Resentment and Guilt Party of One
I have been doing all this complaining so I felt that I must really take a minute to explain to you that I dearly love my family. I know you do too. I hope I did not loose you on that last chapter. Some days are much harder than others and that was one of the harder ones. Back to what I was saying though; my children are the best thing that has ever happened to me and my husband is the love of my life (farts and all). This probably sounds funny after reading all you’ve read so far. You must be thinking I desperately need to see a professional, and well maybe I really do. But surely you must see that absolute irony in the world we live? We are expected to do all of this and be everything to everyone and truth be told how can we and not have just a little bit of resentment toward the makers of all of this extra work? It is so hard to love your husband when you are washing his skid marked tighty whiteys. So hard to love our kids when you have repeated the same phrase for the 47th time in a row today. And of course with those feelings of resentment along comes a big side dish of guilt. The guilt we feel then leaves us so ashamed. And by the way for you newbies to mother hood, I know you start to think you might be the only one feeling these things and that you are such a bad person. I assure you that you are not alone and to remind you of that my best piece of advice is to get a “mommy friend”. I do not mean one of those robots whose children are always perfectly coiffed and who are able to read at the age of three. I mean the mommy who can’t find a napkin in the car so she wipes her son’s runny nose with his sister’s preschool back up panties. She is just like you. She is not perfect and she will not judge you. She will just make you laugh and more importantly she will make you feel sane. I have a few of those friends. Thank God! I can not stress to you the importance of this person on your speed dial list. So back to the subject which was my little darlings and all of my guilt. That same mommy friend of mine was just telling me that the other day she had such a bad headache and she just wanted her son to be quiet in the car for just a little while. Pounding headache! The kind of headache that brings tears to your eyes. So she asked him to sit still and stay quiet for the rest of the car ride. And of course she then spent the rest of said car ride thinking to her self that some horrible accident would most likely happen at this very moment that would leave her son unable to speak ever again and that would be her punishment for asking him to shut up in the car. You know it’s silly but you can’t help feeling it. The guilt overwhelms us. Truth be told I am having a hard time writing all this tonight because I am feeling guilty. Some nights I am just so tired that I absolutely dread reading a story to my daughter at bed time, but I always do it anyway because I actually think about all the mothers who must work two jobs to survive and don’t get this luxury, or all the divorcees who don’t even live under the same roof as their kids and couldn’t do this even if they wanted to. I feel so much guilt over every little thing and it’s that guilt that makes my legs lift my body off of the chair and up the stairs to her bedroom to read the damned story. Would I be punished in someway for “taking for granted” what I have, the ability to say good night? I live in such fear of that “punishment” that I live every moment thanking the universe for what I have been given, which by the way in and of itself is tiresome. I guess what I am saying is that I am tired. All the time it seems I am tired. I spend every minute with this family furiously packing in all these things that if they missed out on I would be over run by guilt and constant fear of punishment. An art class, a bed time story, homemade cookies for a snack, finger painting, walks in the park when it’s nice, trips to the zoo, pool parties, swimming lessons, mommy and me gymnastics, a Spanish lesson, over the top birthday parties. It is all fun yes, but it’s all so tiresome. I want to enjoy my kids. I want the time with them to be fun and exciting, not draining, and not always filled with the thought that if I do not do this I will never be rid of the guilt. When and how are we supposed to just enjoy them? I do not want to resent them. I do not want to be angered when my husband wants to play a round of golf. I want to be happy for him and excited he is spending time with friends. Instead I fell gypped! Oh no you don’t fella! It’s your turn to spend the day with these kids. It’s your turn to do some entertaining, and while you’re at it how about you do a load of laundry too. Do you think they, the husbands that is feel this guilt? I’ve asked mine and the puzzled look on his face at my inquiry said it all. Like Tim the Tool man. “Huh?” We are totally alone in this feeling. Does it date back to Eve eating that damned apple? Is that where our guilt began? So far back in time it is almost untraceable? So tonight's query…. How can we get past this feeling? How can we change our thought process to reasonably resemble that of our husbands so that we can just say,"No" to that Gymboree class or that bake sale and not spend the night flogging ourselves in the basement over it?