Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Inadequate Mother Syndrome

When inadequate mother syndrome strikes I want to bang my head against the wall. In these moments of madness, my heart tells me I’m being stupid but my head just won’t listen and is up for a battle.

Maybe it’s a beginning of the year thing. I take stock of all my “failed to achieves” for 2010 and get overwhelmed about all my goals for 2011. I start to wonder if my time with LLC is 'quality’ enough or more a fraught balancing act of play, laundry and work emails while she naps. On the days I'm not at work, why can’t I get more done, why am I so slow, if I was quicker with my "daily grind" I would have more time just with her without worrying about washing up at the same time. And how do “power moms” seem to achieve “so much” be it at home and/or in the workplace and/or personally as women when I struggle to complete my weekly to do lists?

Okay, now that’s off my chest. This is when I tell myself to get a grip and cut the drivel. Because it’s exactly times like this when I feel down and out and get lost in pointless comparison that I end up wasting perfectly good time that I could be doing something more productive with.

If I know the solution why is it hard to put this into practice? Do I have some sick inclination to knock my confidence? No, I don’t think so. I think I’m just used to focusing more on what I haven’t done than what I have achieved.

But on this dreary February night I’m pleased to say that I’m feeling more empowered. I’m feeling more proud. I’m stepping back from all this white noise in my head and remembering all the things that I do achieve, all the things that create my now balance, all the things that, even if seemingly simple, refute my claims to inadequate mom syndrome.

Alice at Alice’s Adventures into Motherland tagged me in a seven secrets meme so in the context of this post, I’m going to share seven reasons why I’m not doing too bad as a mom all around rather than just seven plain old secrets about me. Then I can go back and read it when I’m being an idiot!

• LLC and I have read together every day of her life – even though I hadn’t been indulging in my love of books until recently, hopefully I’ve helped her discover the joy of reading.
• I dance a lot with LLC. With and for her. We put on Heart or Capital swirl around. Thankfully my lounge is at the back of the house away from public windows!  That must be good for the soul!
• I cook all the time for LLC and try hard to help her eat good food. Tonight I spent stewing apple and making chicken balls....
• I work part-time, partly from home, which requires discipline and autonomy. I take pride in my work and hope this strong work ethic will be apparent to and rub off on LLC in time.
• My house is in reasonably clean and in working order. I try to do a bit every day to keep it that way. I hate cleaning the bathroom but I do it every week. I sweep the floors. It’s presentable, and I should get some credit for keeping it that way (with Chris’ help too).
• I run. I did a half marathon last autumn in LLC’s first year. I write. I wish I blogged more but I write more than I ever did. I have ideas for a novel, and a children’s book. I have a lot to give and I'm slowly but surely taking action on the ideas in my head.  This blog is a testament to that.
• I talk to LLC about anything and everything. When we are together I always take time to explain our actions and why we can or can’t do something. I always try to help her learn (whether we are playing with flour or her shape sorting bus or reading her table mat of the USA) and every day make her laugh too. I guess I deserve some credit for that.

Do you ever suffer from inadequate mom syndrome and how do you re-gain perspective?
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