Wednesday, March 25, 2009

G is for Guilt

The guilt I feel often comes from unexpected places.

You might expect, for instance, pangs of remorse when I am moody or grumpy, but sometimes I can harumph around without a bit of guilt about it, full of myself. Today I should have felt guilty when I lied and told Peaches I would cancel her birthday party if she didn't go to bed and stay there, but instead I just felt relieved when it worked.

Really, the guilt comes during happier moments. This is hard to admit.

Sometimes I feel like an impostor, and I feel happy, and I feel guilty.

Today, for instance. The rooster stayed home sick, and so did his dad. Rooster is getting over a strep / sinus infection, and his dad might have an infection too -- his allergy to doctors prevents us from knowing (my diagnosis). So, Peaches and I had a RARE opportunity to go out after school, just us girls, before heading home. A kids' boutique only blocks from our house has its annual sale right now, so we hit the half price rack and scored ourselves a great pop-up princess palace for the backyard to use at her little party this weekend. We cheered when we found it, we held hands when we bought it, we chatted as we walked down the street, and she, without her brother around, behaved like the model child for many minutes. I even dared to take her afterward to a store for grownups two doors down -- a beauty supply place -- where I purchased conditioner and she flirted with the proprietor, who offered me a lollipop to give her (out of her earshot, thank goodness, as I said NO). All the while, I had this feeling Peaches and I ought to confess... "We aren't real happy people," I thought we should admit, "and our family isn't typical. We are just pretending. Don't expect we'll ever be here like this again, because we won't; the clock is about to strike twelve and we'll be pumpkins again."

Hey, I have confessed worse things here, but I wouldn't blame you if this gave you the worst impression yet of me. My heart, my brain, and my soul don't always listen to each other.

But by admitting it, I can learn from myself, work on myself. Today, I felt guilty because it was good to be just two NT chicas shopping at the sale rack. And I felt guilty because I was happy, and guilty because it was only a surface happy, and guilty because I'm not happier, and guilty because I waste too much time on guilt.

I love my son. As is. So big. Forever. But I'm not always good at being his mom. And the guilt about that gets to me sometimes.


mama edge said...

I am fighting off a major case of the guilts right now for failing to do enough for my autie-sons. Reading your post really helped me today.

Bobbi said...

I think we all feel that way from time to time. Please don't feel guilty about your feelings, we all have feelings we can't explain. I think we all just need to find what makes us happy and let God do the rest. Sometimes when I get too happy, I feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop or something. ((hugs)) Enjoy the time with your daughter, you deserve it. Life doesn't always have to be good or bad, it's ok if it's in between.

PBear said...

As usual, you are being way too hard on yourself :-)

NO ONE enjoys being with difficult children. No. One. Doesn't matter how much you love them, how much you know they need, nothing. It's just not fun to be with someone who demands 200% of your energy all the time and rarely gives something back. Now, that doesn't mean that there aren't times you enjoy being with them, or that you don't love helping them, or that you don't just love them period. But no one expects you to enjoy all the stuff you HAVE TO DO TO GET THROUGH LIFE WITH THEM. And conversely, only seriously crazy people would not enjoy the break away from that.

So. Let go of the guilt. It's a lovely Judeo-Christian concept, but if you want to be really picky about it, even GOD doesn't want you to feel guilty. And it doesn't help anyway (unless you count sending your doctor's kids to summer camp, with all the money you are paying for the physical ailments caused by it.)

Karin (who really does know that all this is far easier said than done, and as a former Catholic, now Lutheran, has a goodly corner on the guilt market herself, thanks.)

Niksmom said...

You mean that's NOT a normal way of thinking? Sure is in our up-is-down, left-is-right kinda world! ;-)

I have a challenge for you. For 48 hours, see if you can go through without censoring or judging your own thoughts and feelings? No matter how much you want to. Just let them BE and know they are yours and they are FINE. xoxo

pixiemama said...

OMG. Yes. Of course! I feel the same way when I have some rare alone time with Sophie. Without her brothers around, she can be a pure delight. Her chatter amuses and entertains me... but when we're at home, I wish I could get those noise canceling ear phones FOR MYSELF.

Try not to let the guilt get in the way of the fun. YOU DESERVE TO ENJOY YOUR CHILD.