Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's the Little Things

The Guilt-aholic is having a relapse and is in desperate need of a sponsor!! It's as if the takeover of school schedules, events, papers, and whole lot of crap on my desk has essentially pushed me over the edge.

The crabby neurotic has come out ensuring that the faces of my children have taken on that "knowing" look....the look that says "here she goes again, just wait for her to get over the ranting and raving and then try to talk to her"!

I have been doing pretty well holding my own being this single-mom of 4 right now...I've only had 2 blow-ups in the last week and that's good for me....this is the part where I'm trying to build myself up so I'd appreciate the support right now!

But because I'm supposed to be freeing myself of the guilt, eradicating the self-loathing on my abilities as a mom, and consciously making the effort to see the good in how I handle my children (this is the hard part) I needed to once again enter into my rehab and share a few guilt-less mommy moments:

So, here we go:

Hello, My name is Candace and I am a Mommy Guilt-aholic.

As I have progressed in this mommy world, I see many characteristics that have been passed down from my mother (many that could be conceived as thoughtful and sensitive and others that could be seen as a bit on the dramatic side) one, in particular, that I am utterly thankful to my mom for showing how to truly put others before me (in a selfless way, not a martyr-way) which is to pay attention to the details of people you care about. I am definitely delighted when I can surprise people by getting them simple, little gifts that I have noticed they use daily or just enjoy.

It's one of those things that I just keep a list in the back of my mind when I notice they like something or have asked for something in the past (children).

Sam, being the teenager she is, is always conscious of her breath, always asking if her breath is ok or if I have gum/mints in my purse that she can have on her way to school...and she always knows I do, being as this is a major issue for me - hating bad breath!
So going to the store for the 10th time the week before school started, I came home and pulled out a pack of gum and mints for her to take in her backpack for school. When I handed it to her, she turned to me with a surprise grin on her face and said, "mom, how is it you always know exactly what I want?" and of course I said, "Because I'm your mom and that's what we do" (YEAH-ME!)

This was a repeated conversation with Madison, when I brought home more headbands for those extremely long locks....although she asked (for the 100th time) if I happened to have run to the shoe store to get her those ??(don't know what they're called) sandals and I said no...seeing as she has quite the shoe fetish (Lord help me with this "diva" child), she was excited to have the headbands different colors so she could coordinate them with her already-laid-out-wardrobe for the week!

The conversation was not repeated with the boys, mainly due to the fact that we have "food" issues in our house....keep in mind, I have only had the boys for 3 years and before me, they were quite used to having fast food at any given requested moment or a live-in nanny/cook/maid that would serve up anything anytime they chose, regardless of any nutritional value at all....and then came me....not a short-order cook nor a fast-food lover and most definitely a one-cooked-meal-a-day mom (I don't cook breakfast except on weekends and certainly don't feel a need to make a mess in the kitchen in the middle of the day for lunch when I'll be messing it up for dinner) And don't even get me going about the tantrums and whaling done in my house over picky-eating (I will have to do a different post on that huge subject - advice needed), which by the way is probably one very big reason I am so disliked by the "other" family.

I know...the evil step-mom!! Guilt included, thank you!

So with the boys, I have tried to surprise them with the little things they like or enjoy that have nothing to do with food. I had noticed that when we were getting all of the needed supplies for the start of school days, JR had mentioned wanting a new pencil box when he overheard TJ asking for one because "all the other kids in junior high carry one", so when I went for the last trip (still fighting the crowds), I came home and surprised JR with his own pencil box to which he jumped up and said "is that for me?" (being the youngest always puts him in doubt that he actually gets something new!)

TJ (my other shop-aholic...imagine if I let both him and Madison have a day at the mall, I think I would get the mother-of-the-year grand prize) likes his surprises a bit different, see, going on 13 he doesn't like to be given something because he cannot accept anything he didn't have a choice about. Even if it is something he asked for, he will find something wrong with it because he did not do the choosing. So TJ's surprises have to come in the form of "let's go to the store so you can pick out...", which is what I did in letting him choose his new backpack (he had done quite the convincing of why the 5 other backpacks laying around were not good enough now that he was going into junior high).
So surprising TJ with a choice will get the loves, hugs, and kisses - after the choice has been made at the store, an hour later because he can't make up his mind (are we sure he's not my blood??)

So with the little things that I do for my kids, I get to show them that I really do listen to their wants and I really do care about them.
I get to acknowledge their uniqueness and individuality. And I get to show them that despite this neurotic and insane mom, they are the most special things in my life.

And if I'm lucky, I get to see their faces light up (even if it's for a second before they start in on the next thing they have to have) because of something that this mom cared enough to notice.


Brooke said...

I love my friends to pay attention to the details of their friends and family! It's so inspiring and such a blessing!

I will happily be your "sponsor" because I'm pretty confident that you are a kick butt mom and my job would be pretty "candace...get a grip girl! You have so much on your plate...let that guilt go...get a glass of wine...and pat yourself on the back!!"

Thanks for joining rehab again!!

hallfamily said...

HI! Thanks for reading my blog and following me now, I get so excited when I get new followers!! Plus I got to read your blog too! Keep doin the little things for the kids, those truly are what they will remember. You are doing a great job, I dunno how you do it alone, kudos!! My husband works most evenings so I have the 2 kids alone a lot and I think THAT is hard, can't imagine 4!! Keep your chin up, you're a great Mom!

Reyna said...

You sound like a very loving, caring, thoughtful person, not to mention mother!

Although you can be both, remember, those are two different things.

In all your hustle and bustle remember to take time for yourself.
It is a common lot as women and mothers to put ourselves on the BOTTOM of the list when in reality we should be on the TOP because we have to lead and often carry others to help them learn of their own greatness.

When we are at the bottom, there is not much left to buoy US up to fulfill that divine responsibility.

Colleen said...

You sure have alot on your plate! I'm glad they notice the little things. My two are 17 and 13 and so I have alot of rolled eyes lately! I hate when school starts. We have to get up earlier and every day I seem to have to run some errand. I use my work lunch hour to bring the youngest one home, so no more nice walks during the day. I can't seem to convince them that I really hate back to school more than they do. Hang in there! And I think one cooked meal per day is fantastic!

Surviving Motherhood said...

Love this post! You sound like such a wonderful person and I know you are an awesome mom!!!

I just ranted about the whole mommy guilt thing I know so many of us experience often. Believe me, you're not alone :)

Found your blog from blog frog, and am now your newest follower. Hope you stop by and visit me soon!

Charlene said...

I'd say you are doing a pretty darned good job!! We put so much pressure on ourselves... and really we should, when you think of the awesome responsibility (and great joy too) it is to be a parent. Enjoy every minute! :-)


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