Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mommy X Baby Time

<- Have your people call my people and we'll schedule a play date.

I think I speak for every mom when I say it's hard to find some me-time while taking care of a kid. And I'm kind of used to that, but lately, Melissa's new self-sufficiency is making me a little confused.

I expect her to be clingy. I expect her to want me ALL THE TIME. But what I wasn't expecting was for her to want my ATTENTION all the time, not necessarily me.

She's at the exploring age, so of course she wants to go everywhere and do everything she's not supposed to. I never thought I'd miss the days when she'd cry if I left the room. I mean, I don't miss the crying, but I do wish she'd be more willing to follow me. Now it's like, if momma wants me to go somewhere, therefore the opposite direction must be more interesting.

When I try to pick her up, she uses her own weight down to get away (unless she believes I'll take her to something she wants, like food).
I know this is supposed to be expected - after all, terrible two's are just around the corner, right? But the times that puzzle me are when I try to interact with her and she literaly pushes me away, as if I'm interrupting her imagination. Like, "momma, I'm pretending to be [whatever] here, and there's no space for the gigantic mother in this story".

Don't get me wrong, we play together a lot. She's still very sweet and LOVES hugs. Then it's "thank you, bye" (she says it exactly like this :), and off she goes to destroy the house. So I think I'm allowed to go do something else, and that gives her the cue to be extra clingy again.

I'm confused. I try to squeeze in mommy-times here and there, but feel guilty to let her play by herself for too long. Then if I try to join her, she sometimes acts like I'm not doing it right. My guilty mommy-brain starts thinking that it's because she resents me, and I should never have opened the computer in the first place.

Does anyone out there feels this way? When do you know you're entitled to some mommy time, and not just neglecting your child? I know that they're supposed to play a little bit on their own, but I don't want to use this as an excuse to not give her attention. When I'm typing, I'm in my own world. Then she demands I close the computer, gives me a hug and proceeds to ignore me. What's up with that?


Jenner said...

It sounds like she is testing her boundaries. She is exploring what it's like to be independent, but she wants to know that you'll still be there when she needs you.

Kimberly said...

If I may be so bold, I think you should give yourself a bit of a break. It's good for children, even little ones, to play by themselves. You are there. You aren't neglecting her. If you locked her away in her room, that would be different, but knowing where she is and what she is doing and yet not giving her attention, isn't a bad thing. It might even be a good thing.

My mom says that my brother and I were always happy as long as she was busy, but as soon as she sat down, we were upset about it. That's been true for me, too, with my own little ones. I guess it's just natural for them to want mommy to be doing something interesting and it's natural for us to want to take a break/rest.

I know that computers can be the absolute worst for pulling our attention from our kids for ridiculous amounts of time. If you are concerned, you could set a timer when you get on the computer to remind yourself that it has "been long enough" and it's time to put it away. That way your time on the computer can be spent less guiltily because are taking control of your time.

Good grief. Sorry this is so long!

Christina Simon said...

Found your blog on Lady Bloggers! I do feel guilty for wanting mommy time, but I need it and everyone is better off when I'm doing well. I like the "have your people call my people for a playdate" sounds like private school talk!

Debbie said...

Join the club. I've got mommy guilt all the time. I have 2 little boys that I tend to let play on their own so I can get some things done. Here's hoping they won't be scarred for life ;) Following from LBS.
Debbie from

Cam - Bibs & Baubles said...

i'm there too. he loves to push my hand away when i'm trying to help. i just take my cues from him. when he wants me around i'm here when he doesn't i'm curious to see what he'll do next on his own and just watch from the sidelines. it's a tough transition to go from needing me and wanting me all the time to this but it's part of the process, right? :)

Betsy St. Amant said...

I agree with Kimberly! It IS a good thing and it does sound she's just in that next stage of development. Here's what I've heard said before that really struck a chord with me, and I don't remember the exact words but the gist of it was that when you do take time for YOU as a WOMAN/PESON, then you become a better MOMMY. Don't you feel better, have more patience, and feel more ready to play and interact first thing in the morning when you've been apart for sleep for 8 hours (or however long) or when she's been down for an hour plus nap? You got rejuvenated by taking a break. You got recharged. And that's only doing her a favor.

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