Stabbed in the Heart

Last night was one of those nights.

I was still experiencing my post-weekend funk. It had rained all afternoon and I found myself having to come home – on my bike – in the pouring rain.

The girls and I arrived home, cold, wet, and tired. I still had dinner to cook and an apartment to tidy. Hell, I still hadn’t even unpacked after my weekend with CBG.

This was also the first evening I’d seen the girls since Thursday. It had been a long stretch, not being together.

I was feeling stressed and pressured. So much to do.

The evening was spent cooking dinner, trying to get cleaned up and organized a little bit, in between returning a couple of phone calls.

After dinner, while I was on the phone with my sister and cleaning up the kitchen, Kiddo came to me with a distressed look on her face. I knew something was up. I ended the phone call right away and sat with her.

“Mommy…I’m not feeling so good right now. I feel really small. I feel like [LittleMo] and I aren’t very important to you at all. We haven’t seen you in a whole bunch of days, and now you’re doing a bunch of other things instead of spending time with us. And it hurts my feelings.”

A knife to the heart, folks.

Dang. That’s what I get for encouraging my girls to use their words and communicate their feelings.

We talked for a while. I thanked her for talking to me about how she was feeling. I apologized from the heart. I explained to her where I was coming from (feeling stressed and overwhelmed about everything that I needed to get done). We then came up with a plan for how I could spend some time with them that evening – which included the girls helping me to clean up the apartment to allow me some more time to spend with them, both that evening and again in the morning.

I vowed to myself that for the next little while I was going to figure out my priorities and work on finding more balance in my life. It’s a good thing I’ve got a couple of really important people around who are able to help me out with staying on track.

I’m going to get it right some day, aren’t I?

6 Responses

  1. In my book you’re already getting it right if you’ve raised your girls to come to you and tell you what they’re feeling the way they did!

    And I can only imagine the sting that you felt because it reminded me that I never got around to connecting our Nintendo DS’s together with Ty and playing his Mario game together like he asked me several days in a row to do last week.

    We get busy, we get so focused on what needs to be done and what needs to be paid and everything that we don’t have time to do that we forget where our attention should really be going to.

    Glad you posted this today. Good food for thought to start the day out with.

  2. Recently found your blog; hope you don’t mind that my first comment is on a “tough” posting…

    Every now and then, the balance gets out of whack. It happens to all of us. You want to be in four places at once, and have octopus arms, so you can get everything done and be everything to everyone.

    Pat yourself on the back for raising kids that will come to you and talk, rather than acting out to get your attention. And then pat yourself on the back a second time for discussing ways to fix the problem, rather than getting defensive.

    And I agree that this is definitely good food for thought, and a good reminder for the rest of us. :)

  3. Aw, that would stab me in the heart too, but you are juggling a lot, and I’m sure your daughters realize that too, and you have your priorities straight, you may just need to regroup and process and be back at it again.

  4. Sweet baby girls!!!

    Yes, they are truly our teachers, aren’t they? What a great mother that you are!

    ((hugs!))

  5. I agree with Ashley. You’re getting it right now.

    I know these days. I know these words. The way they settle in your gut and press. But you’re doing what you have to, and processing what you have to – in their long term best interest.

    When I worked full time outside of the home when my boys were tiny, there was guilt. I reorchestrated everything to work partly from home, and there was still guilt. I’ll never forget, when my elder was only 5 years old, and I was working a big international job (with an office only 10 minutes away, thankfully), my son CALLED my boss, and said to him: “Would you please let my mom work less so she could be here with us more?”

    Fortunately, that boss was himself a dad, and had known me for years, including at a previous job. Nonetheless, I couldn’t forget my son’s remarks. A year later, I was working entirely from home, so I was full-time mom AND full-time worker. But it essentially cast my career somewhat adrift. Something I never recovered from.

    We make choices. We juggle constantly. We have to. We follow the lead our children give us, and do our best. How beautifully you handled things with them. Everyone doesn’t possess that kind of communication.

  6. The fact that your daughter was comfortable enough to say something means you’re doing A LOT right! And the fact that you took the time to sit down and talk it out means A LOT too!

    My youngest is very expressive, and can say whats on her mind. My oldest is ME. She keeps everything locked away, and tries to figure it out on her own instead of asking for help – a trend I’m trying to break.

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