Thursday, August 9, 2012

A mommy do-over

Just a second ago, I clicked on the little pencil icon  on my blog that indicates that I have something to say, and something that I intend to say well to a lot of people.

But I must admit, I clicked on that icon with no ideas, no thesis, no theme in mind.

Nothing -- but this ache in the very core of me that is so present, so strong, that it makes it so that I can almost feel my spirit deep in my chest. It is a heaviness I bear with me always. But at moments like this . . . well . . . there is no relief. It just is.

I have been surrounded by people today. But I miss the little girl that I never will know here.

And I miss Maddy too. I've been so preoccupied today, I never gave her my full, undivided attention to just forget life and invest myself fully in her best, new (make-believe) friend. (Who's named Nikananga and lives in a lake, owns 5 airplanes -- which Maddy is ocassionally allowed to take for a spin -- and eats trees for dinner). I didn't take time to battle catepillar car versus lady bug car. I didn't take time to make play-doh snakes and scary monsters. She fell asleep in the car, so I didn't even get to read "Worm Diaries" or her infamous bird book.

I did not play baby octopus. Or play hide and seek under the covers this morning. We didn't cook dinner together, and I didn't get to watch her set the table (which always makes me so proud to see her do). We did not share our favorite things from today, or pray together for a new baby, or sing rock-a-bye-baby to each other. She did not beg me for just one more minute of snuggles. I didn't have to pry myself away, wanting to snuggle forever but knowing sleep would never come if I do.

Instead, today, what I did do was occasionally snap at her when she wasn't operating at my pace of life, sigh deeply when I just wanted to potty by myself, and roll my eyes when she clung to my legs when the babysitter left.

Stellar parenting, right?

Some days, I think I'm on top of the mom thing. And then other days, like today, I wonder since when do other people come before the attention I give my daughter? When did it become OK to interrupt her, but punish her if she interrupts other people? Since when is it OK to be so impatient to have a baby, and at the same time, be so impatient with the baby I already have?

Tonight, Ryan and I were watching a movie, and Maddy called out for me. I scooped her up, and rocked her for a long time -- much longer than it took to get her back to sleep.  And I cried, and kissed her sweaty little forehead, and tried to smooth back her straw-like hair, tangled and sticking to itself and her face like spaghetti that's sat too long.

And I just rubbed her sweet cheecks, and kissed them, and told her how sorry mommy was. That none of my friends were more important than her and that my business is not more important than her. I just wished her little subconcious would pick up the message and deliver it to her soul where she would know more than anything how much I really do love her.

But I know that's just wishful thinking. Maybe, deep in the recesses of her mind, the memory is tucked away. But why settle for a wish, a hope, that by some off chance my daughter might get the message that she is one of the most important people to me on this entire planet?

Wouldn't it have been so much better to SHOW her today by my words, my actions and my attention, so that she would have had a message of my love that could never be erased?

I want a do-over. And I guess that do-over has a name. Tomorrow.

As Maddy and I sometimes say, "Today was rough. But tomorrow will be better."

Today was rough. Tomorrow WILL be better.


  1. I have days like this, too. Days where I spend too much time on the computer or keep Lydia out too long and lose patience with her when the inevitable fussiness comes on, even though it's MY fault she hasn't had her nap. I feel guilty that I spend all day mentally preparing for and focusing on what it'll be like after her brother comes, and not focusing on the little miracle that's sitting at my feet, calling out for my attention.

    I've been meaning to get around to potty train her, but I just can't seem to set enough time aside to do it. I've been meaning to take her to Story Time at the Library, or over to see her little cousin (who lives 4 minutes away), but I'm too lazy.

    This blog hit home for me, Rachel. You are so right. God has given us these wonderful girls, and we can't take them for granted, no matter what we are going through. He has charged us to be good stewards over the gifts he gives us, and the Word clearly states that Children are a gift from Him!

    I saw something on Facebook that said "The world sees what you do. God sees why you do it." I want the Lord to see my heart for my daughter, not the selfish time I spent surfing the internet. Thank you for this post. Love you.

  2. Well said. I feel days like this too. Seems like it is too often these days, but now that things have changed a little - I am ready to race to the end of the year with a much happier outlook and happier babies. :)

  3. Well said. I know I have too many days like this and it needs to stop so that I won't miss out on their little years because before I know it they will be in school and too busy to hang with mom or even snuggle. It all begins with me and I must take that step. This post has inspired me to take on that step. :)