Except it won't be so much a secret, unless you choose to comment anonymously. But come on, join me, won't you? It'll be fun! (Sardonic, wry laughter here.) I want us to confess our greatest failures as a mother, or spouse, or person in general. It will be both horrifying and cathartic.
Swistle got me started thinking about this in her latest post about anger, which I totally recommend you go read. She says she has a problem with a quick temper- she blows up, loses it, whatever, then soon calms down and is overcome with remorse. I realize many people have this problem, but I have personally never experienced it, so not only was her post amazingly honest, it was particularly mesmerizing for me because it was like a look into a normal person's psyche.
I was actually just saying to Jim the other day that I WISHED I could lose my temper and totally fly off the handle just once, to see what it felt like. It seems like it would be such sweet release, to lose all control and say any and every scary thing that popped into my head. But that's just not my style. Oh, I'm happy to engage you in a, shall we say, spirited debate. There will be snapping and terseness and unnecessarily emphatic shutting of cabinets and drawers. My voice may even border on raised. But I almost never yell, and even when I do it is intentional, if you see what I'm saying. It's not a loss of control.
So this is (knock on wood) hopefully not something I will struggle with in regards to parenting. I do get frustrated, and I do mutter under my breath. I do feel my entire body stiffen with agitation and impatience as I wait, wait, wait for Addy to do everything by herself while I'm rushing to get out the door, because Lord knows it will only take even longer if I try to insist that she let me do stuff for her.
But my real failing, my real weakness, is selfishness. To me this is far uglier than momentary flashes of anger. Less scary, maybe, and on the surface not nearly as obvious. No one's going to call children's services on me when they see me not taking my children for a walk because I'm on the couch blogging instead. No one's going to know that I had a mental conversation with myself about whether or not to put down the dust cloth and join Adelay in playing dollhouse, and that I actually chose the dust cloth over the dolls because I didn't feel like summoning up the mental energy to play with my child.
There are so many examples. My half-heartedness in attempting to potty train Addy, for instance, because it just takes such consistency. Sometimes I don't feel like waking her up to go to the bathroom as soon as her nap should technically be over, and I'd rather sit on the couch until I hear her actually open her bedroom door, even though I know that means we've probably lost the potty success opportunity.
Or my feet-dragging when it comes to establishing a feeding schedule for Eli, even though I know he probably needs one, as he's been spitting up a lot lately and is probably over eating during the day because he's nursing for comfort. But it's just so much easier to feed him on demand.
And then there's the selfish thoughts, so selfish I am ashamed to write them, but I will anyways. Thoughts at the grocery store, when I'm already exhausted and sweaty from wrestling an unwilling toddler and chubby baby and carseat into the cart, and I still have all the shopping and unloading and putting away to do, and my brain just wants to hide. And so it rages: "I shouldn't even be doing this! I'm twenty-three! I should be getting ready to go to a party, choosing an outfit that accentuates my flat, unstretch-marked belly. I should still be enjoying the occasional license to, as Vince Vaughn puts it, 'Get hopped up and make some bad decisions.' Why am I here? Who is this person wearing mom jeans and a damp bra?"
Do you know what I'm saying? These confessions may not necessarily seem that heinous and are certainly not child abuse or anything, but they just reveal a smallness about myself that makes me cringe inside. I want to want to be a good mommy, not force myself to do it while inwardly I am wishing for the sofa and the remote and, most of all, solitude.
And now, your turn, if you will. What tendency of yours do you most despise? What do you do about it?