Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Parenting can suck eggs.

Yesterday, I had my eye appointment and, as always, Jake was my plus one.

Homeboy has been teething, I swear, since he was conceived. He handles the pain so well; I am so, so proud of him for that. But, he's constantly shoving his entire fist (oh, so literally) into his mouth, or sucking down juice (which is 90% water anyway!) or milk, or being lackadaisically cuddly. None of which are horrible to deal with, from the parenting perspective anywho!

So, unless we have to go out, I try to stay home and let him get through the brunt of teething symptoms in the comfort of his trifecta: jammies, ball pit, and Spongebob.

Unfortch, we gotta do what we gotta do and yesterday I needed a new prescription for my contacts, so sight trumped the trifecta.

I've been really understanding with him, and proud of that. I know when you're with someone 24/7, it's easy to let cabin fever set in. But, for the most part, I've just been focusing on helping him to feel better. Yesterday, though, I was at a loss.

The boy? He was in a bad mood. And, it's not something other parents would, probably, be able to tell right off the bat, but *I* know. I know when he's not all super-playful, or flashing that megawatt smile, or waving to anyone, and everyone, that something is up. And, yesterday, my patience clock was ticking.

I've been a trooper while dealing with the happiness that is teething, but one can only take so much staying indoors and catering to every whim of another without needing a break. And, we've been at this deployment thing long enough for me to (thankfully) recognize when the shizz is about to hit the fan.

So, we leave my eye appointment and Jake is practically falling asleep the minute his tush hits the carseat, while being a little pissy/fussy toward me. For what it's worth, Jake sees a carseat and falls asleep; they're his kryptonite. But, today, even though I knew he'd rather be home, we went to Starbucks.

I needed it. I needed to do something I wanted. It's not as if he's uncomfortable in his carseat; he's just experiencing the typical joys of teething. But, it was so hard to make that decision. It was hard to declare "Sorry, but we've been doing what you need for, wait, how old are you now? Yeah, the entire time you've been alive"

As much as I really always do put his comfort first, as I should!, there comes a point when he'll just have to deal. I needed that little itty, bitty treat. I needed to drive down the road, loudly singing my country music, and feeling that bit of "isolation" up in the front seat. It felt delish.

I'm so glad I did it, too. That little, tiny treat was just enough to recharge me. I wonder what other mamas do to just take a second to mentally decompress? We all need it. But, I'll confess, as a first time mama, I still have that bit of guilt for saying I need a break. Even though, it has nothing to do with my love for him, or wanting to be away from him; I just needed to realize what I want really does matter, too. Not to mention, I can come back and better do my job because I've remembered myself.

But, in our opinion, little breaks are also necessary to let our wee little lad know that sometimes he's just going to have to man up. If there's nothing honestly wrong with him, he can sit, on a 20 minute drive to Starbucks, and just hang out. Which he does. But, we just want to make sure we reinforce that he knows he won't always be getting exactly what he wants. Even if I do have big, gigundo amounts of guilt about it. I know it's better for him in the long run.

Now, if only we could have babysitters via Skype. That would equal awesomesauce.

Also? I freakin' miss my hubby <3


Daily Dose of Dahl said...

First, I just want to point out that I think you are an awesome mommy!
Second, I think that you should do something for yourself on a regular basis. Seriously, it will keep you sane when the toddlerhood tantrums hit (and I so hope it skips your house).
Third, I firmly believe that it's good for kids to see parents doing something for themselves - whether date night, a workout, fliping through a magazine, a run to Starbucks, etc. I think it helps to teach them consideration and empathy and also a balance between doing for others but also taking care of yourself.
Fourth, teething stinks no matter how well munchikins handle it. Tucker was such a drooler, his entire bib plus his shirt would be soaking wet constantly. And it seems to take forever for those pearly whites to show up.

Bottom line, honey, you DESERVED that Starbucks!

Wendy said...

I totally couldn't do the whole mommy 24/7 with no break thing. It's just not humanly possible. You're the closet thing to perfect with it!

Someone wise reminded me that Caleb should not be the CEO of the household. There are going to be times he doesn't want to do anything we want to do, but as he learns life doesn't revolve around him all of the time he will grow into a well rounded individual. Don't dare feel guilty for raising your son to be a better human being!

If you don't take care of yourself, what are you teaching him? If you're not well taken care of, can you give your all to him? You totally deserved Starbucks more than anyone I know! And Jake deserves you at your best.

As far as the teething, irritable toddler thing...we must have mommy ESP or something. I'm going through it too. I try to remember and remind others that Caleb is hurting and can't verbalize his wants or needs. He can't express himself like we can. His only outlet is being a brat at times! Ryan keeps reminding me that it does get worse...

Minivan Mama said...

This is the balance thing I'm striving to achieve. The guilt swallows me up sometimes, even though I know there is nothing to feel guilty about. Being a mom can be tough! You go out and get that Starbucks lady! U deserve it!