Not cut out

I realize this post is going to express an most-likely-unpopular opinion. I really don’t care. I don’t see this, ever, and I feel it should be out there just in case someone else feels the same way. I contemplated passwording this, and I might at some future date, but for now…no. I also know it’s rambling – it’s very much “train of thought”. Thank you for reading!

The older my son gets, the more I feel like I am not cut out to be a parent. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE my son. I am proud of his milestones and accomplishments. I would kill for this child, defend him with my life. But I’m not sure I’m cut out to be a parent to him. Or any other child, for that matter.

I loved being pregnant. I was expecting horrible things from it, and as a result my experience with it was good because most of those things didn’t happen. I wasn’t sure I’d survive the newborn stage, or that he would either. I was so tired, and I’m not the most stable individual on even the best of days. Being sleep deprived really didn’t help things, and the learning curve felt beyond me. But we made it. Then he became mobile, but was content to just crawl around and entertain himself and I thought “hey, I can do this. He can stay on that side of the fence and have the whole back room and I can stay on this side, and all is well.” For a while, that worked. Then? Then he started standing, and then walking, and then shit hit the fan. He discovered autonomy and did NOT like having his parents on the other side of a see-through fence. Every time we’d step over, even to get clothes or shoes or something, he’d start crying. We solved that by rearranging the back room so that the computer desk is now on his side of the fence, and the fence is stretched across the gap into the bedroom. We had also opened up the majority of the house to him, thinking he was just bored…and that worked for a time too.

Now…now he’s becoming more and more attention needy. He is frequently under my desk, trying to crawl up into my lap using the stool at my feet. Or he’s pulling on my clothes. Or reaching for ALL THE THINGS on my desk. He’s playing with the scanner when he knows he shouldn’t, even after we spank his hands – and I believe he’s doing it for attention. He is no longer willing to go play in his room unless we are in there with him, or even in the kitchen which WAS his favorite place to play as of a few months ago. The older he gets, the more attention he wants from me, the more he wants to crawl on and hang on me. I don’t like being touched constantly. Hell, I’m not really a fan of being touched very often – just ask my husband. A good portion of it is skin sensitivity, but try explaining that to a 13-month-old. The other part is that I simply don’t like that much contact from anyone, except on rare occasion. It irks me.

The child is now 20+ pounds. I can’t lift him all the time. I don’t have the body strength to do it 15 bajillion times a day. I don’t have the strength in my back to rock him in the rocking chair for 30 minutes to get him to go down for a nap because the swing suddenly isn’t acceptable. I don’t have the bodily ability to walk the floor with him for 2 hours (or even 10 minutes) when he decides that 3:15 is a perfectly reasonable time to get up in the morning…except that he SO desperately wants to go back to sleep but can’t and the swing isn’t acceptable and he must have a parent within 1′ of him, preferably touching him. Not only do I not have the bodily ability to do this, it’s making me feel insane. Every night I watch the clock anxiously, just waiting for it to be time for my husband to get off work because that means he’s coming home to occupy the child for a few hours before it’s time for “baby bedtime”. I count down the hours during the day, seeing how long it’s been since he’s been awake and can I try putting him down for a nap just for some quiet, and then watching the hours until I can’t let him sleep any longer (no more than 2 hours) and have to make him get up. I am constantly watching time, just so I’m not alone with him.

I feel like he should have had a different mother. He doesn’t deserve a mother who does not want his attention. Perhaps they were right when they said “It’s God’s will that you not have a child; just accept it.” Granted, I didn’t do any treatments to get him, I just won against the odds. Perhaps I shouldn’t have. I don’t want him to grow up with the memories I have, of my mother screaming “Get away from me! Don’t touch me!” because she couldn’t stand it either. Well, that and she had MPD with one who had anger issues. Oh anger issues. Mine are getting out of control, and it’s usually my son who triggers them these days. And that? Not fair to him. I have no option but to continue raising him because I’ll be damned if I’m going to give him up or let him be taken from me…but I’m not sure I was cut out for this. People who told me it would be different when it was my own? Yeah…I don’t have to be “nice”. I actually have to parent my child, instead of letting other people do it. I’m supposed to have more patience, only I don’t. I have no more tolerance for his antics than I do for the children of other parents – perhaps less, because I can stop him.

