it that the stress of holding down a full-time job, running a household and parenting is just possibly too much and something has to give. One can control a lot of things but one cannot control children and the ways they try and test you and push the boundaries and that then makes the parenting part of one’s life seem the unenjoyable one.

    July 14, 2010 at 11:03 am
  • Reply mayflowerladybugs

    Ugh! How true! I am like you know, also not a SAHM. A friend and I had this very conversation this morning – I would most certainly be a much worse mother (angry, frustrated and I hate to admit it – bored)if I was. My mom was also the cookie-SAHM type and she loved it. Me, not so much! And I totally relate to the food issues. The twins at 18 months now refuse to be fed. No they want to do it themselves. They don’t have the scooping thing down yet, and they turn the spoons around when they get to their mouths – aarrgghh!!! Food everywhere! Babies dirty! Mommy wants to feed babies again! But I do console myself, once they do get the hang of it properly it will become easier. And then we are not even mentioning bath time… Anyway, love them to bits the little rascals but ja exhausting!

    July 14, 2010 at 11:06 am
  • Reply lea2109

    Hang in there, doesn’t last long. She should be nearly ready for some finger foods and then you can stand away while she stuffs food into her mouth :-). But I promise before you know it this phase will pass!

    July 14, 2010 at 11:10 am
  • Reply tanyakov

    I loved this post – I relate!!!! As mentioned before, I think there are loads of us out there, and it just takes one to “come out” and the confessions begin!

    Sorry to hear about the feeding. I hope it passes. My baby, who is almost 10 months, will not put anything in his mouth (eg toys and finger foods). It will only go in if it’s from a spoon and is pureed.

    July 14, 2010 at 12:26 pm
  • Reply trishdg

    I have also realised that I am not the SAHM type and so I have a half day job. While I love love love my boys, there have been afternoons when my patience limit has been reached and I stick them in front of the TV (and something they like such as Ben 10 – not even CeeBeeBees – gasp horror) so I can have a cup of tea and quiet time on the computer. But I always feel guilty that I should be baking / doing something crafty / teaching them educational songs / playing outside or some such top mother activity but that is just not me all of the time. I know parenting is hard and we are all different but I always feel I am not quite measuring up. Like if I had a report card it would say – needs to pay more attention and try harder!

    July 14, 2010 at 1:08 pm
  • Reply marina1605

    Great post Sharon. I put a lot of pressure on myself when Claudio was born because I thought I would adapt to motherhood seamlessly. I always thought that my dream was to be a SAHM {just like my Mom!}, and boy was I wrong. All that pressure resulted in the PND I suffered which was truly horrible. And although the guilt never goes away, I do love my little boy with all my heart and more and am a much happier person, wife and mommy since returning to work.

    Good luck with the weaning. The spitting is very annoying, but all part of the process and will pass 🙂

    PS. I’m also not able to hold back the F word sometimes, so don’t feel bad. We’ll just have to be careful once they start getting to the age that they can talk and repeat what we say. hehe

    July 14, 2010 at 1:13 pm
  • Reply reluctantmom

    For me it was that moment of realisation that actually I like being a mommy, just not 24/7. I had all this guilt as I was supposed to WANT to be with my kids all the time, but the reality was not-so-much.

    Sometimes I really just need “me” time. I also tried to not work, but work for me is about more than a job or a place to go between 8 and 5pm, it is also part of who I am – and where I get my sense of self.

    I remember a few years ago a girl at the office was pregnant and when I asked her if she was going to come back she said: “No, I am going to stay at home and be a full time mom, because being a mom is the best thing ever, and it is important to be home with your child.”

    Clearly as I stood there with two kids at home, and I was at work, I thought I might just slap her right there and then.

    But blogging (bless blogging) and realising who I am at the core made me realise that we can also be different kind of moms, it does not make me worse or better than a mom who chooses to be a SAHM, versus a mom who WANTS to work.

    The moment I had my own “aha” moment was also pretty inspiring for me – glad I could be a part of yours.

    July 14, 2010 at 3:12 pm
  • Reply TJ

    I hear what you’re saying! I love my boy, but oh the rage I’ve experienced, I never want to experience again. I hate day time sleeps… it’s my worst! And so sorry you have to deal with the spitting, I too wouldn’t be really happy with that. And yes, Dads don’t always understand it!

    July 14, 2010 at 4:12 pm
  • Reply Nisey

    You’re so right Sharon, parenting sux! Being a mom is the best thing in the world though – when J rushes to the gate after playschool screeching mommy mommmy mommy i just melt. But all the pooey nappies and tantrums etc kinda suck! i was talking to my bff today and it occurred to me that only through jaden have i begun to discover my true self… warts and all!

    July 14, 2010 at 5:44 pm
  • Reply orbit365

    My dear, you are not alone in feeling like this. I get it. Completely. That is all.xxx

    Julia

    July 14, 2010 at 10:27 pm
  • Reply coachmarcia

    I remember when the babies were newborns, I wrote on my blog, “I love the babies but not the experience” and people related so much to that.

    So totally get it!

    Kendra is also going through a spitting stage now – I just ignore her as I think she gets “off” on me getting cross. LOL

    July 15, 2010 at 10:38 am
  • Reply hcouperus

    (bit slow on the comment 🙁 girls are home for the holidays, kept me pretty (good) busy!)

    I LOVE LOVE the results of parenting. That is not to say that parenting is always enjoyable but the results are soo soo worth it! Believe me, after almost 9 years of parenting I’m reaping some of the benefits and it is soooo good! Be consistent and firm, let Ava know that spitting is NOT acceptable. One thing I found/find with parenting is that just when I think I’ve got the particular ‘thing’ fixed a new problem arises!

    July 16, 2010 at 9:01 am
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