The other day I had a choice to make, go see K-boy and M-girl's play again, or stay home and attend to some much needed chores while spending time with D-boy. Granted I was exhausted so the choice seemed harder than usual. To me though, it just illustrated what I and most other moms struggle with on a daily basis - mom guilt.
My hubby doesn't understand this, or necessarily believe that it is a problem so rampant among mothers. A quick survey of my friends however, revealed him to be wrong. Moms, rightly or wrongly, suffer from frequent feelings that they're letting their children or family down in some way. Our homes are never clean enough, our children never given enough, we never contribute enough....the list goes on endlessly.
Now I'm a reasonable woman. I know full well that it's a ridiculous waste of time to lament things over which I have no control. I can't be in two places at one time, no one can. Every day I try my best to balance the many tasks involved in being who I am: a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and teacher. There's too much, and yet there is nothing that I could or would give up. I love my life and the people that share it with me.
Come to think of it, maybe that's part of the problem. We moms care so much. Our biggest job whether we work outside the home or in it, is raising the generation of the future. It can be hard to let go and accept that if we ourselves don't do everything, our world won't come crashing down.
For some reason, fathers don't seem to suffer from the same feelings of unwarranted guilt. They can love their families wholeheartedly, and still go off to the office (or gym, or ballgame) without a second thought. In my unscientific opinion that must be a legacy from our ancient ancestors. The men went hunting to provide for their families, and the women stayed behind to care for the home and children. Life in this modern world of ours is not nearly so simple.
I ended up staying home the other day. I got a few necessary tasks done (all benefiting my family in some way), and spent some time playing with D-boy. It was a lovely time really. A part of me was still yearning to be sitting in the audience of K-boy and M-girl's play. Later when I arrived to pick them up, I apologized again for not being there. Their response? "Well Mom, we were scarred for life." I know they were, I know.