Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mommy guilt

I took a few days off from the 'puter.

With the exceptions of playing some games on Facebook (cuz, dude, I'm totally addicted to Algerian Patience and Mafia Wars) my lappy was off all weekend. And you know what?

It felt good.

Because you see...my weekend started off a little rough and I needed the down-time.

If I haven't said so already, let this stand as my preface for all other Mom-related comments: I love my Mother.

She just has absolutely no respect for my decisions as a parent or understand boundaries what-so-ever and I leave encounters with her feeling frustrated, angry and cheated out of time with my kids that I could have spent doing something else. ANYTHING else.

As in I'd rather shout, "C'mon kids! We're going to go walk around in a really super-expensive antique store for an hour without a stroller! And we're not going to nap! And I'm going to feed you nothing but sugar! WOO HOO!!!"

But I feel this horrible guilt if I don't answer the phone when she calls. I think of how much I would love to have had more time with either of my Grandmas and don't want to deny my kids time with theirs.

A Saturday morning trip to Target, though, changed my mind.

If Mommy ain't happy -- no one's happy.

And that Mommy? Is ME.

For two weeks now I've spent my Saturdays with her and spent the rest of the weekend trying to recover from them. I had kids behave in public the way my children never have because I have rules like "We Don't Play With Basketballs in Target" and Grandma says its OK.

I had kids have blood-curdling, screaming tantrums because they wanted the damned basketball and I have rules like "I'm Not Buying A Freakin' Basketball Because We Already Have Two at Home" and Grandma says, "Oh, its OK - Grandma will buy it" and then Mommy has to say "Like hell you will."

I had kids have 20-minute long tantrums because Grandma was getting dropped off at home after she promised them sunshine and ponies and pockets full of chocolate and Mommy couldn't take it any more.

I let my kids cry because we were going home for lunch and then nap time as previously scheduled because I wasn't about to fall AGAIN for the, "Oh, its OK...they can take naps later, right?" line. (Because if Grandma says it out loud then I'm the bad guy who won't let them, but screw it...Momma needs her boys' nap time as much as they need the nap.)

Its like I'm torturing myself - in some ways I see spending time with my Mom as an addictive behavior. (Shut up - I like Intervention alright?) I know its bad for me. I know I'm going to regret it later on -- but I do it anyway.


SO. I love my mother but I'm not going to let her ruin another weekend for me.

Cuz there just aren't enough of them to waste.


Nap Warden said...

I feel you...I kind of have the same kind of relationship going with my mom. She's not a bad person...but every once in a while, she lets me have it right between the eyes:P

Luckily, she lives far away...so most of her brutality is by phone;)

WeaselMomma said...

I feel your pain, or at least I used to. Then I pulled the plug -literally, well not really but gave the nod to the doc- and now I don't have that problem anymore. I too loved my mom, but suffered every time I indulged her company. Don't feel guilty, feel liberated.

NicEmMOM said...

I feel you! I on the other hand have several siblings who are just as bad as mom is. "Oh it is ok that Em did not take a nap today, she will sleep good tonight for you" Little do they understand that Mommy does not go straight home after picking her up and has about 2 to 3 hours of running to do after work before even stepping foot on home base. Oh well what can we do right? They are family and we really can't send them back! What is worse is when they are the in laws!

Anonymous said...

If you have to practice Sanity Management with your own mother, then you are perfectly within your rights to give her the 'ol ixnay on a weekend. At least someone has boundaries in this scenario.

I am so sorry.

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

I understand...my mom is actually very regimented but my MIL is very very laid back. Now that my girls are older, though, it's easier for them to realize that they may get away with going to bed after 10 and eating an entire bag of marshmallows for bedtime snack at my inlaws but that's not the reality at "my house." ;) Luckily neither my mom nor MIL undermines my parenting, though. That stinks!

Good for you for taking a computer break. I was pretty much offline most of the weekend although I did sneak on a bit Saturday (addict...cough.) ;)

p.s. I voted for you, too! THX!

JustMiss said...

I want to say drop them in her lap for the weekend and see if it happens again but I have a sneaking suspicion that she might send them back even more spoiled.


Denise said...

Wish I knew what to tell you ... just know that you're not alone, and your mom isn't the only one that conveniently forgot what it's like to have kids once grandkids were born. I love my mom dearly, but sometimes I just can't stand being around her ... and it makes me feel horrible! She loves her grandkids deeply too, but seems to have forgotten that there are other ways to say it than crappy Dollar Store toys, candy, donuts, no naps, etc. etc. For everyone's sake, I grit my teeth and let it all happen about once a month. We live 2 hours away, so at times that's a blessing!

A Mom Anonymous said...

Grandmas - they think they have all the rights to fun don't they?! My own mom isn't bad, she is excellent at following our rules. My MIL isn't too bad either - I think she's scared of me. It's my FIL's wife that ruins my life most of the time. So I thought of her while reading your post but the biggest differences are 1) I hate her, certainly don't love her 2) we would NEVER in a million years spend weekends together or go shopping. There would be bloodshed for sure.

Hang in there!

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

I'm sorry your weekends have been messed up lately. I have a difficult mother, too - I love her, but she IS difficult. Since having my daughter, I've tried to deal with it more head on (as opposed to avoiding the issues) - both to maintain my sanity and with hopes that I can break the cycle of crazy in our family. Sometimes it means drawing different boundaries; sometimes it means letting things go that would normally bug me.

Although...I'll be honest...I'm no good at letting things go. :)