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Archive for Monday, November 24, 2008

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Guilt: Mommy’s annoying, ever-present foe

November 24, 2008

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Guilt : noun : feelings of culpability, especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy : self-reproach.

Welp, I just wanted to get clear on that word. And now that I am, yep, that’s the feeling, all right. The one I get when I leave work after a long day and head home to my family (who I haven’t seen all day and who I’m so lucky to have) and then I walk in the door and, honestly, I wish that for a half an hour they wouldn’t need me. Just half an hour. (OK, some days a full hour might be nice). Anyway, sometimes that’s what I wish. And I feel guilty for wishing it.

It does happen. Occasionally, I come home and everybody is busy. I have time to just be. But here’s the sorry truth: It’s wasted on me. See, instead of feeling easy-peasy, happy-go-lucky, or whatever other emotions a functional person might have, I feel guilty. Here’s why:

The dishes; the dinner; the phone calls to be returned; the school and activity handouts to read and fill out; the dog hair/dust-bunnies that are taking over the perimeter of the living room; the laundry that never, ever ends; and the volunteer work I should be volunteering for. Oh, and also, I feel guilty about wasting time feeling guilty. Plus, since I got my wish and I’m all alone that pretty much means that the person who’s guilt-tripping me is me. Sheesh!

Ya’ know, I’ve been like this for a long time and that’s why I actually need the Bad Mommy Club. I need support to deflate that other me who expects perfection and who says “tsk-tsk” when I’m trying to relax. I mean, who says “tsk-tsk” anymore? It’s annoying. I need support to unwind after work, or to have a hobby (as opposed to just saying I have a hobby). I need support to enjoy a Girls’ Night Out, which by definition means no kids or husbands or peevish alter-egos from the Victorian era.

I’d like to call attention to one word in the above definition, “especially for IMAGINED offenses.” And so to my rigid IMAGINARY self, BACK OFF! (no offense).

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