When family comes to visit, I love those little breaks from full-time parenting. And recently the breaks are even that much more appreciated because I'm totally exhausted and downright cranky from just being pregnant right now. My energy level is shot, my desire to play on the floor is nonexistent, and I really, really appreciate feeling like crap all alone, without toddler arms and legs jabbing me in the gut.
However, I realize this as I sit back and watch my mother read countless stories to Toddler in Chief that I don't have that kind of energy, well, ever. I'm sure the pregnancy has exacerbated my inability to be totally present with TIC, but there's something about watching other family be so excited with him that I feel sort of inadequate. My vocal level never quite reaches that same exuberance that my mom's reaches when she watches him play or accomplish some task. My cheers don't seem quite as authentic as the other onlookers when TIC poops on the potty. Is this just because no one can have this level of enthusiasm every day? Is this just because my kid's a novelty to these out-of-state relatives that they manage so much authentic emotion?
I don't know what it is, but it makes me feel like I'm not living up to the proper motherly standards, whatever those are.