I have a guilt complex: Mom Guilt

My union is participating in a picket line to show union solidarity in a strike that is not ours. I am beholden to four hours of walking this line daily, Monday to Friday. That means I have twenty hours of “free” time. Let’s take a rough eight of those out for sleeping. Twelve then, twelve hours. Now, since I entitled this post “Mom Guilt,” let’s also factor in that The Dude goes to bed at 7pm, three hours before I snuggle under my own covers and that gives me roughly nine hours of Dude time during these picket days. Right?

Nope!

I spent a solid four hours with him yesterday. I had every intention of picking him up early from daycare, but my picket pal and I were covered in mud (because Spring in Northern BC). I needed to shower and Heaven help me, I cannot shower with a conscious toddler in my house. After a shower and a quick lunch, daycare advised that a second nap was in the cards. After second nap was over, it made more sense for my husband to pick The Dude up on his way home from work. Of course, Husband had an errand to run, which brought him home a little later than normal. Thus? Four hours of son time between our breakfast and to-daycare routine and evening and bedtime fun.

Did I decide to picket in a later “shift” today? Yup! Did I keep The Dude home for a few extra hours before going out? Nope!

I made a different decision and it’s almost not worth it. I decided to walk a later line, so I could chat book and indie bookshops with an amazing co-worker who I love and rarely get to see (because we work in a bigbigbig place, y’all), and I decided to hit a coffee bar before I did that so that I could get some writing done.

No brainer, right? I made that decision, for reasons, and it is a good one. I do not make enough (…any…. ) time for myself in a week, taking this opportunity seems like a great idea. It IS a great idea.

But the guilt. Holy moly, the guilt…!

“I did not choose to have a family, and I did choose this and work for it, so that someone else could raise my son for forty hours a week!” That is something I like to say, because it is something that I believe. I hate working full-time. I am really enjoying my new job, but I hate working full-time. (First world problem, I know. Cut that shit out.) That taken into account, I still chose to take a few hours of time out of today for me.

On the other hand, this will probably benefit everyone in my house at the end of the day. Resentful Kim isn’t fun to deal with. She’s a whacky stresscase who hates life. Kim who has had a break and has had some actual time to do the things she enjoys is a more calm, patient, happier person who does not feel tears welling when her sick, teething toddler won’t eat anything but biscuits, raspberry jam, bananas and cheese.

Taking that into consideration, maybe I’ll just accept the choice that I made and be a happier, more peaceful me and have the men in my life actually enjoy spending time with me.

Balance. …right…?

Hah!

Okay. Write on. (Plus? I’m already here, I can’t do much about that now. Hunker in, buckle down and enjoy the time. Leave the guilt behind, because I’m still me and I still need to take care of myself.)

The Black Keys – You’re The One

UNT.

(I have a huge guilt complex. When I was thinking about writing about Mom Guilt this morning, I thought that probably wouldn’t even touch the bullshit guilt I set myself up with, so I figured I could leave this open – like The Introvert Chronicles and Adventures in Baking – to be serial. …I really need to remember that I have pre-arranged topics to write about.)

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5 thoughts on “I have a guilt complex: Mom Guilt

  1. Guilt is seriously the freaking worst. Like you, I have quite the guilt complex… it’s a really, really difficult thing to get over. BUT you are absolutely right that balance is so important. It’s better for TLM to be hanging out with a happier, calmer, more balanced you less of the time than a crankier, sadder, angrier you more of the time. It’s soooo dang important to take care of ourselves, and I feel like we don’t get that message enough as kids (especially when it comes to high school and college).

    ALSO, the fact that you are this aware of your guilt…. so important. The more aware you are, the more capable of changing and of moving toward change. 🙂 Despite the guilt, this sounds like a lovely week!

    ❤ Your blog is awesome.

    • Right!? Ugh. Guilt is awful. Manipulation by guilt is The Worst. (Write about it. WRITE ABOUT IT FOR ME.)

      I think so, too. This week, with The Strike, has been kind of interesting in a part-time work sense. I’ve had some self-time and more TLM time, and it’s been fun. I haven’t made time to do the things I’d really like to, but it’s looking like we’re picketing again next week (at least Monday), so there’s time. (Ugh.) If I’ve learned one thing? It’s that part-time work would be badass and I want it. 😉 Hah!

      But you’re right, awareness is key. Awareness of the balance I NEED in my life, awareness of the guilt I feel, why I feel it and how strongly I feel it. Super important. Awareness. Just awareness. This mindfulness thing/movement? Win! I love it. It makes me happy and it makes me know myself better and I really love that.

  2. suzymmarie says:

    You always write things in the best way!! I totally don’t have the guilt thing since I have no little ones yet but I know I’d feel exactly the same as you do. However, not having kids, I can also completely appreciate how thoroughly enjoyable it must have been to take that extra time for yourself because, frankly, time for yourself is the BEST THING EVER. Please don’t be guilty, you’re an awesome parent and the fact that you recognised that you need time too is testament to that. You may not wish for your child to be brought up by a stranger, but having kids doesn’t mean you have to stop being a person too. In fact, you definitely shouldn’t stop being a person. I totally validate your decision to not spend the extra time with him haha! If that makes you feel any better…

    • It DOES make me feel better. You’re wonderful and I appreciate you. Thank you. 🙂

      Here’s the thing. I want The Dude to grow up with a sense of himself and an understanding that he is the most important person in his life. I think the best way to help him understand that is to show him. SO! That’s how I justify spending time writing, drinking coffee and watching Gilmore Girls when I’m having a good day and the sun’s shining especially bright. 🙂

      Seriously. Thank you. 🙂

      • suzymmarie says:

        Yes, I think that’s an awesome justification!! I approve wholeheartedly! You’re welcome 🙂 xx

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