Absence and Perspective


I have been "absent" from SB for a while and I feel like a piece of my life has been lost.  I have been reading posts and comments when I have a chance, but I have not really dug my heals in.  Fortunately, there are so many great authors on SB that I am sure you didn't even realize my absence.  No, I don't mean that to put myself down in any way... it's a compliment to all of the SB authors.  The fact that some of us get tangled up in our own lives and don't have the opportunity (or mental capacity) to write is just part of life.

And another part of my life is my kids and parenthood...

Do any of you parents out there ever doubt yourself as a parent, or wonder whether you are doing a good job as a parent?  I have questioned myself many times over the last 7 years. 

A few weeks ago my son's school was let out early due to weather conditions.  I had no idea until about an hour AFTER they were dismissed.  I was at my internship and my husband was at work.  My 7-year-old son was home alone and I was FREAKING OUT!!!  I called DH at work and asked TOLD him to rush home.  Then I called my son at home, praying HE wasn't freaking out.  When my son answered the phone I had to control my anxiety so I didn't "upset" him about being home alone.  Much to my surprise, he was completely calm.  He had gotten himself a snack and was enjoying playing computer games without his 4-year-old sister bugging him (she was at preschool).

I calmed down and told him Daddy would be home ASAP.  He said, "No problem, Mom.  I'm fine."  Then we did a quick review of the "don't answer the door" routine and what to say (or what NOT to say) if someone calls on the phone.  There... I did what I could and my husband better get home NOW!!!

I felt horrible the rest of the day.  How could I not know about the early dismissal?  I felt so guilty about my son being home alone.  I was mentally beating myself up.  When I talked to DH about it that night, he really put things into perspective for me.

I told him I felt awful (and I thought I was a "terrible" mother) because our son was home alone and we didn't even know it, etc. etc.  Then DH said, "The fact that (our son) was able to be home alone, get himself a snack, and keep himself busy without destroying anything or freaking out shows that you are a GOOD mother.  Now get over it!"

It's all about perspective, I guess.  And DH was right... I am a good mother (most of the time).  :)

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