I'm a SAHM to an almost 4 year old son (he'll be 4 at the end of April). There are many aspects of motherhood that I'm proud of - I nursed DS until he was 3.5 years old, we still enjoy co-sleeping and no-cry methods of helping him fall to sleep, we practice gentle discipline and are raising a very kind and loving person, and we respect his slow to warm temperment and help support him as he cautiously tries new things. But there are many other areas where I feel like I'm failing. I let him watch way too much tv, mostly because I'm tired of playing and want to check my email, or surf the net for a bit, or crochet, or read, or eat, or whatever. I'd say he watches 3 hours a day on average <cringe>. Ugh, that's just awful writing it :( And he does a lot of snacking in front of the tv - he's a very picky eater, so I'm mostly just happy he's eating, and he's definitely not chubby at all, but I feel like I'm creating a couch potato. And speaking of eating, I'm so tired of trying to get him to try new things or eat what we're eating, so I barely even try any more - I make him something I know he'll eat, ask him once or twice if he wants to try some of my dinner, and then let him eat the same thing over and over again. There are days when we don't go outside at all - I'll suggest going for a bike ride or to the park, and he says no, and after abit of cojoling, I'll give up and we stay inside (and at some point the tv will go on). I'll admit that I'm a homebody anyways, so I'm happy to stay at home anyways, but I'm he would benefit from more outside time, even if just because it would mean less tv. I feel like I don't spend nearly enough doing more educational/hands-on activities with him - I like to read to him, and occasionally we'll do puzzles or play-dough or crafts or an activity book, but those aren't regular things and I feel they should be.
Honestly, I know that if he were in preschool a few mornings a week, things would probably be better - I'd have some mornings to myself to do the things I enjoy doing, and he'd be getting out and interacting with other kids and learning. But he is so slow-to-warm, and still really resists doing activities with other people, so we've held back on preschool as we know it'll be a difficult transition. We try to do library time once a week, and also a gym/play class once a week, and playdates occasionally, but he sticks very close to me and has never willingly gone off on his own (as he will need to do at preschool). So while it would be a good solution, I don't think it's something that would happen until September at the earliest, and even then I'm not sure.
And then, to top things off, I suck at housework. Like I just have no desire to do it. I'm so lucky that I have a very understanding and helpful DH - he takes care of the dishes, and does a lot around the house. I regularly do laundry, grocery shopping and cooking, and take care of the finances - that's about it. Our house isn't like gross, but it's just messy and we don't do more thorough cleaning until it's necessary.
Anyways, I just feel like I'm failing my son. I know they he knows I love him and will help him and support him and all that stuff, but I feel like I'm not helping him develop healthy habits. And I just can't seem to get the motivation to change my own habits. Motivation is not the right word, as obviously I want to change in order to be the best mother and role model that I can be, but every time I try, it's just so much work. I don't know how other SAHM's do it. I feel like a total failure in so many ways.
I'm not sure what advice I'm looking for. How does one help build their internal motivation, and find the energy and desire to make really big and long-lasting changes to their habits? Part of the problem is I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and a very all-or-nothing thinker, so when I want to make changes, I have these huge hopes and goals, and then I give up when it's too hard to obtain. Or I get overwhelmed with the thought of it all, and don't even try. It's not an excuse, I know, but just what I have to overcome with respect to my personality.
Anyways, thanks for reading this novel. I just needed to get these feelings out - feeling very frustrated with myself, and worried about how this is affecting DH and his growth.