What I’m Doing Here

Over the summer, I started reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I was fascinated by the idea, her realizations and outcomes. And it got me contemplating some things.

Me, I’m chronically optimistic; I tend to be happy, or at least rather content, the majority of the time. But still, the idea resonated somewhere deep inside me. After all, THIS is life, and if you’re not living it to the fullest, then you’re not doing it justice.

So I started thinking about it… What are the things that tend to diminish my happiness, what are the things that make me cringe in my own skin? And then I realized what I needed to do.

You see, I love my children. With my whole heart. I truly do. They each light up my life in ways I never imagined. They are my pride and joy and parenthood has impacted me in ways I never knew existed.

But the fact remains, I’m a bad mom.

I love them, I take care of them. They have food in their bellies and clothes on their backs. I try to provide structure and care.

But I yell. A lot. I don’t play games. While I hug and kiss, I don’t interact or include.

I curse and smoke and drink. I turn on the television when I need to get something done, because… well, because it’s easier than including them in what I’m doing. It’s easier to set them in front of a screen than it is have them help me.

And this is not the mom I imagined myself being. It’s not the mom I want to be. I want to have an active part in my children’s lives. I want them to look back and remember the fun things, and not just the family vacations or major events, but the small things, the day-to-day things that will stick with them. I want to inspire them, encourage them, let them know how very special they are to me.

So now what?

Well, now I’m going to start working on it. Little by little, day by day, I’m going research and learn. I’m going to make improvements. Improvements to myself, my attitude. Improvements on my thought process and interactions.

And I’m going to take you along on this journey with me. You, dear friend, are my accountability. I will tell you when I do well and I’ll tell you when I fail. I’ll share those moments when it all falls together perfect, and those that make me ashamed of myself.

I’m not saying at the end of all this I won’t be a bad mom, but I hope I will at least be a better bad mom.


4 thoughts on “What I’m Doing Here

  1. Dear Caitlyn,
    I’m so delighted you created this blog site. I have 3 boys 25, 20, 16. The older boys are out of the house, and of course the 16 y/o lives with us. You mentioned many things that resonated with me.

    • Thank you Anastasia. It’s nice to know that others have gone through the same things. It’s hard, this parenthood thing. When my oldest was very young, and I said something to a friend about hoping I don’t screw her up, she responded, “She’s yours. Even if you screw her up, she’s still yours.” That statement has always made me think. *hugs and kisses*

      • Dear Caitlyn,
        My goal was to treat my kids just the opposite as I was treated. Growing up with a Mother with bipolar depression left me with issues that I still work on to this day to make myself a healthier gal. We were not abused in any way. I’m so proud of my kids. They are fine, responsible young men.

      • My kids are great kids, too. I just always seem to worry if I’m doing enough or the right things. I learned a lot of bad habits from my mother, who tended to have a lot of self-defeating behaviors. I’ve learned some new habits, some not so much. Guess it’s a journey! And thanks, Anastasia, for sharing.

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