Whoever said "It takes a village to raise a child" must have been talking about my family.
On any given week, my son spends time at 4 different homes with 4 different sets of people that love him...and 4 very different sets of rules and expectations. These rules vary from the extremes of "Eat what is cooked for dinner and when I say no, I mean no," to "King E is here...roll out the red carpet and lets all sniff his bottom...it smells like roses!" (Ok...maybe that last part was a bit much...but it's not unfair to say that often times, he rules the roost.)
As E gets older, this is a more difficult set up to not get frustrated with. It's hard enough that he gets shuffled back and forth between Mommy's house and Daddy's house. For the most part, Ex and I have done a good job at staying on the same page. But I have a lot of guilt...questions...worry...and what ifs over all the stuff that E's life will be sprinkled with as a result of our situation. And as he gets older and does more and understands more, differences in parenting are becoming more common.
I think any mom who is half a mother sometimes travels through the valley of the shadow of "Hi, my name is Mom, and I have failed my child." I think it's probably just part of the package...like stretch marks or the inability to hold all of your urine when you sneeze. It's just par for the course. But add divorce to that equation (or any situation that compromises your ability to be there for your child 100% of the time for that matter) and the sickness gets so much worse.
Obviously I'm struggling at the moment. "Hi, I'm the Village Idiot, and I have failed my child."
Everyone: Hi Village Idiot!
I feel like nothing I do is good enough...and lately it seems that everyone in this little village has a strong opinion about that. Maybe they've had these opinions all along...but blame it on the full moon...this week they are sharing.
"You're too easy on him."
"You're too hard on him."
"You correct him too much."
"You correct him too much."
"You let him get away with too much."
"You don't have enough fun with him."
"He needs to know you love him."
"He needs you to be more firm."
Apparently I didn't get the memo...but it seems like everyone else was notified of all of the answers, and I know none of them. What I do know...what I happen to know for sure...is that I love my son with every breath I take. I have visions of a perfect life for him that he will never have, and hopes that upon his realization that life isn't perfect that he will respect me for being a source of love and consistency in his life. My desire is that when he is 28 and leading a life of his own that he will look back and associate me with plenty of "I love you's" and "she was always there for me's." Dear God, please and thank you.
I guess no mother ever feels like she's doing it exactly right. There's probably always going to be "I wish I had..." and "It would have been better if..." and a lot of "In hindsight..." And in my situation there will probably always be the rest of the village with an opinion of what I'm doing wrong and hopefully sometimes what I'm doing right. So in that case.....
Dear Lord, If it's not too much trouble, could you please speak up? It's noisy around here. Amen.
And now, if you will excuse me, nap time is over and this particular Village Idiot promised someone a play doh date. I may not have a clue about how to raise a child...
but I make a damn fine play doh pancake.