I took Labor Day off. Obviously from work, since the office was closed, but more importantly, from being the go-to parent. BB was home, as were both of my parents, and I was behind on writing and I wanted to get a bunch of organizing done in the office and I had an errand or two to run, so I kind of…stepped back. I don’t know. I still played with both girls, and did a little bit of tummy time, and if BB brought one of them upstairs to me or if they were both crying when I was downstairs I fed/changed/rocked them. But for the most part I let him be in charge of the kids. And it was nice. I got a lot done, and felt accomplished, and it really really really made a difference in hitting the “reset” button on the week for me, since the weekend had been relatively busy. Everything was pretty good.
Except there were a few comments made that rubbed me the wrong way. They were all made in a joking way, and to be completley honest at this point I couldn’t even tell you exactly what was said, but I’m like 99.8% sure they were legitimately meant as jokes. But they still rubbed me the wrong way – can you still be hormonal 10 weeks after birth? Because that’s what this feels like. The underlying message of this jokes came across to me like I was being a neglectful parent for leaving them in the care of their father to get other things done, and that it was my responsibility to care for them unless I physically couldn’t be in their presence (i.e. work, baby/bridal showers, weddings, etc). Doing a bunch of laundry and sorting through things to try to create a workable space didn’t qualify as “important” enough for me to leave my children with someone else (again, THEIR FATHER).
Now, again, it’s important to note that I’m pretty positive that I’m BEING CRAZY with this interpretation of the jokes – I don’t think a single person I surround myself with actually thinks anything remotely like this. But the jokes really did upset me – did everything have to be my responsibility unless I actively ask someone else to take it on? And I started to wonder if maybe this is where a lot of the Mommy Guilt comes from. The idea that as a mother you’re supposed to do it all and be it all and if you’re asking for help or taking a step back you’re Doing It Wrong. The more I thought about it the more ridiculous it became to me. I can’t do everything myself (there’s literally not enough time in the day, plus I can’t be in multiple places at one time) and I’m a much happier person and better mother / daughter / friend / wife (technically fiancee whatever hater) when I don’t try. When I have my glass of wine and read my book at night or do my nails or spend a day organizing a room.
So I’m going to start analyzing the things I feel guilty about, and why, and if it’s a productive feeling. Spoiler alert, I doubt it will be. Guilt just never seems to be worth it, does it?