Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mommy Guilt

I mentioned a few months ago that since Marshall has been born I have had 2 regrets as far as parenting goes. All in all, that's not too bad. Since I wrote about the first one (our abrupt end to breastfeeding), I might as well share the second one.

It has to do with Marshall's 1st birthday party.

MONTHS before he turned one, I started planning the party. We decided on a Dr. Suess theme, and I started saving all sorts of inspiration pictures: 

I planned out activities for the kids. I bought craft supplies to make the decorations and goodie bags. I found pictures of Marshall from every month since he was born to make a banner out of. I couldn't imagine feeding him a typical sugar and frosting laden cake so I found a recipe for this carrot cake.

The menu was all centered around things from Dr. Suess books and I was going to make cute little signs. We had:

Grapes (Hunches of Bunches)
Melon Balls (Schlott's Knotts)
Pasta Salad (Poodles with Noodles)
Goldfish Crackers (One Fish, Two Fish)
Pink Lemonade (Pink Ink)
Cupcakes (Who Cakes)
and an empty plate (A crumb that was even too small for a mouse)

It was going to be bombass.

Then we were closing on our new house one week after the party so I was busy with everything that goes with that, plus packing, working full time, getting ready for the HUGE sales seminar that happens at my job every 2-3 years, and Jerad was working out of town more and more which meant I was the only one to chase Marshall around. As if that all wasn't enough, even though I didn't know it yet I was also pregnant and just So Tired that I couldn't muster one modicum of energy to do ANY party planning.

I completely dropped the ball.

I didn't get one.single.craft finished. No kid activities or goodie bags. Which was actually ok because the day of the party 7 kids and 9 adults had to cancel or just didn't show up.

No signs for the food.

No decorations except some balloons and a few streamers that got thrown up as the guests were arriving.

No special cake.

I felt like SUCH a failure. I didn't even get a picture of me with Marshall. Or of our little family. I know it doesn't matter. He won't remember it. No one else noticed or cared. We had friends, family, food, cake, and presents and Marshall was so good and so cute. But still. It wasn't what I had planned and I had a hard time accepting that. Once I've made my mind up about something I have a hard time letting go of it.

Anyways, that's the rest of my mommy guilt as far as Marshall goes. Like I said, 2 things in 2 years isn't that bad but I've been thinking about it a lot because his 2nd birthday is only three weeks away. Yikes! I should probably start planning for that one... as far as I know I wont be getting pregnant or moving in the next three weeks so we should be fine.


KelBel said...

Okay, seriously had to comment on this post. You should feel honored, as it's the first post I've read/commented on since Anthony was born! :)

I missed the little part about "inspiration" pictures, and nearly broke out into hives when I saw how cute and perfect all those Dr. Seuss pics were. Talk about Mommy guilt-- I wasn't closing on a house, was just finishing the 1st trimester and regaining my energy, and basically had a live-in housekeeper/cook since we were living with my parents, only working 4 hrs./week, and thought I did a good job planning G's party. But even so, those pictures made me feel soooooooo inadequate. Don't know where you found them, but I have to think that they must've been done by a designer, hired to run those parties. No mother could pull all that together while still being a good mom, just saying. That's a TON of work right there!

Just wanted to say-- you shouldn't have any mommy guilt at all. You are such an inspiration with all the stuff you are able to manage with two kids! I don't know how you do it! I'd judge yourself based on that stuff instead, because Marshall's gonna remember all the good times at the museum and doing crafts at home way more than he's gonna remember any party. The earliest party I remember ANY of, despite all of the pics my mom took (firstborn child!), was my 5th, and even then I remember like 10 minutes total :)

Steph said...

Thank you so much! That was really sweet and made me feel better:) The issue is just with me. I have this personality quirk (well, flaw really) that once I have my mind set on something, it has to happen. Even if it kills me. Otherwise I just focus on it and can' Thats why when envisioning my births I made sure to not 'plan' on a water birth or anything to specific because I knew if I ended up deviating, I'd be upset even if I still had a peaceful home birth. Seriously though... it's bad. There were little projects we never finished at our old house (like fixing trim in a few places, replacing grout in the laundry room, finishing patching and painting the holes where our window box was) that I STILL think about, a year later.

I guess the bright side is it works the other way too. Like I decided I wanted to be a mom that does crafts and outings with the kids so I do make it happen even on those days when everyone is grumpy and I just want to get back in bed and put a pillow over my head:)