Several  years ago, I sat with him and together we worked on a preschool project.  We were constructing a “family pennant.”  It was to be a display of his family.  We carefully went through old photos, and we cut out the members of our family and he glued them on his pennant.  When he said he was finished, I told him that “someone was missing.”  I figured he just forgot.  But he said, “I know, but there isn’t enough room for you, Mommy.”  Even the dogs–one of whom was deceased–made an appearance on the pennant.  In his eyes, I was the most disposable member of the family.  I simply said, “okay” and slipped into the laundry room where I silently fell apart.  I’ll never forget those words…there’s not enough room for you Mommy

This morning, he handed his dad a Valentine’s Day card.  One that he made at school yesterday.  And he said “I forgot to put Mommy’s name on it.”  And inside the card I could see where he erased what he had originally written, and wrote in my name, too.  His card was meant for Daddy.  He wrote inside “You are the best Dad in the [whole] wide world.”  I’m sure his teacher, or one of the “good moms” at the school noticed he had forgotten to add my name and had him correct it. 

And again I sat this morning, silently shattered by this Valentine’s Day card that forgot me.  And I wondered why I haven’t yet earned his love.

I have made my entire life about him and his brother and his sisters.  I have  given up every little part of the person I used to be, and I am now their mommy.  I wanted that with all my heart.  I have everything I ever wanted, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like I thought it would.

Sometimes, it is hard. 

Sometimes, it hurts.  Sometimes, the weight of my heart is such that I find it difficult to breathe. 

Sometimes, I cry myself to sleep because the day was so damned hard.

Sometimes, I am not the mother I dreamed I would be. 

Sometimes, I am tired.  Sometimes, exhausted.

Sometimes, I feel heartbroken.

Sometimes, I feel like I am failing in everything I do.

Sometimes, I fear that there will never, ever be enough room for me.


17 thoughts on “Sometimes

  1. Oh Kristen – I have those same questions and doubts. Being a mom is tiring, it is a struggle and we are our own worst critic. I guarantee that the oversight is not intentional. I get the same second place treatment when G is home…sometimes it’s like I’m not even around. Everyone has to have Daddy. I think it’s because they are the fun ones while we deal with the daily stuff, not the fun stuff.

    I hope that the Man makes up for this with a nice dinner and wine for you. Hugs and take some comfort knowing you’re not alone. It’s time for a girls outing. Check your calendar.

  2. It’s amazing how kids can say words that have no meaning in their own minds but have deep effects on others. I remember an example in my own childhood where I did a similar thing. My dad used to go to the local rec center a few nights a week for pick-up basketball games. He loved them! One night he took me along. I don’t even remember why. But I sat on the bleachers bored out of my mind. So afterwards when we were in the car on the way home he asked me what I thought of the game. I replied, “You looked like you didn’t know what you were doing.”

    I still don’t know why I said that. I didn’t mean it. The words meant nothing to me. The game meant nothing to me. I wasn’t even paying attention to the game. But that was the LAST time Daddy ever played basketball. I feel bad about it to this day.

    My point (after the long story) is that I don’t think kids equate the same type of emotions to their words that we do as adults. They don’t realize how much of a punch those words have. There’s no way that you can comprehend your mother’s love for you until you have your own children.

  3. (((hugs))) that’s a hard thing to hear from your child, no matter what their thinking was 😦 I’d probably go off and cry to if my little one said something like that. Again, (((hugs)))

  4. your mom says:

    Do you know how much I love you?

    These things you are going through are all a part of raising children. It is the hardest job in the world. Exhausting, thankless, worry-filled, chaotic, sometimes bittersweet, but your heart is big and your love is pure and you put your children’s needs above your own. You’re a wonderful mother. I’m so proud of you and I promise you that someday you’ll long for these times you are living right now, and you’ll only remember the wondrous, sweet times.

    Tonight, go in and gaze upon your babies as they lay sleeping, and all the hurt will be washed away.


