Monday, November 09, 2009

Being a Mom is Hard

Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I think, "what in God's name have I gotten myself into?" Being a mom is hard. Being an instant mom is hard. I never had the opportunity with Nate's daughter to watch her grow into the little 'young miss' she is today. Some days I *gasp* really don't like her. She's five on Wednesday, and whereas I'm well aware this is the age of 'pushing' and lying and trying to find boundaries, some days I wonder is she has ever been a sweet little girl.

But she is. And those days only happen occasionally, but it makes me feel guilty when I don't like her. I wonder if it's because I feel I'm being watched closely. Somebody is waiting for me to make a huge mistake.

Only I'm not going to. Because not only am I doing the best I can; I think back on all the changes this little girl has gone through in the last six months.

Six months ago she screamed when she saw a dog. Was scared to pet a cat. Whined that chickens were going to hurt her. Figured 'please' and 'thank you' were words belonging to some other society. Abused other children through words and actions. Had no friends. Couldn't socially relate to children her age. Etc, etc, etc...

Now she drags my dogs around, has her own kitten she won't leave alone, feeds chickens, horses and goats, says please and thank you a little more regularly, decided fighting with children would get her few friends and now talks about whom she plays with at school each day, and basically is a normal little five year old.

She also has a bed time. Doesn't watch TV for extended periods. Reads books and makes up stories. Sits down to dinner as a family each night. Has chores and responsibilities.

But in some circles (and the ex-wife doesn't count 'cause she's on drugs or something) I'm a bad person. Or at least totally disrespected and not even considered except as a threat.

So maybe being a mom isn't so hard all the time, but it is hard living under a microscope all the time.

Nate comes with a LOT of baggage.


Laura said...

Congrats to you! It sounds like your hard work is starting to pay off. And yep, I had no idea how hard being a mom would be. This is the main reason I don't talk on the phone, I'm usually yelling about something all day long. But children are growing constantly, everything is a learning experience, and it's constant work if you want them to grow up to become good people.
Again, yay to you!!!

AJ said...

Laura is so right. Being a mom is insanely hard, and everything's always changing. It sounds like you've helped things change for the better with Becky, and that's something to be very proud of. Besides that, you're a good role model, which it doesn't sound like she gets from her mom or grandma.

This is a hard age, this boundary pushing thing makes me crazy!

alanna rose said...

I think every age is hard age, just for different reasons. With Becky you didn't get to feed her her first bites of banana, or listen to her baby coos. You also didn't have to get up 8 times every night, or change explosively poopy diapers. You're doing a great job, and the only opinions that count are yours and Nate's, and Becky's. She needs to feel secure and loved, and a big part of that security is pushing boundaries and having someone who loves her tell her "no," in an appropriate and loving way.

Hold the moments of sweetness close and try to think of them the next time she gets really frustrating. And make sure you laugh together everyday - if you do that I don't think anyone could ever fault you :)

Christina said...

Being a mom is the hardest...and being a step mom is even harder. When they are "your" kids they dont know that there is an option not to love you no matter how many rules you have. But when you arent the "real" mom then it can be even harder. You do have some advantages in that you have taken this active part of her life at an early age and that makes it soooo much easier. I got step daughters when they were teen and preteen age. Oh my word there is nothing harder than that! Just love her and keep up the good work!

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Sounds like you are doing a better job at being a parent than a lot that have been there from "day one". Revel in the little victories, don't dwell on the little failures.

And oh yea...sometimes, even if they popped out of your own womb...there are days when you don't like them so much.;)

Stephie said...

It sounds to me like you are doing just fine considering everything else that is going one. It would be insanely difficult to be throw into a situation like that and from the sounds of it, she seems to be doing better because of you.

My e-mail is
depending on what is going on with this little turkey in my belly will determine our plans as far as wedding fun goes. If she's here maybe we could meet up so you could meet her depending on how crazy your schedule is! :)

Kara said...

I think you are doing a great job, Danielle. You mentioned so many positive changes that you have observed with Becky and this is due to your consistency and hardwork. Children need consistency and boundaries. I find everyday to be some sort of new adventure with the kids. Both Becky and you are learning about each other. Although kids can be challenging, embrace every moment and take each new challenge as a learning experience. My kids have taught me so much and I only hope I am teaching them just as much. Hang in are doing awesome!!

Diana said...

Being a parent is such a gray do what you feel is best for your family. Obviously not everyone is going to agree with you. Right now, the most important thing is that Nate is in your corner. He and you should agree on how things will be run in your house and with kids. That's all that matters. Just focus on the big stuff - manners, right/wrong, consideration, fun/play time and sympathy/empathy. Everything else is just small stuff :)

The Wades said...

You sound like you're doing a fantastic job! I'm jealous, I must admit. Hang in there--you all are going to make beautiful music together. :) I feel like I'm watching a movie with the hard part now playing and all the happy, easy bits about to start. Hugs

Andrea said...

Don't get down, there are days I wish all three of mine would disappear!! It sounds like you are doing a great job. And don't worry what other people think of you, if they have the time to sit around and judge you then they aren't such hot folks themselves. Sounds like you and Nate have a lot of good things going for ya!