Friday, January 16, 2009

Mom Guilt

It's my little punk's Clay's birthday today. He's 5. How can this be? I remember when I was pregnant with him! It seems like it was just yesterday.
I ran out this afternoon to get his birthday present. Yep, that's me - always doing stuff at the last minute. I ran in the door, set his present (unwrapped) down on the floor and sat down just in the nick of time to join my family for dinner. I scarfed down a piece of pizza, stuck a candle in a store-bought cupcake, tossed it to Clay, sang Happy Birthday, and ran back out to go to my rehearsal tonight. I was going to make a slide show with pictures of him. I didn't get to it. I feel like a total failure tonight.

I'm having a combination party for Clay and Brooklyn next week. He didn't really care that I had to run out tonight. But still... sigh It's just another thing on my ever-growing list of things I feel guilty about. I think it's in a mom's job description - must carry around enormous burden of guilt for not living up to the "perfect mom" image.

Does this describe you too? Then head over to my friend Michelle's blog. She's got a fun webisode about mom guilt on her blog! You have to check it out! Well, I guess you technically don't have to, but it's funny and it also stars Mel from Tiny Goals, and really, do you want to go break up the fight between the kids right now anyway? Nah, ignore them, feel guilty about ignoring them, and go on over to Michelle's blog HERE.

And I've got a few giveaways on my other blog right now too.

$20 gift card for the PTA Movie Store

$70 gift basket of Johnson's baby products

20 copies of Fireproof on DVD


dorthyinoz said...

Sounds like my life! My youngest just turned 13 and my oldest is 21 with 2 more in between. I have had one too many birthdays like this as well as other important days - ok, it happens daily but my kids know I love them.

Anonymous said...

I'm not so much worried about being a perfect mom. nobody's perfect, and if someone tells you they are, they are lying. Everyone thought martha stewart was perfect...she still did jail time! I try to worry about being a "good enough" mom. people's imperfections are what make life interesting. heck, it was a scientist's forgotten mouldy sandwich that gave us penicillin. now imagine what the world would be like if martha stewart was cleaning the lab it was left in.

Vivian M said...

Happy birthday Clay and Brooklyn and hope you have a fabulous party! And Mom, hope you are feeling better too!

MaBunny said...

HAHA Dawn, when I saw you talking about being guilty over Clay's bday - I was about to say I thought you saw Michelles video show, lol.
Hope your weekend goes well!

Anonymous said...

I often think parent means guilt in some language. I've always seriously overdone birthday parties, normally out of guilt for working to much. Now that I only work part time I've found new ways to make myself feel guilty and have huge parties.

My youngest son turned 12 last June. I'd planned the ultimate birthday party for him the day after school was out. A tornado hit our town the last day of school, most of his friends were homeless. Oh, so were we. :( It would seem living in a hotel, not knowing what was left would have caused the tears. Nope!! It was the fact the party wasn't happening. He had no party here, the poor child was stuck on a plane to go to family members who felt so bad for him he went to Yellowstone for a few days. Nevertheless I felt guilty about it.

So Dawn, doesn't matter what we do, we find some way to feel bad. Having seen the cakes you make your kids, it is obvious his party will be wonderful when it happens. Doesn't mean there won't be something else to feel bad about, that's just what moms do.


Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] said...

I know not of what you speak. (I kid...)

Isn't it normal to brush off your kids while you comment and read other blogs or work on your work or fold laundry or wash dishes?

I see no guilt behind the eyes of my husband as he plays video games with kids crawling on him, so why can't I have the same luxury?

seriously? said...

Isn't it just part of being a mom? Guilt? I thought that when that baby came out, the guilt came with it...right? That is what I have been telling myself anyway. :)

Sharon said...

You know what, you are right, no matter what we do we still have guilt about something! At least you did the things you did for his birthday. I don't think the problem is that you are a bad mother, perhaps it is a time management thing or an organizational thing. I will share with you what I started doing. I designed a "Birthday Survey" form and if you email me, I will be happy to send you a copy. I put it up on the fridge about a week or so before their birthday and then they need to fill it out. If they can't write then you can help them. The questions are what do you want for your homemade dinner from Mom on your birthday, what flavor cake & frosting, what would you like for your birthday that cost $____ (we spend $75.00 on our kids for birthdays) and then I ask them to give ideas for inexpensive ideas for gifts from their sibblings. This works wonderfully because it reminds me to plan and it reminds the rest of the family of the upcoming birthday.

I don't like the feeling of guilt and when it happens I try to figure out what went wrong and learn from it. You get to start tomorrow all fresh so don't hang onto that guilt!

You have a lovely family and you are a you mother!

:0) Sharon

Anonymous said...

Hey Dawn,

I've been meaning to ask you...(something for your SS questions).... Have you ever heard of a song sung by the Beastie boys called, "No sleep til Brooklyn"? (I only know this song through the Guitar Hero which is played daily by my 14 yr old). Everytime I hear the chorus (screaming) "No...sleep...til Brooklyn...(and I always add...gets out of my bed!)", I think of you and your Brooklyn... How in the world do you have your little one sleeping in your bed night after night???? Is Joe really, really cranky that y'all don't have your nights alone without kids? How do you do that???

