Sunday, September 27, 2009


I laid in bed last night and wrote a post in my head about how maybe I just don't have the "mommy gene." I do this a lot. In fact, if you could hear my thoughts on any given day, what you would hear is me creating posts, the vast majority of which will never see the light of day either because I forget about them or they just don't have the juice. When I woke up this morning, a good night's sleep under my belt, I was still rolling the words around in my head. Thinking about my mommyness.

I kept ruminating on our trip to the zoo yesterday with a friend of mine and her son, who is just a few months younger than Sophie. While he sat peacefully in his stroller, pointing and commenting about the animals, Sophie spent the entire day racing around while I followed her with the empty stroller, screeching, "NO, Get Back Here, Stop, Get Down From There, Get OUT of the WATER, Do NOT Touch That, DO NOT CLIMB INTO THE CAGE!" Lather, rinse, repeat.

There were a lot of times where I just let her go. Where I allowed her to run off. Where I didn't say anything because I was just so tired of saying no.

And then there were all the times where MY daughter ran up to my friend and put her arms up to be held or reached for my friend's hand, so she could walk along side her. Neither of these things she did to me. All day.

All of which left me feeling a little OFF. Left me wondering if I'm missing some critical "mom" element. The rest of the day didn't really open the door on that one. I'm not even talking about the bigger, more abstract question of whether to have more children, but the far more immediate and scary question of am I enough to be a good mom to the one I have? I laid in bed staring at the lights on the ceiling thinking about this while I waited for sleep to come.

But then I woke up this morning, and my first thought was of my daughter. She was downstairs with Neil. Ever so faintly I could hear her voice. The high pitched squeals of her laughter. I longed for her. I wanted nothing more than for her to wrap her arms around me and give me one of her big, open-mouthed, wet kisses. And I thought that maybe I do have what it takes. That being a good mom isn't an always ON thing. That some days I will look at the pint sized being that has taken up residence in our house and not have the first idea what to do with or about her.

Despite that, I will do what needs done. I will make mistakes. Sometimes big ones. But I will keep on doing.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

PS - See that widget up in the top right there? Scroll up. Yes, that one. I've been nominated for a Mobbie, so can you be a dear and go vote for me? Every day between now and October 9? Hey, thanks!


  1. Really this is all you can do.
    I really liked this post. Thank you.

  2. We all question our ability to be good mother's to our children. The fact that we even question our ability makes us good moms, I think. Your experience at the zoo is exactly what I have gone through so, so many times with my boys. It's frustarting, for sure. And we all make mistakes, but like you said, we just keep on going. Know that you're a great mom.

  3. You know, welcome to two-years-old. I spend all effin day going, "No, stop that...that's not what we do with food, put it in your mouth or take it out. DONT THROW TOYS! We only throw balls. You need to sit down...sit on your bottom. If you don't act nice in the store we can't come back another you need to go to time out or can you play nicely? You are too loud... use a softer voice... better yet can we just be quiet for two minutes?" I could go on. But it's all I do all day long and I wonder if I'm just not cut out for this job. I totally feel ya.

  4. I think we've all been there. Sometimes I hear the words coming out of my mouth and think that I sound like such a horrible person and how is it possible that I am a mother? And other days are easier.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Show me a mom that has it all together, and I will show you a liar.

    No one does. No one is perfect. We all just keep trying, the best way we know how.

    And no one way is right.

    But one thing that I am sure of is that you were made Sophie's mom for a reason. By a greater, smarter, full of wisdom and love power that knew what he was adoing.

    She is a lucky little girl...

  7. I've been thinking some of the same things lately.

  8. The first few years of marriage, I had to wrap my head around the fact that I couldn't compare my relationship to my parents' or my friends'...I think it's the same way with kids and parenting. You CAN'T compare what you and Sophie (and Neil) have to what you observe in any other family. What you have is good for YOU, works for YOU (and even when it doesn't work, it's still all yours!)

