Photo by: asleinbe
Shortly after a woman becomes a mother, she is hit with a new emotion: "mommy guilt." Mommy Guilt is like a super-sized version of guilt, only especially for moms. It doesn't discriminate between working moms, stay-at-home moms, soccer moms, etc. It is an equal opportunity emotion.
It creeps up on you. Even when you think you've vanquished it to the far regions of your mind, it can sneak up on you when you least expect it. And it's not all bad. Sometimes, it can even serve a purpose.
The other day, my son started to complain of a "headache" (which for whatever reason, is his word for fever). He had a slight temperature--nothing to write home about, so we gave him Tylenol. The next day was a school day and I had two choices: a. follow the school rules (24-hours fever free) and keep him home or b. send him to school as I had a conference. Without much hesitation, I was going with choice a. Most of the time, the slight fever is nothing, and he's fine. Enter the slight flicker of guilt, as I knew this was not the "right" thing. But then at 3:30 in the morning, he was up and his fever had hit full-blown. Choice "a" was now out the window. Guilt resolved.
OK, that wasn't exactly the most stunning example. What about when you are only half-listening to your child? Or when you go out on the weekend and do something for yourself? Or when you stay at work--just a little later so that you can actually complete something? This is how the guilt creeps in. Another one that I'm sure most of us relate to: the "not-so-perfect" dinner in order to satiate a toddler (I was guilty of that one this evening).
For the everyday examples, the Mommy Guilt isn't so consuming. It's what happens when it has time to merge with other thoughts. It tends to then grow. The antidote to mommy guilt? Other moms--to share your guilt with. Inevitably, someone does something that tops your episode of guilt. Or for a surefire way to ease the guilt, watch one of the "reality" tv shows like Real Housewives or Big Rich Texas.
What is your Mommy Guilt around?