Mommy Guilt

Well as I mentioned last week I had to go back to work… I’m working way more than I would like. My boss has said I can take extra time off once it slows down and he is also giving us 4 days in December at his fancy cabin in Tahoe. But, I still have guilt and tonight I boiled over.

Now, I KNOW I’m lucky that I have my mother and grandmother at home to watch Vera while I work. I am so grateful because they love her to bits and pay tons of attention to her. They have even been good to follow my strict instructions on allowable foods and timing, etc. Now clearly Vera is feeling more comfortable with them as she has started napping. Well today at 4 when I went to pick her up….she was still napping. Apparently she napped late. 2:30 is when she fell asleep. I don’t know why… But immediately I was like, “are you kidding?”. And in my head I wanted to scream something like, “why would you let her nap past 3:30.” I may have even said something close to that and I stormed inside and woke her up immediately. Then I was irritated because she was asleep on the couch. I mean its one thing to sometimes fall asleep there, but everyday? I dunno… Im just irked. Nap-time is after lunch. If you lay her down in a bed, and she doesn’t sleep, then she missed her opportunity. Is that too harsh?? I don’t know….

On top of that she wanted to bring every toy under the sun home and I had to keep saying No and that made her cry and that made me feel like … “Great I pick her up and say no and make her cry… Shes gonna hate me picking her up”. I mean these two say YES to everything. So why not like them more….??? Maybe cuz I’m sick with a cold, maybe because work is so stressful or maybe it’s just the overwhelming guilt and worry that she will like them more then me…. But I cried all the way home… Hysterically. I called Debbie and she understood my frustration. I then calmed down and called my mom and explained to her that I need HER to tell Vera no when she wants to take toys that are not ours home. I mean I know grandparents like to say yes to everything and when they aren’t your daycare provider, thats cool… But when they are… They can’t always be the good guy.

Am I over reacting???? Any insight and tips are appreciated. Maybe even a few hugs to remind me that this is normal? I dunno… Why can’t I just win the lotto so I can stay home and enjoy the whole day with her??? I know this…. When I am away from work, I enjoy spending ,my free time with her… Saturday we are going to check out a local farm with a group of old friends and their kiddies. It’s a great feeling, that feeling of being comfortable and like you are a part of something you always dreamt of….

Besides the above, I am doing good as is Vera. She has her terrible two moments, but nothing out of the ordinary. Tonight she was a little fussy but she has a cold too. People are always amazed at how attached she is to me and that makes me feel good, like things are on the right track. We saw the speech therapist and she said Vera is doing good and her being behind is normal for her situation. We will go back in a couple of weeks just to check in.

What else…. That’s really about it… Think I’ll take some nyquil and hit the hay! In the meantime, I will leave you with a picture of my darling daughter. Remember the girl who hated water and the bathroom….well that girl now lays in the bath water pretending to float/swim…. Boy summer is going to be fun!!!! Anyway, a little pic from bath time the other night…..



14 thoughts on “Mommy Guilt

  1. What you are feeling is completely normal. I struggled for years with my mil about similar issues. Even after I was a sahm. It’s something in the grandparent gene. It’s a tough balance. If it was a nanny or daycare of course you would expect them to follow your rules, but with family the relationship is different. Family sometimes feel that they don’t have to follow your guidelines because they don’t work for you. They are doing you a favor. I found it was best to provide a written schedule and a list of how I’d like certain issues handled, especially discipline. Children will quickly learn to play adults against each other to get their way. After that I just tried to be flexible and give grace for the times I wanted to scream. Ultimately they aren’t a daycare and you wouldn’t want them to be. You want them to form the proper family attachment. It’s all new to you. Give it time and set clear boundaries. Hugs! She is absolutely adorable!

