Thursday, September 23, 2010

"You hurt my feelings"

Today's topic, Mommy guilt! Goodness, gracious, it can come from EVERYWHERE. Sometimes it is just plain guilt, unrelated to Mommyhood. These days though, I can gamble on it being related to being "Mom." Why does guilt get to win?

My current biting sources:
1. The stack of baby books that I need to fill out. They are just so daunting and now there are two sets.
2. The pile of thank you notes sitting here on my desk that I wrote, but never mailed from baby girls' third birthday party. It was in June. Now I feel like it is too late to send. I did send emails to everyone. I'm sorry for my lack of formality.
3. My desire to fit some time for myself in during the day. C'mon, just a daily shower without having to schedule it in!

Guilt, three. Mommy, none.

Hmm...maybe I can take care of some of these:
1. I resolve to start them one page at a time.
2. I'm so sorry for every thank you note I have missed. We dearly appreciate your friendship and that you have showered my children with presents. They love them. Promise. I will be better.
3. I'm not going to feel guilty about this anymore!

Guilt, half. Mommy, 2.5 (I will still worry about the thank you notes some)

This brings me to today, when my daughter even blatantly tried to lay it on me. About a month ago, she started school. She has just recently realized that her brother and I don't sit on the couch and cry between drop off and pick up. She has just started to miss us. Before school started, I regularly had a sitter come in one morning a week so I could take care of errands that required brainpower, go to the fabric store, and make appointments. When she started school, I cut back and opted for more date nights instead of a morning sitter. This week, I needed her. I scheduled an eye appointment, dentist appointment, and had a handful of errands that were "no kids required" for this morning. When I broke the news to my daughter that her favorite babysitter was coming over this morning, she replied "I have a fever." I said, "No you don't. Tell Mommy the truth." Then she rolled over and said, "You hurt my feelings," rolled back over and pouted. Really? Was she trying to guilt me into staying home? Yes, she was. She even gave me the eyes. I held back my laughter, remember, I mentioned that I "needed" a sitter, I was really over it this morning. This attempt didn't phase me at all.

Guilt, none. Mom, one.

Later, I started contemplating my stinker of a daughter. Should I have felt guilty? Probably not. I know she is having fun at home playing hide and seek; airplanes; and shi-bo-bos (a game the sitter made up). Was this just her way of saying she needs more Mommy-time? Ok, I will make an effort to be more available. Guilt, still none. Mommy, still one.

When I stop and think about it, there are guilt potentials at every big decision, and I can't even catalog all of the little opportunities that can keep me up at night. We haven't really started thinking about where she will go for kindergarten, but its only two years away. The decision on preschool was so monumental that when I went to hand over the deposit, I was let down by the anti-climatic, "thank you." I'm not sure what I expected, but some balloons, confetti, and a "Congratulations on your decision! We can't wait to help your daughter in her first steps toward Harvard!" would have been a good start. Big decisions are hard for me, but I digress.

So, here is to not giving guilt more points than it needs. Cheers! And to going to cook something healthy for dinner so I don't feel guilty about the fast food I gave my kids yesterday.

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