mom struggles

I am trying. Trying to be a better mom. Trying to concentrate on them.. Trying to remember the mom I used to be and bring that back to life.. at least a little bit.

Jennifer got some of the best of me .. and I am scared she took it with her..

It started on Halloween.. Jonathan was sick so he stayed home with Tony and I took the others trick or treating (almost all of us got sick after that so big sorry to anybody we shared germs with!) It was the first holiday or should be hard day that wasn’t hard.

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Because it wasn’t just one missing .. it was two. And my mind. My heart were easily convinced that they were both at home.. Waiting and playing with their Daddy.

First trick or treating in the morning and Charlotte insisted that she and Bridgette match..
First trick or treating in the morning and Charlotte insisted that she and Bridgette match..
Just like Jennifer did with Charlotte her final Halloween.
Just like Jennifer did with Charlotte her final Halloween.

 

And the carefree I felt. The absence of that heavy grief.. it was nice. It was empowering.. And so I’ve been putting in the effort since Halloween..

I also know she missed out on some of the best of me too..will it matter in a month and no’s into yeses.. So I’ve been putting in the effort to combine the 2 moms I am into one..

Things have changed this year. Nicholas and Charlotte are really bonding and forging a friendship. They play outside and don’t need me to be out there with them.. Those sounds as I clean the dishes or answer emails of their imaginations kicking into high gear and just enjoying each other. I didn’t realize how much I missed it.

showing off their muscles after working out with me
showing off their muscles after working out with me

She used to march them all outside first thing in the morning.. I remember not having gloves and putting socks on their hands because it was so cold .. but they didn’t care they just wanted to be outside.. Together ..in their own little world. .

I remember soon after she died writing about how I thought they all loved it.. but quickly it was apparent they didn’t know how to function without their leader and so it all changed.. I never thought it would come back..

And its a beautiful and hard thing.. Because they are living and growing.. and making their own paths.. But she isn’t.

Ive been trying. I really have been.

*************often times I feel like she tries to reach me through music.. today it was through photos.. All the ones I had pulled out of her siblings doing fun things.. Ones of us doing very similar ones popped up..***************

Thank you Jennifer Lynn. 

I took them puddle jumping..
I took them puddle jumping..
Playing in the rain..
Playing in the rain..
One time I took just her out in the rain.. And then made Tony stand in the garage to take our picture.. ( I will sissy.. I will try to do this with them too)
One time I took just her out in the rain.. And then made Tony stand in the garage to take our picture.. ( I will sissy.. I will try to do this with them too)
..let them paint themselves and the bathtub with water colors..
..let them paint themselves and the bathtub with water colors..
I only did this once with her.. She somehow stained the walls of the tub!
I only did this once with her.. She somehow stained the walls of the tub!
a fun place place..
a fun place place..
Nicholas so desperatly wanted to go down the slides with Bridgette.. Similar to how he always wanted to go down with Jennifer.
Nicholas so desperatly wanted to go down the slides with Bridgette.. Similar to how he always wanted to go down with Jennifer.
and lizard catching..
and lizard catching..
she loved slimey and dirty..
she loved slimey and dirty..

 

But I have also been failing. . .

I hate it. I hate that everybody tells me I make them a better mom.. that I make them hold their children tighter and pause a little longer.. Because I don’t. I take them for granted still.. I still have days that I count down the hours until bedtime.

and I absolutely hate myself for it.

Because it can happen. I realized tonight kissing Bridgette goodnight how incredibly scared I am it will happen again. .. Not necessarily  cancer, though its a palpable fear.. but just of losing another one of the them some way or another. ..

I even get scared right now.. putting the fear in black and white.. Am I willing it to happen?

please sissy. please please protect them.. 

I’m just really scared I’ll look back at this time many years from now and have regrets. That I was in a fog.. that I counted down the hours till bedtime to often. That I was absorbed in anything but them..

I’m scared I am failing as a mom. I am scared they aren’t happy.. I’m scared I am a bad mom ..

I’m scared I am disappointing her.. failing her now.. still.

I am just scared.. More than I want to admit. More than anybody that knows me would ever guess.

please jennifer please

protect them.

and

help me.

ps. You did. Those pictures. They helped. Well done my love. Well done.

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..until there is a cure..

6 Responses to “mom struggles”

  1. It is often the best mothers who worry that they are failing…that think they aren’t”good enough”. The truly bad mothers out there do not worry and do not care how their children will feel about their actions. Your children always know they are loved, and always will. As they grow, they will mature and understand why Mommy sometimes was sad, or didn’t seem “absorbed” in whatever was going on at the time. More likely than not, they don’t even realize that you are “failing” in any way. It’s a complete different situation, but after my mom died three years ago, I felt so lost…I still do. She was who I turned to for advice, answers, wisdom and friendship…always. I’ve failed my daughter since my mother died, I know I have. I have days where I don’t even want to try to function…I count the hours to bedtime and have become the master of the “fake smiles”. I also know, as a childhood cancer advocate, that my daughter isn’t safe and could be stolen from me at any time…but I still struggle with the depression from losing my mom so badly that I can’t seem to force myself to “enjoy the moment”, and I feel so, so guilty about taking my child for granted, when I see grieving parents like you who would do anything to have their child back. I feel like the biggest parental failure in the universe…

    But my daughter doesn’t care. She thinks I hung the moon and stars…she loves me in a way I don’t deserve. Or maybe I do, and I’m just blinded by my guilt, I have no idea. Your children feel the same, this I promise you.

    Every caring parent carries guilt about something. Some loads of guilt are small, some medium and some have a dump truck load full. The good thing is, our children know they are loved, they know we try, they know that sometimes mommy is just a human and makes mistakes, but little ones are so damn forgiving that we don’t deserve it. It’s their nature. Any shortcomings you might have are magnified by you, and probably not truly even noticed by your children. Jennifer knows you try. She knows…she sees it, and she knows your heart perhaps better than you know it yourself.

  2. You don’t know me; I found out about your family through a neighbor who was fluttering in our neighborhood. I wanted to thank you for your words.

    I’ve lost a child and I too get so angry with myself for taking my other children for granted. Shouldn’t I have learned that lesson?
    And that fear of losing another…I think it’s worse for us because it’s not an unknown thing. We know all the details of the horror; it’s not abstract. I can’t allow myself to go there in my head because I’m afraid I won’t be able to get back out.
    Thank you for reminding me that I’m not alone in theses struggles.

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