  2. I just want to give you a hug. It is normal…don’t worry. I have a perspective of it both ways, I am a grandparent and I also am raising a child as a single parent and go to work full time. As the mum, we come home and we are tired, we see things are not being done the way we like and we react, more so if I am tired. I am finally learning to let go of the things that are not a big deal in the big picture. That being said as a Grandma I really don’t want to be the “bad guy”. I want to just enjoy and love them and find things that bothered me with my children are not an issue a generation along.What about talking and writing down for the caregiving grandparents what you really care most about being done the way you do, sleep times are usually a biggie.Sometimes it is not so bad if it is done differently as long as in the home it is the same.If she goes out to be cared for it may not be so bad if rules vary a bit. It is also important to find out what they as caregivers feel they can do or not do in accordance with what you want followed.It is a balancing act particularly when you have family doing the care. Even childcare centers do it their way and you have to decide if you can work with it or not. I probably have only confused the issue but I guess what I am trying to say is try to get a ‘workable agreement that is clearly understood by all involved” to lessen confusion which leads to upsets and hard feelings. Your not feeling well, and it is all still pretty new to you all so this is just one of the downs on a road of ups and downs.Soon you will be on the uphill again.She is just so precious…you must feel so blessed. I hope the neo citrian or what ever helps and you have a good night. Love to you both,

  3. My kids have never been early nappers. My son will nap at 4 when not at day care, and they both naturally are up til 10 and get up at 8 AM. I think many children will naturally nap at 1-2 PM and get up at the crack of dawn, but they all have their own natural rhythms. In Asia, the schedule my kids are on seem to be the norm for children, from what I hear.

  4. Hugs Mama! I can totally relate. My mother watches the twins for me a few days per week and the days the babysitter is there seem to go more smoothly. The kids know Gram will pick them up if they whine and they are more likely to get their way with her.

    I have a written schedule of how I’d like the day to go listing out AM nap time, AM snack time, lunch, PM naptime, PM snack, dinner, bed time. I told Gram I did it for myself and for the babysitter as to not offend her but I leave it out in plain view and hope she goes by it. She does for the most part and there are always those days where my babies make their own schedule but the routine for me is key.

    You are the mama and have to set boundaries so it’s natural Vera may appear to enjoy Grandma times more. Nothing replaces mama though and those boundaries will be better for both of you as she gets older. At least that’s what I tell hear and keeping telling myself. 🙂

    You are doing a terrific job!! She is a happy kid – it’s obvious in the pictures! 🙂

  5. I go through the same thing with my mom with my bio. son. She lives a couple of hours away so when she watches him she takes him for a few days. She thinks he is too old for naps, he is almost 3.5 years. He doesn’t always need the nap, but he needs downtime. I have learned to avoid fights to keep my mouth shut, and just deal with the aftermath of an extremely tired son. We just got back from trip 1 and he was more tired than us, because she won’t lay him down. So for 4 days straight, he has passed out at nap time. If it was more common, I would write out a schedule and ask to abide by it so that Vera stays on a consistent routine, and there are no hard transitions since she has had so much transition the past two months. Our nap time is 1-4, and Camden does very well with it. Whether he sleeps or just rests.

  6. I hear you! I think it’s totally normal for the grandparent to want to be a softie, but when s/he is also a regular caregiver, you want/need them to provide discipline and boundaries, too. Sounds like you had a good conversation with your mom; kudos to you for communicating your concerns directly.

    Are you sure Vera only needs a one-hour nap? They’re learning and growing so quickly at age two, especially her with the new language. She might do fine with a bit longer nap to power down and process it all. My little guy just turned two and he usually naps 1.5-2 hours, occasionally more. He sleeps 8pm-8am, too, so it’s not interfering with his night sleep. (If he gets close to the 3-hour mark on the nap, I’ll go open his door and make some noise to gently wake him.)

    Agree with everyone else — you’re doing an awesome job! We all wish we could be there for our kids 24/7, but that’s not possible for most and you’ve got her in a situation where she’s loved and understood when you’re not around.

