How do you spell “mom?” G-U-I-L-T.

10 Dec

I really can’t think of any parents who are worse at commemorating their child’s life than me and Jake.  We love Seabass desperately – don’t get me wrong – but we’ve never done any of the lovely things that good parents typically do to celebrate the new life of their child.

  1. We never had him dedicated at church.
  2. Never sent out birth announcements.
  3. Never even had infant photos taken. 

On the flip side, however, here are a few things I have done for Seabass.

  1. Put together one of the jankiest baby books known to man, made from a 99¢ composition notebook I bought at Food4Less. 
  2. Dedicated a blog to him about how hard it is being his mother.
  3. Took advantage of a FREE Halloween photo offered by the local camera shop and didn’t even bother to wipe off the baby’s spit-up before the shutter clicked.

Am I proud of this?  Yeah, right.  Looking at this list makes me feel like finding a cave, curling up and dying a slow, agonizing death.  It’s not at all how I pictured motherhood.  I was so sure that when I had a baby, everyone in my address book would sport a beautiful, professionally-composed birth announcement on their fridge featuring my child’s stunning face. 

Instead, I’m running into people I barely know who look at Seabass’ stunning face and say, “Oh, so YOU’RE the fussy baby from the blog!”

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23 Responses to “How do you spell “mom?” G-U-I-L-T.”

  1. KatyM December 10, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    Aw, come on. Cut yourself some slack, J. You left some things off your list:
    1. Provide a loving and nurturing safe home
    2. Research tirelessly the BEST possible way to raise a Seabass
    3.Consistently entertain all of your blog readers with quick wit and correct grammar (which I thoroughly appreciate)

  2. Oma December 10, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    He is the most adorable cheeky little monkey and you need to stop beating yourself up.
    Love, Mom

    • jaimeclewis December 10, 2010 at 10:13 am #

      Okay.

  3. Jacob December 10, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    Well that makes us sound terrible, doesn’t it? You can really convince your readership of my evilness by letting them know that all those things we didn’t do were my decision.

    And you know what I still have to say to all those who disagree with me (on anything)? Suck it.

    • jaimeclewis December 10, 2010 at 10:14 am #

      Hey, that’s true: these WERE your decisions! I hadn’t realized that until you mentioned it. Huh.

    • Debbie December 10, 2010 at 5:11 pm #

      Where did you get THAT attitude:)

  4. M December 10, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    When we registered at Target for the baby in their “welcome package” we got a $20 gift card for Shutterfly so I was able to buy birth announcements and only had to pay for the shipping. Remember that for next time =)

    Also, I think infant photos are creepy (in fact almost all posed photos). The pictures you take are way better than some posed pictures from some creepy guy at JC Penny.

  5. Jim December 10, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    The one thing that is crystal clear, at least to me, in all your posts is that you adore your baby. Sure, it is hard being a parent. But in 10 or 20 or 30 years, Seabass won’t know or care that his birth was or wasn’t announced on a glossy 3 x 5. What he will always know is that his parents love him and want what is best for him, and really, that is all that matters.

    • jaimeclewis December 10, 2010 at 10:43 am #

      I’m glad it’s clear that we love him, because truly truly, we really do.

  6. marinasleeps December 10, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    You know what I didnt do any of those things other and I got three. I shall go and hand my self…. jk.
    Nah I mean the pics thing gets me but I did take random photos here and there. That counts right?

  7. Carrie December 10, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    You’re sure right about the guilt thing. I feel it everytime I look at the few pictures we took in the first few weeks and wish we took more. In the end, I just realize I can only change the future (isn’t that some sort of saying?) and take more pictures today.

    I agree with the above comments. You guys are the best parents Seabass could ever have- you’re great! Just think about all that time bouncing on that excersise ball! And I don’t think there’s a maximum age limit to dedicating a child at church if you wanted to. 🙂

    • jaimeclewis December 10, 2010 at 10:44 am #

      Even when he’s 24? I think that would be awesome.

      Besides, his name – his REAL name – means gift, a tribute consecrated to God.

  8. Megan December 10, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    Mine is 23, and just asked me the other day why we never did. (the consecration thing) I told him dad was worried about being struck by lightening. (see, dads ARE good for something! {see previous post re: letting men be men} and there is no statute of limitations on guilt, either. Get used to it.)

  9. AKeo December 10, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    Don’t worry so much about it! Do what is REALLY important to you. I have NEVER had professional portraits of my son taken. We have a very nice camera that has taken THOUSANDS of pictures of him. And I’d rather take him to the park, play outside, or run around the house than spend the time in line at some cheapy-quicky photo shoot (there’s no way I’m paying for a professional photographer’s session). I thought I should feel guilty about not having those photos at every 3-month mark, but I finally decided I shouldn’t. It’s not super important to ME – and it doesn’t make his life better or worse.

  10. Marilyn Cooper December 10, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    You put a bright spot in my day whenever I can sit down and read about your life You know its the humor in life that gets up through. Later in life you will good back and think, I was a really good MOM!

  11. geiska December 10, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    Thank you so much for making me laugh. That picture alone is going to torture C as a teenager. I can’t wait until his first girlfriend sees it. Actually it makes me want to go shoot a similar one of Dom. He needs an embarassing baby photo too. Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. jasonpellet December 10, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    Well, we are right there next to ya. Not one single professional baby pic of any of our three children. Do not think we have dedicated our last child. And never sent out any cute birth annoucements of any of our children.

    Does that mean we love them less? Heck no!!

    We do what we do as family is what we do! I compare myself and family to no one. We are just fine and enjoy life as much as we can without feeling obligated to do lil’ things that other families chose to do.

    • jaimeclewis December 10, 2010 at 2:00 pm #

      Jason – I would stop comparing myself to anyone else if I wasn’t so freaking good at it. Seriously, I have a gift.

  13. Tara Dee December 10, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    You should not be guilty for not doing the “normal” and popular ways to celebrate your baby being born..it’s good to tailor it to what you like and how you would like your kiddo to be remembered! Great photo too and he has gorgeous blue eyes!

  14. EntrepreMother December 10, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    Weren’t we also going to furnish our perfect grown-up apartments entirely in Crate & Barrel?

    So much for plans. 😉

    And besides, 7 month baby photos are waaaay more interesting than newborn ones. We’ll see you soon… with the camera.

  15. lifeintheboomerlane December 10, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    Seabass is ADORABLE. And you are providing him with the best legacy ever, by your heartfelt words and photos.

  16. Debbie December 10, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    Boy, if you’re beating yourself up over THAT stuff, what are you going to do when their 32 & you look back on your parenting. I just keep telling myself that I totally and completely loved my sons and did the best I could in the moment. Jake was never formally dedicated in church, but I gave him to God every day – especially when he was a teenager. In fact we never sent out baby announcements either. No wonder he has an attitude.

  17. Debbie December 10, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    And I LOVE the picture.

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