The truth hurts.

I love Ben and Sam. I never want anything to hurt them. I want them to have the very best of everything, including me.

I remember the first week Ben was born, rocking him while he cried, and thinking, "I've made a huge mistake." I realized that my heart was no longer safe. A piece of it was out of my control, and soon it would be walking around without me. The thought of anything happening to Ben was devastating. The realization that someday I wouldn't be able to comfort him with my embrace was just as bad. The sure knowledge that someday he would look at me and find me lacking... I can't even describe.

I have seen shows on Oprah about mothers who have lost their children due to some dumb mistake and thought, "That would never happen to me." I was going to be a careful mother. I was going to be vigilant. But it's not enough. It doesn't matter that every fibre of my being is screaming at me to protect my boys with everything I am. My brain has gone off duty more than once. I'm a failure at the most important job I've ever been given.

For example, a month or so ago I took Ben with me to the grocery store. I only needed a few things so I didn't bother putting him in a cart, he loves running around the store and I followed him through a few aisles before getting to business. I was putting some bananas in a bag and Ben was right beside me. At least I thought he was. When I looked down he was gone. After a quick scan of the produce section produced no Ben I started running through the store and found him as he was running through the automatic door to the outside world. I swear that kid must have scoped the door out on his earlier run through the store because by the time I caught up to him he was running helter-skelter around the parking lot. The sight of my precious toddler running around a parking lot in his little red ball cap still makes me want to vomit. Or cry. Or vomit and then cry. Or cry and then vomit and then cry some more. He could have been hit by a car so easily. I can picture it like it actually happened. It makes my chest hurt.

I'm screwing up this mother thing. I should have taken the few extra seconds and put him in the cart. Or watched him more closely. Or left him safe at home instead of dragging him along to keep me company. I could have done any of those things but I didn't. I'm letting my children down. Sometimes I want to hold up Ben and Sam to God and say to Him, "I can't do this. Please take them back, I'm blowing it." There are other things too. Ben has fallen off of my very high bed more than once because I was careless. Once he got his hands on some lit candles and I didn't even know about it till he walked out of my bedroom with wax all over him. I haven't brushed his teeth enough and I'm pretty sure he's getting cavities. He managed to run away from us in a mall for a few minutes till we found him standing at the top of the escalator all little and alone. The other day I looked up while we were eating lunch and he had the knife I had been using to cut up his apples in his hand. And Sam... I let him sleep on his stomach even though I know it increases the chances of SIDS because I want more sleep for myself.


Remember what I said about the Oprah shows and thinking those things could never happen to me? That was before I had kids. Now I watch those shows and ache with the knowledge that it could so easily be me. Those shows honestly freak me out so badly that I really have trouble watching them anymore. I make myself though. I need to be lectured. I want so badly to be a good mother. I want it more than anything. But I'm not. I am not guarding the treasures I have been given the way they deserve.

You want to know the worst part? The worst part is what brought all of this on. Someone responded to a comment I had written about the parking lot story by saying, "I'd say that a two year old at-large in a parking lot is a sign of poor mothering." I agree. But somehow it is so much worse hearing someone else say it. It felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. But should the opinion of a stranger have the ability to make it worse? Shouldn't I feel as bad as I can feel all on my own without the help of someone else? Apparently not, cause I feel worse. And I feel even worse for feeling worse.

On top of that, Glen is mad at me and giving me the cold shoulder because I told him to leave me alone while I was writing a response to that "poor mothering" comment. So I also feel like a bad wife. I feel like a bad Christian most of the time too, so the only thing I need now is for someone to tell me I'm a bad friend. (Oh wait, I have some emails that say exactly that.) How about if Ang and Dad each publish a post about what a bad sister and daughter I am and then we can make my misery complete?

Blah. I feel low. I need chips. Or something.

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