  7. Negotiating this relationship is going to be tough! No matter how you choose to handle it, there will be some days that are harder than others for you and your mom. That being said, honestly the sleep thing wouldn’t have bothered me. For one, you said she’s sick. She may be more tired because of it. And also, if they knew you were coming at 4 they may have just thought that an extra 20-30 minutes just wasn’t too big of a deal. I completely understand wanting to stay on a routine, but some days the clock just needs to jump out the window and you play it by ear. Now, if it was every day, or even a large number of days I would be frustrated as well.
    As for the saying yes/no thing… That’s going to probably continue to be super tricky. Maybe you can talk to her openly about how she is an extra special grandma who gets to be with Vera all the time, but as such she has to be consistent and fair to Vera. Maybe try to highlight that, especially because Vera is adjusting and bonding, she needs to help Vera feel safe, and limits and consistency are the way to do that. And then maybe throw some potential scenarios out. For example, what if Vera was trying to figure out if grandmas house was going to be the same when she came back tomorrow? By testing the waters and asking if she could take toys home, it was the perfect opportunity for Grandma to reassure her that all the same toys would be there in just the same place tomorrow. In a situation like that you could encourage her to start a bye bye routine that included putting the toys in just the same spot every night. By firmly but gently sticking to that routine (rule), grandma is showing Vera that she knows how to keep her toys safe, and by extension of that, keep Vera safe. Does that make sense? I know it’s hard to think in the moment, especially when tired and sick, but maybe you can have another talk with your mom about it and help her think of things from Vera’s perspective. A child who has no limits and no routine feels very unsafe and like no one is caring for them. (obviously we know it’s much more complicated than this, but maybe that is a way that your mom can look at it that would help her?)
    Be extra gentle with yourself and all those around you when you’re sick. Those are hard times to be a mama!

  8. I have similar problems with my parents. I definitely think its worth having a sit down with your parents and stress that you LOVE that they’re able to spend so much time with her, and that you do appreciate it … but that you ALL need to be on the same page as far as naps, foods, toys and ground rules. they get SOME leeway, as grandparents… but you’re all part of a team 🙂 do yeah, talk to them… remind them. then take a deep breath and know that a ruined nap isn’t the end of the world (though it might ruin your evening!)

    *hugs* hang in there!! you guys are doing amazing!

  9. That picture is awesome.

    I think it’s normal to over react…you’re already doing your best to get used to this situation and there will be some growing pains. I think it’s good that you talked about it and put your feelings out there. More resentment will build from you keeping thing in than letting them out.

    If you can try to make every pick up as positive as possible (even if you’re faking the Hell out of it), everyone will be happier. Maybe she could have one special toy that goes back and forth every day so she knows there is one thing in her favor (and you can say yes to one thing). Growing pains sucks, huh?

  10. I had to put my son into daycare only 3 weeks back home. Thankfully they had Russian speakers (staff and kids). I just wanted to say that even daycare let him nap ALL DAY! because they said he was ‘so tired’. Nap time was 1:00-2:30 and they would say when I showed up at 4:30 to pick him up (him snoring on mat while kids played all around) that he ‘didn’t actually fall asleep until 2:00 so they didn’t wake him’. So frustrating. But yes being in daycare was better than my mothers because she spoils him (and still does).

  11. You adopted a kid out of an orphanage… To basically abandon her ALL weekdays when she’s barely been home, ooooh hoopoe job lady!!!

  12. First Off.. if you read my blog you will see that I do NOT work ALL day. Second, yes she is from an orphanage, but I guarantee you that I provide more one on one care and attention each day LESS the five hours of work I have Monday thru Friday.

    So, though I would LOVE to stay home all day as I mentioned in my blog, as with most familes, that isn’t possible. So, kindly take your nasty thoughts and comments somewhere else.

  13. What’s a “hoopoe job”? Who is that idiot? Crawl back in your cave knuckle dragger or I’ll hoopoe YOUR job. Loser.

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