Not so secret secrets

I worry that I’m a terrible teacher of a mama. I just don’t know the how. As a lifelong navel-gazer, I know my strengths and weaknesses pretty clearly, and a big challenge is that I don’t naturally do things. Anything. Really. I’m a thinker who thinks her way through, so without research and some sort of learned knowledge, I often don’t know what to do.

My son is 18 months old and only a few weeks ago did I realize that a basic tenet of teaching him language is to point to things and name them. Um, duh? And I only realized that in hearing a colleague describe an experience as though this was common knowledge. I suspect it is, but not to me.

What else don’t I know? This scares me.

Also, it doesn’t occur to me to touch my kid. Yes, I hold him and hug him and snuggle him, but I’m not sure I do it often enough, mostly because I don’t like to interrupt him. I’m a dogmatic follower of things (another weakness) so I probably take the Montessori concept of leaving a child to concentrate on his work too literally, but I just don’t like to distract him, even to touch him. I moved the glider out of his room after a week of him trying to climb out of my lap into his bed (point taken, kid, point taken) and now I miss it. Without the snuggle time we used to get while he drank a bottle, we don’t have touch time built into our routine. We need to change that.

I feel like a fraud at work. I am not actually fraudulent about anything, but my skillset feels very… soft. It is, this is just fact, but my continued employment is proof that it is valued (or so I have to remind myself). I often wonder when someone will figure out that what I do isn’t that hard. Then I think about all the studies noting that children who are praised for being smart struggle with insecurity about their smartness later. I am one of those, for sure.

I’m not such a great partner. I am better than I used to be, but it takes me a whole lot of effort. Lately, when my son requires a lot of patience (something else I tend to lack), I have very little left over to offer my husband (who also often requires a lot of my patience). If I think about it too much, I’m sad that my primary adult relationship isn’t a totally freeing one. (Then I remember that my secret of adulthood is that all things worthwhile take effort.)

I am lazy. I periodically get a wild hair and need to create something (so I sew or paint or build a thing) but most of the time I just like to sit. My generally low energy wasn’t ever a thing until I had a child, but now I have to make myself make it through the day some days when all I want to do is sit very still for a very long time.

I’m not sure if my meds need to be adjusted but I’m afraid I’ll become one of those people who think a meds adjustment is the solution to everything. My baseline for normal is off, clearly, so I’m not sure: do other mamas have to make themselves move and do things (any things) by the time 7 pm rolls around? I find myself wishing it was bedtime most days, then really just doing nothing for a few hours until I go to sleep, all while feeling like there should be more to it all then getting through to another day.

Wow, how’s that for a bunch of soul unloading?

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5 thoughts on “Not so secret secrets

  1. I too often feel like I am just waiting for bedtime to roll around (for her and for me) only so I can crawl in bed and do it again the next day. I told my husband one day, “Nothing good happened today, not one single thing”. I wonder if there isn’t toddler PPD.

  2. Are you me? Sometimes it’s scary how similar we are. I’m starting to look at meds. For whatever reason lately I just feel so inadequate and ill prepared that I don’t want to do anything but sit and research what I should be doing. I almost feel paralyzed. I assume I am due for some kine of big growth spurt and I’m fighting it.

  3. Yes, this exactly. I see other people doing things with my child and I think, “wow, that seems so natural, why didn’t I think of that?” And then I can’t wait for bed some nights, especially the nights that husband works late and L goes to sleep early.

    • Oh, good, that’s not just me! My mom has degrees in child development and laughs when I tell her I think I need to go back to school for this. Seriously, though, I’m not kidding.

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