Lately I have been feeling as though I was failing as a mother. Sure I am making sure Ray is fed, clean, and all of the basics, however, I just have been having a feeling like I am not doing my best for him. I remember when he was first born and the first year or so and even though I didn’t know what I was doing I was doing my best. Fast forward to today and I don’t feel as though I am giving my all into being a good mom. I know a lot has changed like him growing up more and now having a mind of his own. I feel as though we butt heads constantly and even though I know that I have to make sure he is learning right from wrong, I don’t feel like we should always be at odds with each other.
It wasn’t until he said “Momma, I’m a naughty boy” to me the other day that I really started to think about how we interact with each other every day. Sure we have a lot of fun and laugh and be silly but I am not doing my job right when he feels as though he is just plain naughty. So as of yesterday I have decided to get back to giving it my all. Instead of thinking that he should be able to do a lot of things on his own I have been finding myself realizing that he is still a little boy. He is still learning and I still need to give him guidance. And guidance does not mean making sure he does everything I think he should do and not act out in any way.
I am finding that I need to give myself a break a little more and realize that I am still learning at all of this too. I cannot let my focus on my own life become something that makes me resent that he is here needing my help. I am finding that I need to stop and really take in the moments. Because when we are too focused on what our next move is for our personal lives we are missing out on the little time we have with our kids when they are kids.
Yesterday I decided to start taking those moments. It was a rainy afternoon and I have been giving into laying with Ray during nap time so he will fall asleep and actually take a nap. Usually he is asleep after about 20 minutes so I am able to sneak out and get stuff done. Yesterday I chose to lay and nap with him, and when I woke up I laid there and just watched him sleep. Just like I did when he was a baby. Normally just laying there with him makes me irritated because this is my “me” time to do things I want to do but today I embraced it. I thought about how when he was a baby and the only way to get him to nap was to let him lay on my chest and sleep while I watched TV. I used to get annoyed that I couldn’t do anything because of him needing to lay on me like that and now I miss those moments. So I am taking in these moments of laying with him in his bed because there will come a time where he won’t be taking naps and won’t need me to lay with him anymore.
If you are a mom and you feel like you are doing a bad job and that your kids just don’t listen and are naughty all the time. Maybe, just maybe, they are actually trying to let us know that they need us to take in the moments with them and they need us to start giving this whole mom thing our all again.
My husband works for the railroad. This in turn has made me a railroad wife. I will tell you that this journey that we have started on since Don has been working on the railroad has been a tough one. The worst part is that people really do not understand what it is like to live with a railroader. At first for us it wasn’t so bad, even though he was working super far away from home for a couple of months. Then he was laid off for a couple months. Now that we are a couple years into this lifestyle I am finally getting it how crazy and hectic our lives and schedules can be. Sometimes he works really far away and we only see him on weekends. Sometimes those weekends become mandatory work weekends so we don’t see him at all. Sometimes he gets called in when there is a derailment to help fix the track and that can even turn into a 12+ hour ordeal. However, the pay is amazing, the benefits are good, and now Don loves his job (especially being a third generation railroader in his family.)
I will say that I am almost relearning how to be super independent for myself. Since Don and I have been together for almost 12 years now we had gotten pretty comfortable seeing each other all the time. However now a lot of times I do feel like a single mom since he is working a lot and sometimes has to work weekends so we really don’t see him for a couple weeks at a time. It really does take a strong woman to live this kind of lifestyle. It has helped that I have recently joined a couple Facebook groups with other railroad wives since they all know how hard it can be sometimes. I think the worst part is that you really can’t talk to anyone about it because they just try to come up with solutions to help you since they do not really understand this life.
At this point in time we are also always worried about him getting laid off and not being able to bid another position since he doesn’t not have enough seniority to get some of the positions. I will say we have been really luck this year and he has been working the whole year. Even though we only see him on weekends unless he is working closer to home. Ray, however, is at an age where he is starting to realize that daddy is only home a couple days and then he leaves again. As a mom that is hard to deal with especially since I don’t like him leaving either. But I am learning that I have to push down how I really feel about it so that Ray does not learn to resent his dad for working and giving us a better life. We have already been able to let me quit my job and be a stay at home mom. We have been able to spend most weekends together which we never did when we both worked retail. Ray and I even go and see Don at least once every month when he is on the road which for Ray seems like a fun little vacation. It is not ideal but it works for us.
I am super glad that Don has found a job that he loves to do. I know that it is hard now but the longer we stick this out the better it will get and hopefully he will be able to work closer to home more often. But until we will stand behind him through it all and make him know that we are doing just fine and will see him again when he comes home. Distance does make the heart grow fonder even if, in the moment, it doesn’t seem that way.