Jude Landry Store

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Why do I feel this way?

*Mom, I know you'll be reading this, so please don't take offense.

Anyone who knows my mom, knows she goes above and beyond what most people would expect of her. She's generous, selfless, and seemingly numb to sacrifice. We're talking the I'll drive 7 hours on Monday to babysit while you go to dinner and drive 7 hours home on Tuesday kind of generous.

Sometimes I feel like I'm taking advantage of her willingness.

Sometimes I feel like I'm giving her the greatest gift, accepting that willingness.

Sometimes I feel like a neglectful parent, letting my 1.5 year old spend the night somewhere else for a week or so, and enjoying that time away from them.

Sometimes I feel like a confident parent, raising a perfectly secure 1.5 year old that can thrive under someone else's supervision for several nights.

We trust my parents, we trust Jude's parents. We know that when our children are with them, they are being treating with love and surrounded by safety and they honor our parental wishes (most of the time - chocolate before dinner? I don't want to know.). But for whatever reason, this internal dialogue is going on.

Maybe it's because I can often remember spending the week at my grandmother's house in the summer, but Jude never did. But, he lived in the same town as his and saw them often. Mine lived in other cities. Maybe it's because I don't know many friends who send their kids away overnight. Even my sister is hesitant to send her children to MS with my parents when they're coming for a visit. Maybe it's because I'm a well-adjusted product of parents that both worked and utilized daycares and babysitters, but now I'm a full-time mother responsible for the large majority of the caregiving.

It seems like my gut is saying, "It's fine. You love your children and are comfortable with the people they're staying with - what's the problem?" And my all-to-aware self-consciousness is saying, "But they don't do it, they don't do it. They're your kids - you should be taking care of them."

I don't really know what I'm looking for here - someone to affirm my gut or lists reasons why they agree with the opposite. Just typing it all out has already helped a little. But feel free to chime in on the discussion. I'll try not to worry too much about what everyone else is doing, although it sure would be nice to hear, "Oh, Alisha, you're not a terrible mother," from someone else besides my gut. Though, she's usually right...


Sarah and Phil said...

My thoughts--you are a great parent partly because you do send your kids to spend time with their grandparents. Being trusting, knowing that you have your own identify, allowing your children to explore and develop relationships with their grandparents--those are some of the things that help make you a great parent.

At least, that's what I tell myself when I send Evelyn off to that shady day care center everyday. :) But seriously, I do think those things are what make you "the best you you can be"- and that being the best you is the first step to being the best parent. Plus, I think the main thing I'm realizing as a parent is that what works for us may not work for another family.

The Whatleys said...

First of all, you can't compare the way you parent to the way another person may parent. You are a great mom who gives her children a full-time mom at home with them everyday. A few days away from home (and with their grandparents, at that) is just evidence that you have well adjusted, happy children who have all of their needs met. Plus, your kids are going to grow up with a really strong relationship with their grandparents and that is very special.

Kelly Aldridge said...

ditto Amy! Alisha... you are a great Mom! Be thankful for your parents and Jude's parents! They are wonderful and let your kids enjoy them! You'd be doing your children a disservice as well as yourself by keeping them all to yourself! ;)

Mandi @ Living the Good Life said...

I agree with everyone here... plus BECAUSE you're such an awesome & devoted mama, you have 2 very secure little gals that will be fine with their wonderful grandparents. I definitely don't feel guilty when my parents take the boys for the weekend nor do I feel bad for enjoying the calm and quiet and getting things done when they're gone. Don't sweat it! It's a blessing to have such an awesome extended family (on both sides to boot!) that love and care for your girlies the way that you and Jude do AND that make a point to be part of their lives :)

The Joneses said...

You are incredibly fortunate to have even the opportunity to send your kids for time with their grandparents. There are some things that kids learn better from other adults besides their own parents, and grandparents are the best of both worlds - they've raised kids already and have incredible wisdom, and they are people that already love your children. I believe that children are better raised by a community anyway. I understand the inner turmoil, being a stay-at-home mom myself. I think when being a mom is our job, we take it very seriously, and feel as though we are neglecting our job and casting it off on someone else if we do anything for ourselves. But as good as it is to want to do the absolute best for your kids, let me ask you this: What makes you the BEST mom that you can be? If making sure that you have time to yourself, away from the kids for a bit, helps you to get a much-needed break so that you can be totally there and on top of your game when you are with the girls, then by all means do it. Again, you are incredibly fortunate to have that opportunity. Both sets of our parents still work full-time. If they gave us a chance to get away for a week or just to do life without kids, while they were at "grandma camp" I would jump at it without hesitation. I mean seriously - it's a week (or a couple of weeks) out of 52.

Kaitlin @ More Like Mary said...

It's fine. You love your children and are comfortable with the people they're staying with - what's the problem?

And that coming from someone who probably won't do the same with my own kids.