Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Guilty Conscience

Nobody told me that when I took this mom job I would have more guilt than I ever had growing up in a half Italian, full Catholic family. I mean the guilt from the Catholic part alone is bad enough, but being a mom... well it's guilt on an hourly basis. I suppose I wanted to write this post because, my sister and I have had this conversation, and I've had it with my friend BethAnnDoddKoehn. I wanted to make sure we're not the only ones who feel this way and to reach out to the other mom's who feel like we do. What do I feel guilty about you may ask? Here, let me give you a list.

I try to start each day anew and in a good mood. Sometimes this goes my way, sometimes not. Getting Sonya up and to school in the morning is a feat with in itself. This week has been particularly challenging, because she was off for spring break last week. So before 7:30am most mornings, I've already lost my temper with her and most likely raised my voice, if not yelled at her. Guilt.

Then she goes off to school and I have the younger two. If I've managed to get up early enough to work out, I'm feeling pretty good. If I haven't, I work out around 9:30 which requires me to occupy Lana and Georgia with, what else, the TV. Guilt. I feel like I should be doing something with them, but I NEED to work out. It's something I have to do to feel better about myself, and you know, so I don't weigh 250 pounds. Especially with the sweet tooth I have. I've managed to combat this a bit by getting a double jogging stroller, so at least some days they can BE part of my workout. This does alleviate some of that guilt anyway.

Lunch and naps are usually fine, but the days I decide to write, I feel guilty that I'm not doing something with Sonya. I try to write quickly so I can spend some time with her, but it doesn't always work out that way. As I write this now... GUILT.

Then the end of the day is nothing but a flurry of feeling guilty, because I start to lose my cool as the day goes on. Andy doesn't get home in time to help with bath and bedtime on most days, so sometimes is starts to really wear on me. Most days I'm fine, but then there's those days when I haven't had enough sleep from the night before, or I'm having my "lady time". Those days I turn into mean mommy. I don't like being mean mommy. I don't hit them or anything, although if I'm being honest, sometimes I do want to. I can't imagine the guilt I'd feel then.

There is also the fact that, although I love my girls very much, there are times when I really don't like them. This makes me feel most guilty of all. Especially because I didn't feel this way when they were younger, and therefore don't really feel that way toward Georgia. Well not right now anyway. I don't want to like one of my girls more than another, but I guess there are times when you just do, because one may be easier than another. This kills me. I do realize it will probably change over time. It already has a few times. Still it's something I feel constantly guilty about.

The feeling guilty about not spending enough time with them is just an overall theme for me, as it is for most parents, I suppose. For those parents that work, I'm sure they have the guilt for being at work and not spending more time with the kids. Don't despair though, because it's not really any easier when you're home. At least if you have more than one kid. I have so much to do throughout the day, that it's hard to find time to sit down and play a game or run around outside with them. There's the making all the meals and the cleanup after, grocery shopping, Target shopping, going to gymnastics, picking up from school, bath time, story time, all these things add up and leave little time for the girls during the day. I've been trying my best to change that just a bit. I recently read somewhere that spending even 15 minutes a day playing with them makes a huge difference. I figured I can fit 15 minutes in somewhere, whether it's hide and seek, coloring, games or whatever. They just want the time with me and I do want to give it to them.

This guilt builds up on me all day long that after I put them to bed at night and I have a glass of wine, I wish I would have done more with them. I wish I would have been more patient, would have been less annoyed, would have taught them more. I know they're not this young forever and eventually the guilt will turn to regret for not paying attention during this time. (Cue "Cats In The Cradle") So for any of you parents reading this and nodding along, know that you're not alone. I just wish someone would have forewarned me about the guilt before I signed up for his gig, so I could have at least been prepared. I can just blame my mom for not telling me. Then she can feel guilty too.


Nikki said...

hey kristi!
so... i've been reading your blog for a few months now. today, i decided to finally say hello! i don't have children at the moment (but, do hope to in the next few years!!). i didn't ever think about how the time that moms take for themselves would create guilt. i just can't help but think that moms NEED that time for themselves... after all the running around, cleaning, cooking, and everything in between... a bit of time to sit down and write, is much deserved! :)

Anonymous said...

I feel guilty just taking the time to read your blog! Ha ha J/K. You forgot to mention how we LIVE for their bedtime...GUILT!


Kristi said...

Thanks Nikki! I'm glad you like the blog, and thanks for your support. Tell your friends!:) I agree I deserve to have the time to do those things, but trust me, you still end up feeling bad for it. Just something to keep in mind before you have your own. I try not to beat myself up over it too much, especially when I'm doing something that will help me which in turn helps them. Good luck when you have your own kids. Keep reading for all the fun that's ahead of you. :)

Beth-I forgot about counting the minutes to bedtime.

Tim Taylor said...

Kris, what is a "furry" guilty feeling? And don't ever think the guilt goes away. No matter how old you are, your mother and I will always feel guilty about anything you do or don't do that we feel is contrary to what we think you should do or don't do. It goes with the job of being a parent. Get used to it. The good thing is that, over time, pride and love usually override the guilt.

Love you,

LisaC said...

Don't worry Kristi!! We ALL feel guilty!! Like your dad said, "pride and love will eventually override the guilt". I deal with this daily with my kids. You know what though? I'm sure with you growing up in a Catholic home you were taught to do this one thing, give the guilt to God!! I do this daily, maybe even minute by minute! Be encouraged cousin! You seem to be doing a darn good job so far.

Kristi said...

Thanks Dad-Yeah I left the 'L'out of flurry. See what I get for not having an editor. Thanks also Lisa! It's so nice to know we're not alone. :)