Ever have a moment in your life that you flashback to a lifetime ago and have an "oh shit" moment?
I did. And it wasn't good.
My childhood kind of sucked. And by kind of, I mean really did. And by sucked, I mean hardcore. My dad had issues and as a result I have issues. I'm not blaming everything on him, goddess knows I'm my own worst enemy at times, but when it comes to shitty ways to be a parent he may have written the How To guide for me.
My dad would fly off at something and I'd try to hug and kiss it away. It never worked and it usually left me feeling like a failure. I never want my child to feel like a failure for not making things better. It's not his job.
There's a few reasons why, at 25 years old, I was able to pack up leave my hometown, move 5 states away and never regret it. In addition there are reasons why I waited until I was months away from 30 before choosing to be a mother. It wasn't until Mac entered my life that I'd even wanted kids. Why? Because I am terrified of being a shitty parent! I have NO idea how to be a good mom, other than to do the exact OPPOSITE of what my parents did for me.
Today, I failed at that. Really, really failed.
Nixon loves me. I know this. He loves following me, watching me, playing with me, laughing with me and mimicking me. There's very few times I really don't want him near me. When I'm cooking in the kitchen with the stove and oven on, its too dangerous for him to be with me. When I'm trying to fix something and it's not going as planned, its safer to leave me alone. Its that quick Irish temper of mine. Sometimes, Nixon is okay with being near Mac and not wanting me. Other times not so much.
Today it was not so much.
After dinner I needed to change the batteries in Nixon's aquarium. The batteries were so dead it wouldn't even turn on. Well, since we put Nixon in a toddler bed it's been attached to his dresser, in a creative yet safe way. Unfortunately, the safe way decided to break and I had to come up with a way to fix it, since Nixon's still not ready to sleep without it. Annoyed that I had to figure it out (again), I started pitching a fit. Mac came, whisked Nixon away and I started trying to solve the problem. In the middle of trying to fix it, Nixon sneaks back into his bedroom and closes the door. To be with me!
So what did I, mother of the year, do?!? I yelled "OUT!!!" at him!
And Nixon, the love of my life, do?? He cried! Of course he cried, asshole, his mom just yelled at him! Mac rushed in (because he hadn't noticed Nixon slipped out of the living room in the first place) to try to calm him and I....felt like I just had an outer body experience or I switched bodies with my dad! I wanted to hold and kiss Nixon's tears away, but knew at that moment I needed to calm myself down. So I let Mac take Nixon out and I finished the aquarium.
When I was done and Nixon was relaxed again, I grabbed him for a hug and kiss. While he was cuddling me, he put his head over my heart and said "I sowwy momma". He gave me a kiss and just sat in my arms while I swallowed tears. I tried, as best I could, to explain he had nothing to say sorry over because he did nothing wrong. Mommy was angry and just yelled at him which was very wrong. I told him sometimes Mommy has a temper tantrum, like he does, and maybe I needed a time out.
After he went to sleep, and mac went to sleep, I took Nixon out of bed and held him. He was sound asleep. As I held him in my arms, rocking him on my lap while sitting on the floor of his bedroom, I felt the tears well up and fall. I never, never want him to have to apologize because I'm acting like an asshole or like my dad. I know I can be a better mom than that and I know Nixon deserves a better mom than that.
I'll have more less than stellar mommy moments, but I'm trying to learn from them all and not make the same mistake twice. In the meantime....I still feel like a mommy failure.