Sunday, September 19, 2010

Why Isn’t There A Parenting Aptitude Test?

How do you know when you’re doing this parenting thing right?

Is it enough that, Grandma used to say, you’ve kept them off the streets and out of prison? Is it enough that when I tuck them in at night, I feel satisfied that I kept them alive for one more day?

Yesterday was just too much. Baby did nothing but whine and cry all day long. She cried when she was hungry, and then cried when we tried to feed her. She cried when she was tired, and then cried when we tried to put her down for a nap.

And she only wanted Mommy. She cried when Mommy held Toddler or played with Toddler. She cried when Mommy put her down to eat a meal. She cried when Mommy went to the bathroom. She cried when Daddy tried to help out or intervene in any way.

And then night came. And she screamed and cried and cried and screamed. For four-and-a-half hours she wailed, before by some miracle she fell asleep.

And then I cried. Because she made me feel so inadequate for not being able to help her. Because by the end of the day I was angry with her for not letting me have a break. Because I felt guilty for being frustrated and angry.

So what’s the yardstick? What’s the standard? When do you know that you’re good enough?

Update: Baby has ear infection, and is on antibiotics. She still hasn't slept more than 10 minutes at a time for the past 14 hours. Hopefully the antibiotics will kick in by bedtime.


Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

Sorry for such a bummer post. I'll be more cheerful tomorrow, I promise.

Marinka said...

I think if there were a parenting aptitude test, we'd all be wearing dunce caps regularly. Which is great on bad hair days, but otherwise, so not flattering.

Angela said...

Thanks Marinka! I won't order that dunce cap yet....although I could use something to help out on bad hair days.