I’m snuggled up in bed, with the warm winter sun streaming through the window.
It’s 10am. The kids are at school and The Hubbster is at work.
I look around and see the things that need to be done. The beds are not made. The washing is not on the line, the paperwork is piling up on the desk.
There is a lot I could be doing. I shouldn’t be tucked up in bed.
And that’s where the Mother-guilt kicks in.
I’m sick. I have the beginnings of a rollicking flu, my neck is swollen, my throat is sore, my head is in a fog and I’m coughing up a lung or two.
Oh and I have my period, so I have a healthy dose of back pain and cramps that would kill a small army.
And I’m teary because of….whatever I need to feel teary about. You know, the hormonal nightmare that some of us have just from being female.
I really need to be in bed. So why do I feel so guilty about doing just that?
The beds will wait, and I can wash later in the day.
Why not take this chance to catch up on some sleep while I can?
Before the kids come home and the peace is shattered. and the homework needs to be done, and the dinner has to be cooked?
Mother-guilt. It’s something I have struggled with alot. Putting myself first, to stay healthy and happy which will have a ripple effect towards my family.
I’ve always felt like this. That I should be doing better, or trying to be a better mother.
I know I am one. And that is reflected in my children. In how they are and how they act.
We are happy. Busy, most of the time and stressed some of the time. But happy.
I suppose Mother-guilt kicks in when the baby is first born. Should we use cloth or disposable nappies? Are we any less of a mother if we give our baby a dummy?
Or God forbid, nurse our babies to sleep instead of depositing them in their bed, just like the textbooks say.
Then there’s the dilemna of going back to work. Do we place our precious child in day care, while we work, do we dare?
The Mother-guilt starts because at times we are judged by others to be doing the wrong thing, or the unacceptable thing.
Instead of supporting our fellow mothers, we judge and therefore cause the Mother-guilt to build up and fester and make us feel unworthy.
I think with time, and perhaps subsequent babies, we are allowed to relax a little and not feel so guilty about looking after ourselves first in order to “keep order” in the home.
It’s really a twofold thing. We feel guilty because we compare ourselves to others and we feel guilty when we put ourselves first.
But sometimes, like today, I need to put “me” first just so I can function and b.r.e.a.t.h.e.
Like a balloon in the sky, I have to let the Mother-guilt go.
The beds and the washing and the paperwork will wait.
There’s always tomorrow.
Can you identify with Farmer’s Wifey’s feelings of ‘mother-guilt?’