This was the very first guest post here at Things I Can’t Say, way back when it was called Blog Friend Feature, five years ago. It’s still one of my favorites and I thought I’d share it again, since a lot has changed around here in the past five years. It was written by Tammy of Tammy’s Two Cents, one of my dear friends.
Raise your hand if you have ever felt “Mommy Guilt”? How many of you experience it every day? I don’t know if I experience it every day but I do feel it often and have felt it so many times in the past. I don’t want to feel guilty but I do.
I have been a mom for almost 10 years now. My daughter is turning 10 at the end of this month and my son is 7-1/2. I think the first time I felt the “guilt” was when Emily cried for 5 hours straight! I had called our doctor and he decided he needed to see her at the ER after listening to her cries. We got her into her car seat and were getting ready to head out about 10 p.m. and she fell asleep, worn out! We carefully put her in her crib and she slept for several hours. Once I figured out the reason for this crying, I felt terrible! We had been at a family reunion earlier in the day and I had drank several pops (with caffeine) and I was nursing her! Such a bad combination and I felt guilty for making her so uncomfortable.
Guilt can come in many forms…guilt from doing something silly like drinking caffeine or guilt that goes deeper than that.
Last year I was slapped in the face with what I would call a big dose of “Mommy Guilt”. In November of 2008 I had the flu. I had been summoned for jury duty and felt really sick. I also felt stressed trying to arrange childcare for our youngest. My group ended up being excused for the entire week which was such a blessing.
Thanksgiving came and went and I was hit with the flu again. My husband and kids were feeling under the weather on and off through the month too. I was having such a hard time just making it through the day. Finally in January, my husband came home and I had fixed soup for the umpteenth time for dinner. I was an emotional basket case. He finally said, “why don’t you go and see the doctor”. I was so sick of feeling bad that I called that night for an appointment. I could hardly schedule the appointment in between sobs. They were able to get me into the doctor the very next day.
As I am sitting in the waiting room I am trying to keep myself together. The nurse called me back and as soon as I walked through the doors I started crying. She took me back to a room and gave me a hug. She told me things would be okay. I shared with the doctor all of my symptoms. I did go in for a few tests but she explained that I was actually suffering from Depression and Anxiety.
I don’t know what I expected to hear from her but those two words were not it! Normally I am the happy girl. You know, the one with the smile and laughing coming from her all the time. The one who would have to go to the principals office because she was disrupting the class giggling! How could I be depressed?
It has been over a year now that all this happened. Depression still creeps into my life every once in awhile but I have overcome most of it with a loving and supportive husband and family. The guilt I felt during this time was overwhelming. My husband went to work and then came home to all the extra chores and all I could do was lay on the couch and watch him having to do everything.
I still feel guilty for not liking the kids friends to sleepover or not contributing to our family financially. Should I go back work, is the house clean enough?…the list goes on and on. I wish I was one of those moms that could let the guilt roll right off my back but I am not. I guess I need to learn to live with it and learn not to dwell on it!