Remember that game when you were a kid, “Would You Rather?” Would rather kiss a really stinky boy or eat a worm? Would rather have a million dollars or be in love for the rest of your life? I always kept asking, “Why are these my only options?” Now I play the “Mommy Edition.”
I’ve had a lot of “Mommy Guilt” over the past few weeks. I’ve been plagued with self-doubt, second-guessing and comparison shopping in my mind.
For example, Monkey Boy had a great summer. He did not have the summer I had planned out in my mind he was going to have. I feel terrible about that. Mind you, I know that he doesn’t know the difference, but I do. I wanted things to be different, but I went to work full-time in the spring, and then a tree fell on our house. Plans changed.
Also, I love my job. I’m thrilled I get to be with adults all day. I adore being able to use my brain creatively. I thinks it’s important my son knows he is the only part of my life that matters. I also miss terribly being able to pick him up at 2:45 in the afternoon. I feel a little robbed of those 2.5 hours that were just ours. We went to the park, ran errands or just sat on the couch together watching Scooby Doo. But even though I wish I had that time, want to know something horrible? Sometimes I stay at work late on purpose, just so I can a few minutes of peace in my day before I get hit with the machine gun fire of questions and needs and wants and whining. Sometimes I drive around the block an extra time before I walk in the house. It’s quiet in my car. I won’t even pretend I haven’t used cold medicine more liberally than was absolutely necessary, just for my blessed sanity.
Then my friend Amy wrote about a poll of mothers she saw by Parenting.com and The Today Show. There were several “Would You Rather?” questions. Would I rather have more time to myself or more time with my son? On any given day, that’s a coin toss.
Amy reminded me that this is hard, dammit! And we are ALL just doing what we have to do to get through the day sometimes. She says it better than me. Go read it.
Thank God, there are people in my life who remind me I’m not alone. And I have to stop feeling guilty about admitting I can’t do it all… or at least all at the same time.