    Lather, rinse, repeat indeed. =)

  9. Cara, you are what I like to call.....NORMAL.

    None of us are on all the time. I'm off more than I'm on. Most days, I just want to scream, "Why can't I get this right?????"

    My kids love me regardless of my craziness and looniness. Parenting is truly the most difficult job on the planet. You can't divorce yourself from your children.

    I've always said that it is easy to be a bad parent but very difficult to be a good one.

    I can't wait to meet you in November. I think we are a lot alike.

  10. Girl, you have the hit the proverbial nail right on the head.

    I wake up in the morning with the best of intentions, especially after going to church on Sundays.

    Fifteen minutes later, I have forgotten all about the intentions because I'm so caught up in the tasks of being a mother. And not always a very good one, at that. But Becky is right; you are Sophie's mom for a reason, and you are doing a great job! You love your baby like crazy, even when she's not very lovable in the middle of a tantrum...

    We will have so many stories to share! I'm with Melissa; can't wait to meet you IRL!

  11. A Good Mom is a bit of a joke, isn't it? You are a mom who TRIES and who LOVES. And that is what counts.

  12. Right on to all the comments above. We're all doing the best we can and as long as we love our kids and they know it, I think our best (even the best we can manage in the moment) is enough.

    Hang in there!

  13. Ah, Cara please don't fret. You are an excellent mommy. Let me point out a few things:
    1. Sophie and Christopher have different personalities. Maybe we should swap for a day! Just wait and see what God hands me in Jan.
    2. Kids like people that aren't their mommy: when my MIL is around I don't exist to CRW. At all. It hurts a tiny bit, but its normal.
    3. If you think I have it all together, you should have been at the lunch table later that same afternoon, as I shoved chicken into CRW's mouth and said through gritted teeth "just eat!". I immediately felt like the worst mommy in the world. I have these moments and I hate them. But like a previous reader posted, no mom is perfect all of the time. We are human. You are the best person to be Sophie's mom. I wish Christopher had her spirit.

  14. You well adjusted people are a pain in the butt, you know that? There I was, reading your post - and half way through it I was already formulating a comment which said, essentially, that you worry about being a good Mom was half the battle. You can't help BUT be a good Mom. But then? Then you turn around and answer your own questions. And yes, you ARE a good Mom, and yes, you KNOW it - and half the reason is because you can worry about NOT being one. What do you need me for?

  15. Don't you worry baby. We all feel that way from time to time! It's crazy...of course you have the mom gene! You dedicate every day to your daughter and she will be all the better for it (you too, I think.) :-)

  16. there are time's I loose it and I have to walk away from a screaming child ( do this so I don't lose it on him)and I some times sit and cry wondering what I'm doing wrong and what I have done to make him act this way. I've left him in his room screaming at me and relize I just have to let him go. I try so hard and sometimes I think it's me... but then he calms down and gives me the biggest hug ever and then everything is ok.. but then I think does he need therapy?? or do I he's three I'm 3--- or do we both?

  17. We all have those days! We have days where we wouldn't trade it for the world, and days where we would trade them in for a Snicker's bar and an iced coffee...

  18. Yup, that's part of the whole mom thang. I chuckle to myself all the time when my kids recall a trip or an outing that was 'theee best time fun!' (but my recollection is exhaustion and yelling and frustration.)

    Funny isn't it? We're all in the same insane boat, don't feel different.

  19. name me one person who has not felt that way and I'll show you someone in deep denial.

    you're a great moom

  20. Thank goodness...I have the same feelings. Heading off to vote for you...

  21. Beautiful post! I TOTALLY KNOW EXACTLY HOW YOU FEEL. I feel that way just about every single day. I love my daughter, but sometimes I feel SO OFF as a mom, you know?

    And we talk about having more kids....SOME day...And I think I would like that, but shit man-I can barely keep my head above water with one!

    Still, the love is there. I know that much. And it's so obvious that that is the case for you. So when all else feels like it's going to hell in the mommy department, at least we've got the love thing down!


Give me some sugar, baby!