Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Morning Blahs

Am I a bad mom for not being a morning person?

I think a part of the job requirement for being a mother is worrying about the dumbest things (and the important things too). I can't tell you how many thousands of women I've heard doubt themselves. Even as I always sigh and give a shoulder to lean on, I know I too am guilty of self-doubt.

I have a strong voice, and have no problem with raising it to curb bad behavior. I know I probably scare everyone in a ten mile radius (just joking), but I know my kids ignore me if I try to keep my voice level. I don't like spanking - reserving the corporal punishment for when one child puts another (or themselves) in physical danger. I know there are some days it seems I'm spending every other moment with my voice raised. I hate it too. I know that if my kids are acting out (fighting with each other, sneaking tv time in their room, etc) then I'm not keeping them stimulated enough...but as much as I blame myself for some of their behavior, I won't punish myself because they're choosing to break the rules...if that makes sense.

I had a tragic and horrible childhood. My dad is my rock, he became a single father of 4 kids when my brothers and I asked my mother to leave and never come back. I have very few good memories of my mother. I know she couldn't always control her actions (she is a very low functioning Bipolar). But that doesn't sooth the many hurts. But as I raise my voice in reprimand, I worry about what my children will remember of me someday. Will they only remember the loud voice? The boot camp exercises for repeated bad behavior? Will they remember the cuddles and the love? My mother insists there were many many times of happy existence, but I have none of those memories. My brothers and I are all missing large chunks of our memory and for a while we would meet to sit and try to fill in the blanks for each other. Then my younger brother and I decided to leave the past in the past. It's enough for me to know I have my dad and my brothers.

As I stated starting out, I'm not a morning person...and yet my children took after my hubby and are up at the crack of dawn raring to go. I just know that it would be perfect for them to get in some school work during that time, but there is no way. Even before they were born, when I was an engineer, I couldn't get up before 8 and wasn't really functional before 10. When my kids were just a bit younger they would try to sneak as much as possible before 8 am, as they know I wouldn't even remember yelling at them.

It's so strange. I can stay up all night fine. I have no problem at 2 am. But between 4 am and 8am I'm in a strange fugue. You can try to wake me, I'll talk to you, but I'm not really coherent. Weird. So I sometimes wonder what the kids are missing by having a night owl mom. This morning I'm early. Preparing to teach Sign Language at our local Health & Wellness center. The kids are listening to books on tape.

If I could write a letter to the adult men my boys become, I would want to say the following:

Every moment of every day I have loved you. I'm sure I've made mistakes - it's how we learn and evolve in this existence- but even when making errors my love for you consumed me. You have amazed me from the moment you came into this world. Brothers together from the start - and yet so inherently different. DJ with his sensitive soul. I look at how open and loving he is, and am jealous that I've been guarded since I was younger than him. Xman is so strong. So funny. I see myself stamped on every inch of his personality. Live life to the fullest my beautiful boys. Don't be afraid to love - even if it doesn't work out your soul will be the better for having tried.

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