I do have more patience when he was my happy, well-adjusted, independent child. He is no longer that child – he’s cranky far more often, more attention-grabbing…although still well-behaved in public, at least for now. I know it’s easier to be patient at those times, but those times are getting fewer and farther between it seems. There are days where I am ready to call it quits by noon and I still have 7 hours to go before I have help. Maybe it’s frustration at his inability to express himself – he can still only say mama – and maybe it will clear up after his surgery, whenever that is. But in the meantime…

I was not cut out to be a parent. It shouldn’t have happened.

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  1. It seem to be unpopular, but I think this is really one of those things that way more people think about than will ever admit. I’d love to meet a parent who actually followed through on every single ‘I’ll never’ and ‘I’ll always’ they ever uttered before they were parenting their own child.

    All I can offer you is ‘give it time.’ He’ll be less needy soon. I hope it’s sooner rather than later, for everyone’s sake.

  2. It’s a phase. It doesn’t mean you’re not cut out to be a parent, it means you have human needs and limits and kids push those to the brink of thinking you can’t do it another minute … and then you DO because it’s your KID and that’s what a parent does. That’s what YOU do.

    It might be time to try sleep training to take some of the burden off. Once you get two solid naps and an overnight “I’m not coming in for you go back to sleep” thing going for you, it gives you a chance to recharge. I swear, I LIVED for naptime the first go around. And I still kind of do – it is SUCH a relief to put the baby down and walk away and know within 5 minutes he’ll be zonked and I can just have some TIME (albeit not ALONE time anymore).

    You’re his Mama. He loves you, even if sometimes you lose your patience. You’ll get through this.

  3. I think most parents feel this way at some point. Especially the good ones. It’s a huge change and it’s overwhelming and there’s so much to learn and figure out and every time you start to figure things out his needs and abilities change and you’ve never done anything like this before and you can’t just take a break and you’re strung out because you’re constantly short on sleep which just makes it all that much harder to deal with… It’s enough to drive anyone nuts, and you’ve got health issues on top of it all. Not to mention the insanity with the roof and everything else going on in your life.

    It’s also natural for kids his age to be clingy. There isn’t one clear right answer to that. Some say that you need to let him cry sometimes. Otherwise, he just learns that crying will get him attention whenever he wants it, whether he really needs it or not. Another thought: If he’s better in public, then maybe what he needs is more socialization? More people to play with could keep him busy, tire him out, and maybe ease his fixation on you a little.

    In any case, as others have said: Hang in there. He’ll grow and his needs and desires will change. He’ll be more able to relate to you, more able to understand things, etc. And you’ll level up in Parenting. And then he’ll start going to (pre)school and you’ll finally have a few hours to yourself.

    You’re not a bad mother. You love him and you want to take care of him and do your best for him. That’s what’s most important.

  4. I just spent 15 minutes looking through my blog, because I really thought I’d made a post about this, but apparently not.

    You are not alone. You are not a bad parent. It IS a phase, but sadly one we need to get through.

    I too have sensory issues, and n likes to treat me like a jungle gym. It is so frustrating, and so hard not to lash out at her. I try to find things for her that will help encourage independent play. IT doesn’t always (or even usually) work, but sometimes it does. You just have to find those things that really grab them, and relish the time you get.

    And I confess, I’m really thankful she starts school in a month. I think I’ll be a better mom, and I know that she’ll get more of the interaction and energy expenditure that she needs.

  5. Ditto on all above and pointing out – 13 months is right at the 55 week mental leap. That was the WORST one for mini, and he was at daycare during the day 🙂


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