~Lisa, Dallas, Texas

Shnuff Bug said...

Thanks friend for the PLUG! I have gotten some amazing feedback from the first episode!!!

Onto episode #2!!!

Need some think your readers would be interested in helping out?

My Semblance of Sanity said...

OK...erase the Shnuff bug comment - that's em's blog... I will comment again.

My Semblance of Sanity said...

Hey friend!!
Thanks for the PLUG! I have gotten such amazing feedback from the show!

I am on the look-out for contributors for the self-image think your readers would be interested??

Can't wait to reveal episode #2!

Robin said...

I'm granting you permission to lay down your guilt! I agree that it's a mom's job to feel guilty about everything but at some point we have to be realistic. Remind yourself of all the other wonderful things you have done for him in his first 5 years...and the many other fabulous things you'll do for him in the coming years.

There, don't you feel better!?!? = )

Michelle said...

Aww, happy birthday to Clay! Can you believe he'll be in kindergarten next year? (Just tell me you haven't registered yet -- I have friends in Lincolnshire who found out yesterday whether or not they got into the full day K program or not! I'm so not ready for that)

I'm sure he had fun with his birthday in his own way -- and so long as the kiddos are happy, you're doing your job. You're good, Dawn. Just remember that part. I see the smiles on their faces (ok, at least in the ones you deign to put up here) ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn,

I have been a long-time fan of yours and have a question for your Sunday Sound Out. Rumor has it you bought something REALLY, REALLY, REALLY cool this weekend and I wanted to ask you if you would share it with your readers for Sunday Sound Out so you can inform them. I'm sure all your readers would be dying to know what this great new product is, just like I am dying to know what it could possibly be!

Thanks, and I love you. I love your blog! I love your kids! I love how you named them all after really cool countries from amazing places all over the world! I love that you're so funny! I love that scarf you wear. Oh wait, that's another blogger. I just love you and can't wait for you to become a New York Times Bestseller.

Signed Your #1 Fan!

Quotes from the Sandbox said...

Mommy guilt, something I know too well. It's always there nagging at you. There are too many things in a mom's world that beckon for your attention daily. We do what we can and let the rest go. As long as they know they are loved (even when they aren't acting lovable....), that's what I like to think they'll remember.

Angie's blog said...

my son turned 5 friday as well! He's still sad that there weren't any friends over. We had a sweet family time then had a friend come along on an adventure today. Now I'm thinking I should do a big classroom party. Cupcakes will have to do. I'm proud of you for doing what you love to do. THe kids see that and hopefully they'll be inspired and understand you that much more.

tracey said...

Hi Dawn, It was my Daughters' 8th birthday on Friday and you know how she spent her special day?
Going to the doctors with me to have my abscess drained!! in which then I couldn't walk, sit, stand and pretty much slept all day. Yep HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Kelly said...

omg, how funny - my son turned 5 on the 16th too! now how did i miss that clay was the exact same age? i have to have been reading your blog for over a year now. happy birthday clay! hope you had a good one! we had fun - lunch at bugaboo creek - my kiddos love the talking moose and all, and they brought the giant moose puppet while they sang to him. :-)

Candi said...

I thought the guilty mother thing was only for Jewish moms. Now I know where my parenting went awry! I'm from English/Scottish descent so I'm clearly not Jewish so I never felt guilty about the unwrapped presents, late dinners, and "it would look a lot better if I'd had more time" b'day cakes. In fact I always wondered why the kids didn't bow and kiss my feet for having allowed them to stay in the family so many years. Now that they're 30 something, guess I'll have to rethink things. Hmmm :)
Happy Birthday, Clay!

kim said...

We were at a birthday party yesterday. My oldest (9) complimented the mom on her organization. He said it was "the best birthday party ever!" I thought that was very sweet.

But then later in the evening, he had to reiterate. The BEST. EVER. "Better than my birthday party, Mom."

(shake it off, i tell myself. shake it off.)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the link (again) to Michelle's blog. I have now bookmarked it so i can get to it again. LOL! Bad mom - guilt mom- story. My son's 9th birthday was in October. My husband got laid off in September, so all fancy plans got the boot. Well, apparently in my mind, all plans got the boot. I wanted to do these really cute homemade invitations with his picture on it. Well, of course, it had to be perfect, so I procrastinated to the point of not getting them done until a few days before the party. :( We also planned on the new Guitar hero package being out the day before. Went down to get it, only to find out that the package didn't come out for 10 more days. :( Not only did hardly any kids show up, but the MAIN party thing I had planned was MIA.

Bryn said...

Hi Dawn - I have a stupid technical question that I've tried for weeks to figure out on my own and now I admit that I am a failure and must ask you. How do you do word strikethroughs in your posts? In this post you wrote "my little punk's" with a line through it. How do you do that?!

The Scribbler said...

I remember when I gave birth to my first child, a friend came over and said, congratulations on entering motherhood. From now on you'll feel guilty about everything! I hate to say it but she was right.

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