Undivided Attention

The girls and I have been awake for more than three hours now.  In that time we have:

  • had bowls of oatmeal, milk, and fruit for breakfast
  • watched Handy Manny
  • played on the swingset
  • gone to 7’11 for slurpees and powdered doughnuts
  • played with the farm and doll toys that my mother saved from when my sisters and I were kids
  • written an article for Associated Content
  • transferred money from my Paypal account to my checking account

And it’s only 9:24 AM.  Whew.

But while I was pushing the girls on the swings this morning, it struck me that my mind was wondering.  I was thinking about the socks I am knitting, the article I needed to write, the things I needed to buy for the open house on Saturday, and the emails that I wanted to return and the post I wanted to write here. 

And I felt guilty.  Guilty that I wasn’t giving the girls my undivided attention while they were swinging.  I was anxious for that to be over so I could move on to the next thing.  I felt badly about that.

The truth is, there’s no reason for the guilt.  My girls are good girls.  I love them.  I play with them.  I feed them, clothe them, clean up after them, and do my best with them.  I am not perfect, but they are certainly loved and cared for every day.

And still the guilt lingers.  I feel that I should be giving them my undivided attention 24/7, and enjoying every second of the day that I get with them. 

I know I am not the only mother to do this to herself.  My friend Anne is always telling me that I am too hard on myself.  She’s right.  But I can’t be the only one.  I know there are other women out there feeling it, living it, too. 

At any rate, the girls and I are off to cuddle on the couch and watch another episode of Handy Manny.  I’ll probably feel guilty about that later, too…

Ah well… 🙂


4 thoughts on “Undivided Attention

  1. I am trying really hard to let go of the guilt, not easy but doable. I have found that i can not give them undivided attention all the time without losing my mind. And I don’t know what medications Moms are taking but there are times that I do not enjoy my children, I could probably list 5 right off the top of my head but why take up the space. My theory, if you’re worried about whether you’re a good parent, you’re usually a good parent.

  2. I know what you mean. I’ve been doing everything possible to make this week special time with my boys. We went to the pool, the zoo, the fair, etc. Today was the county fair and it wore me out. On the drive home, The Boy asked “will you play a game with me when we get home?” I could have wacked him over the head. Instead, I said “No, I need a little break. Maybe later.” And of course I will play that game later when guilt kicks in. Sigh.

  3. Ah the mother guilt. No matter how many times we tell ourselves it’s okay, it remains! You are a great mom- the girls will remember the little things like the fact you took them for slurpees & doughnuts!

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