  5. Oh I’m so sad for you Kristen!! So sorry he was so hurtful! I would have totally called him on it, I always tell my kids when they say or do something that hurts my feelings. Just like when they do hurtful things to each other- I want them to learn not to!!! You know he loves you, moms are always taken for granted! One day he will read this post and feel AWFUL!!!

  6. Erika says:

    Oh K! I was reading your post and Brennen came up to me and asked me why my eyes were “wet and sad”. I’ve been there…sometimes I wonder if I make any impact at all. In the end, they WILL get it. They will. Even if it takes until the day that their heart breaks out of love, or sadness, or happiness or pride because of something their child has done or said…they will get it, one day they will understand just how very hard it is to be a parent.

  7. Stephanie says:

    My heart sunk for you when I read this. I recently dealt with something similar with my oldest. The conversation began with how smart he is and how he must get that from his Dad and when I said, “You know I’m smart too?” his reply was, “Yeah, Mom your smart about laundry!” I was so hurt and although we (really I) talked at length about it I don’t know think he really got it. From what I’ve read here and when I met you at the b-day party…it’s clear you’re a great mom! Have a great week!!

  8. I’m feeling a little bad about writing this now. I don’t want people to think he’s a creepy little kid! He is such a sweet little boy, and he had nothing but good intentions…he certainly wasn’t trying to hurt my feelings. He just adores his daddy!

    I think you’re right Citystreams, when you say that children don’t attach the same emotion to words that we do.

    I love that boy.

  9. Wow Kristen, what a day you had yesterday :(.

    You know he loves you – and he’s definitely not creepy! He’s just a little boy who can’t yet understand just what a momma’s love means.


  10. Oh, they can break our hearts!

    I don’t know how old the little guy is, but I think you might have an opportunity to go back and gently tell him that it hurt your feelings. Not to shame him or anything, but children need to know that Mama’s are people too. It just might make him think. He’s probably not to young to understand how it feels to have hurt feelings.

  11. I have no words of comfort here. My heart broke reading this. Motherhood is no small feat. I just wanted you to know that we’re all in it together. We’re here behind you! ((hugs))

  12. I’m getting misty-eyed reading this because I’ve been through similar difficult times with my crew. I have to keep reminding myself how much we all care about each other and that they don’t always have the same kind of control and understanding about how their acts can make us feel yet. So I’m sending lots of {{{hugs}}} your way!

  13. We went through a period where I was the bad guy, because I can be a little more strict than my wife. My daughter told me she only loved mommy and not me. It killed me, dropped me like a rock.

    But there was a lot of stress of moving away from our house, her school, and friends. The period passed and we’ve settled into our new home. She’s gotten a bit older and a lot wiser, and now I’m back in the family circle again.

    I’m sure you will be, too. Just hang tough.

  14. Oh, the pain our dearest little ones can cause us! Sometimes I think they are so very sure of mom’s love, that they don’t feel a need to vie for it, or to even express it. It is so integrated into their lives that it is simply a fact. My older one will pine for daddy, but not seem to give a care if mommy is available. Sometimes it makes me a little sad, but then I am also comforted by the fact that he is so sure of me. And when he is sick, you can be sure that it is my name he is crying out in the middle of the night!

  15. katiemayes says:

    Oh, the heartbreak. I really enjoyed reading your mom’s words to you. I’m sure that was encouraging.

    P.S. Yes, I really did shout “Praise the Lord” when playing my dumb game. It kinda slipped out. (insert embarrassed face)

  16. I ache with you, friend. How painful that must be. Praying God will heal your hurts as you reach out and love your little guy. I don’t have any words to offer… at least not ones that won’t sound trite. Just let you know I’m sorry. I hurt. I pray.

  17. I know the feeling, and I loved this post. I feel mad at myself for the way I feel sometimes, I made the choice to give up myself to be a mom, but it does seem no matter what I do, I will never be the hero Dad is. I do all the work, and he gets to be all the fun. It does hurt when those notes come home and you are left off, it’s okay to feel what you’re feeling – you are not the only one! And, after all, they are just kids…

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