Dropping the ball …


I really feel that I am failing on so many levels at the moment.

My biggest issue right now – tomorrow I will have a new one – is that I am failing with Isabelle. 

I am just not available for her at the moment.  I either leave for work in the morning, and she has not woken up, or I spend 20 minutes with her between me getting ready and her waking up, and then I abandon her as I rush out the door.

Most days I home at about 18h30 or later and she goes to bed at 19h00.

I have noticed she has got very clingy and very whiny around me – and insists she is near me,  or I hold her hand.

She takes my hand and leads me to where she wants me to sit or stand.  She pulls at my clothes if I am sitting down and she wants me to come with her.  Then if I try to leave the area, she throws a mother of a thrombie!  She gets visibly distressed and the tears run down her chubby little cheeks.

I feel guilty.  I feel disappointed and then I feel angry.

And then I take my anger and frustration out on Kennith, because who else is available?

When I am with Isabelle I am aware of the short time, and I start dreading the end.  When I leave for work, she cries, and hangs on to my hand, and I have to hand her to Pepe while she makes those dramatic “mommy grabby arm” movements …. more heart wrenching it does not get. 

When the night ends and I put her in bed, she goes ballistic.

So even when I am with her for the precious little time there is, I am already dreading “the end” and knowing that the inevitable parting must come.  Then instead of delaying it, I decide to shift it up a gear and do it a bit earlier, as I am dreading it so much I want it over with – of course this cuts down the time I spend with her, but increases my guilt.

Make sense?

No, but I seldom do.

I enjoy work, I like my job, but it is not the kind that lends itself to flexibility of hours.

The good side is that I start at 9am, so I can drop the kids off at school in the morning, with less of the “tuck and roll out of a moving car” that I used to do in the past. 

If Connor reminds me that he needs something for school – as he did at 7am this morning – it is not a panic.  I can stop on the way to school and get it for him – the morning madness is still madness, but it is not overlayed with me stressing about being late for work.

But I can’t spend more time with Isabelle as I still need to leave the house in time to get the kids to school.

I just feel sh&t and well not-good-enough right now.

My thinking is that I will put my head down and get through this year.  I will suck it back and just get through it, and make a decision in December on how to tackle 2012.

Next year Georgia starts grade 1, Connor will be in grade 4 and the pressure of school and homework will escalate.  I need to find a way to be more available and be able to offer my kids the support they need. 

I know I often make remarks about how I outsource their needs to staff, but you do get that I am being flippant and that I do care deeply that they are provided for on all levels?

I worry that I am doing Georgia a disservice.  She needs more attention right now to get her speech up to scratch and general assistance so that she gets through Grade R confidently and then gets through Grade 1.

I do not want to be a stay-at-home mom, I really do want to go work, I just need flexibility – but I am quite attached to my pay-check, so would like flexibility and a paycheck! < which is the lament of most if not all working mothers I would guess>

I do not want to attend every school hotdog-stand day or bake-a-cake-sale, but I do want to pick one or two to do a year, and right now that is just not working.  So this year is not quite going as I had originally pictured it, but maybe it is, and I just chose not to be realistic about the picture.

This year – and I know it is only April – I have felt like I have missed so much with the kids.  I always appear to be in catch up mode, and that is not my most comfortable default position.

I am looking forward to this long weekend and just to spend time with the kids.  

I do not have to do hard-core arts and crafts with them or anything, but I just want to sit near them, be around them and smell them and hear them laugh and make fun of each other – I have been missing that!

Leave a comment


  1. I just feel there’s so much waiting for you. Of what your heart desires, of what you long to do, even the things you feel are not possible. But good luck with the way forward, these toddlers tug on our heart strings. x

  2. RM, I don’t know if you want advice or an opinion, but if I were in your shoes, I’d resign and wait till something more suitable comes along? Who knows what opportunities come knocking on your door? I am a firm believer of your children comes first and it sounds to me like you feel that way at the moment as well.
    Otherwise, lots of hugs. xxx

    • reluctantmom

       /  April 26, 2011

      Thanks Jana – part of me does want to throw in the towel, part of me wants to stick with it – for now my thoughts are to keep my head down and just get through the year. I have some thoughts on what to do going forward, but I also do not want to do anything impulsively – and yes, I do agree sometimes when you close one door, another opens ……

  3. rhodine

     /  April 26, 2011

    Heya RM 😉 Hugs.. this is what I am experiencing, and even though, yes.. he is in school, and he does sleep form 18h30pm till 05h45am, and I really do only see him for a shocking half an hour a day!!! I too feel I am failing him, especially with him wanting Nico all the time and not me, I cannot take time off, and over weekends it is bundles and bundles of washing, Ironing, being domestic depraved and still having to cook, clean.. weekends do not leave much time either for bonding and showing I am actually his mother and I really do want to spend time with him.. cannot cope with the fast paced life any more..

    I feel your pain, only diff is that he does not seem bothered by this at all like Isabella is showing, but I must admit, that him being in school is the key to my childs smiles, the interaction and stimulation is keeping him going and although it does not take away my guilt for never having time, I know that he is getting attention and enjoying it.. but ..

  4. I have no words of wisdom. Sometimes we have to just deal with the hand we have been dealt and make the best of it we can!

    What if you try plan an hour of alone time with Isabelle over a weekend? Even if its a trip to get bread and milk that just the two of you take?

    I KNOW its easier said than done cos I fail dismally at spending one-on-one time with the 2 kids I have!

  5. Countess Kaz

     /  April 26, 2011

    Why don’t you put Isabelle in a little school a few mornings a week. So she gets the stimulation from other kids and feels part of the gang? She will also be so tired that she’ll collapse into bed at night. It doesn’t solve your “time’ issue, but there is really nothing you can do about that at the moment. Be assured that 1000’s of moms spend that amount of time with their kids and they turn out fine. It’s about quality, not quantity.

  6. For the past five months I have been at home with Noah & Ben, every day, all day. I work from home and pop out for meetings etc.
    But even though I am at home all the time, Noah still freaks out if I leave the house or try put him to bed x


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