Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Oh, the Guilt!

So...Mr Earth gets home in time to give The Boy a bath and put him to bed, so I can scoot out for a short run. As I say goodnight to The Boy and hand him over, he starts bawling and reaching for me. I put on my brave face, say "Night-night, I'll see you in the morning!" in my cheeriest voice and run upstairs to change. For the ten minutes that it takes me to change into my running clothes and actually get out the door, all I hear from the bathroom is continuous screams of "I want my mummy!" over and over again. Poor Mr Earth tried to work his usual calming magic, but The Boy was having none of it. So I was faced with a choice. I could:

A) Go downstairs, calm the Boy, and put him to bed. However, this would imply that I felt Mr Earth couldn't handle the situation himself. I know that Mr Earth can handle it. Actually, Mr Earth is better in these situations than I am because I have a rather quick fuse and I tend to lose my temper easily. (I'm working on it, dammit!)

B) I could sneak quietly and guiltily out the door and hope that The Boy settled down.

I did the latter. I've haven't run that route as quickly since before I was pregnant.

I don't know if it makes me a Bad Mother, but in the crunch, I chose not to interfere. It's what I would want were the situation reversed. It, theoretically, should only take one person to put a two-year old to bed! But, I also know that when you're in that situation, sometimes all you can think of is: "Doesn't he/she hear the screaming? Why isn't she/he coming to help??" It seems that it is a no-win situation. Either you're a hovering control-freak, or an insensitive Bad Mother. I hope no one finds out that I have no idea what I'm doing...

11 comments:

something blue said...

You are SO not a bad mother.

We have to learn to think of ourselves, have faith in our husbands and let our children learn not to depend on mommy for their every need. You did all that in one swoop!

Now we just need to stomp on that guilt.

Beck said...

Is The Boy going through a Mama-Only phase? He'll live. I find that being The Person Who Steps IN And Saves My Husband backfires in the long run, because then he starts feeling incompetent with the kids. Let him handle it.

kittenpie said...

You're so right that it's lose-lose in feeling, but I think that ultimately, you are right- Mr Earth can handle it and it's not like your boy had no one to comfort him.

In fact, when Pumpkinpie seems to be on a manipulative streak (like last month), we will sometimes purposely send up the wrong person. She's still getting comfort or a potty trip or whatever, but not getting exactly what she's demanded, either.

metro mama said...

I would do the same thing you did. Firstly, he does not need to see the example of mommmy always stepping in (implying daddy's not doing a good job). Secondly, to be honest, I would want to claim my me time.

Kyla said...

Did you ask Mr. NoMo later if you did the right thing?

Josh wouldn't have minded if I let him handle things. If he needs me he's not shy about asking for my help. I try not to butt in when he is "handling" things.

Mayberry said...

I struggle with this often--stepping in or not. NOT easy.

ewe are here said...

Actually, I think this makes you a good mother. Because you're trying to let your Boy know that he has two loving parents, both fully capable of seeing to his needs. And he should learn now that he can and should depend on who's ever available, because we can't always be there for every.little.thing!

Hang in there!

jen said...

i have totally been in that spot. and you SO did the right thing.

we are human too. let's all say it together now. we are human too.

penelopeto said...

I struggle with this all the time. In your heart you know they'll both be fine in a matter of minutes, but still...
certainly it's better to be out of the house. lots harder not to interfere when you're downstairs listening to it. you did good, mama.

Mad Hatter said...

Oh, I have so been here. I am glad to hear that you went for the run. I'll bet the boy was all smiles when he greeted you in the morning.

cinnamon gurl said...

I'm with ewe and everyone else on this one. I'm terrible for interfering if I have to listen to the screaming, but I'm working on it.