Many years ago, when D was about 18 months old (I think I was pregnant with A at the time) we went back east to visit my in-laws. My mother-in-law took us to a local park for D to play in, and we had a great time. I remember that across from the playground was soccer field, and there was a game, or perhaps a practice, going on.
What struck me (and it must have really made an impression on me, since I remember it 4-5 years later!) were the mothers at the game. They were all spread out on blankets on the sidelines, chatting with each other. No one even appeared to be watching the game/practice; they were all involved in talking. Soon there was a break in the game, and the kids swarmed the moms. The mothers, in unison, handed their kids water bottles. Seriously, it was like it was choreographed! The kids then went back on the field. The mothers went back to their chatting.
I remember this making such an impression on me because at that time, my whole life, my whole being, revolved around D. I was not just aware of, but PRESENT, for every thing he did. We did tons of mommy-and-me activities together (music, gymnastics, soccer) and he was my world. I never left him with a sitter (save for maybe a few nights a year for a date night with J). In the daytime, we were joined at the hip. I could not have imagined being at a soccer game of his, and not watching his every move. I would want to bear witness to every kick, every block, every goal. How could these moms ignore their children, who were right in front of them?
Well, a few years later, I am just like those moms. I go to his games (these days it's t-ball) and I get involved talking to my friends. It's not like I'm ignoring D...I know where he is, and do watch him. I love to cheer for him when he's up to bat, or attempts to field a ball. But I don't watch him play 100% of the time. I just don't.
Part of me feels guilty. I am just like those moms I saw, and internally criticized, all those years ago. But the other part of me feels justified...I am allowed to talk to the friends I've made (all through being his mom, by the way!), and it's healthy for my life not to revolve solely around his, or A's, life. Yet the guilt somehow always seems to prevail. However, I'm sure that D wouldn't even care....he just wants me to show up. But I want to do more than just show up...I want to be supermom, and often find myself failing miserably. Maybe I should cut myself, and other mothers that I find myself judging, a little slack.
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