Mom Guilt. Every mother has it at some point and time. The first time I felt it was when I worked for the airlines and worked some seriously wonky hours. I was upset I was harming Elijah permanently. That was silly for two reasons
A.) He doesn’t remember me working crazy hours
B.) Majority of the time I was working he spent with my parents- who better to be with your child if you can’t than Gramma and Papa???
Then I started going to school. Part-time schooling changed into full-time schooling, and I could feel that guilt come creeping in again. The school work was taking away from my spare time with him. Weekends, nights, holidays were all filled with homework. Reading, or writing or labs- it was always something to be done it seemed. Stealing away minutes turned into hours away from my son. The longer this went on, the more I started to resent going to school. I knew going was the right decision, and taking time away from him now was going to benefit us later, but I still resented it.
I graduated and found the perfect job. I mean seriously, the perfect one. Love my bosses, and most of the people I work with. I have the best hours, and I’m off on major Holidays. I’ve had to miss a gazillion days since I started because of various Elijah related things, and they haven’t fired me 🙂 When I go home from work, there is no homework waiting for me. The only books I read now are non-fiction. And the only tests I take are in the back of Cosmo. Yet, that guilt hasn’t gone away. It’s still nagging at me in the back of my mind, always there, flaring up when I least expect it. And this time? It’s not because of lack of time I have, its lack of funds.
Realistically I know that I shouldn’t let these things bother me. So what, we’re aren’t rich. Not even close. The number one thought in the forefront of my brain is always “How much is THAT going to cost?’. Elijah is active is sports now (thank God, but holy cow are they expensive) but sign ups are always on top of each other it seems. Baseball just started, and it’s already time to sign up for football again. Church camp is THE thing Elijah is most excited for this summer, and that’s going to be due soon as well. I have to buy sports equipment every time I turn around, and let’s not forget the everyday bills and necessities like gas and groceries.
Honestly there are times (like right now) that I think I am just being a big whiny baby about things. I shouldn’t complain. I have an amazing family, with parents who help me out more often than I like. Not that I am not appreciative (because I really really am), I just feel like I shouldn’t have to rely on them for so. much. help. at my age. I have a good car, and a roof over my head. Great friends, and a job I love. I’ve even been getting small amounts of child support on a regular-ish basis, thank God. See, absolutely NO reason to complain, or feel guilty for anything. I know this way deep down. But, I fail to listen to myself (or my parents- just ask my dad ;)) Yet I do. I feel guilty when Elijah wants to go to the batting cages, and I’m out of ‘extra money’ for the pay period. Or a friend wants to go out and ‘grab a quick dinner’ and I can’t go. Or, or, or… the list could really go on and on.
The more I think about it, the more it’s not really about the money (Although I really wouldn’t mind paying all my bills on time, each and every month for all the rest of my days). I think it’s because I’m trying to over compensate for the fact Elijah doesn’t have a dad who is apart of his life. He does have some pretty amazing male role models, but even they can’t replace the fact his dad isn’t around. He does know that God is his Father, and that makes me happy. But I think he loves sports as much as he does because of all the positive male’s that are there; he is surrounded by boys and men, and he loves it. He never had a dad to play catch with growing up, or to teach how to throw a football. He doesn’t have one now to go and practice with. So sometimes I feel like I need to do twice as much with him to make up for his dad not being there. Not that it’s totally my fault his dad isn’t around, that was his choice to walk away. But I did pick him initially, so there’s that I guess.
So what’s my problem you ask? I have no idea. I’m blessed beyond belief and sometimes I just need to see it in writing I guess to realize all the things I DO have, instead of the things I don’t. No amount of anything I do is going to replace the fact that Elijah has a dad that is choosing NOT to be an active part of his life. So I’m not even sure why I try. Or why I continue to convince myself that I’m failing.
What about you other moms- are you plagued by the ‘mom guilt’ too??