Guilt is by definition a feeling of responsibility for wrongdoing. It is a human emotion we all go through and it is not pleasant. By far, the worst kind of guilt a human can endure is mother guilt. Mother guilt can take on a wide spectrum of identities and intensities and can range anywhere from “too much tv” guilt, to “no current pictures” guilt all the way up to “bumped the baby’s head again” guilt and “bad rash guilt.” Mother guilt can show up anytime, anyplace, anywhere, even when you least expect it.
For example, a girl’s night out at the local coffee shop may seem innocent enough. Heck, you deserve a night out alone. The evening may seem as lovely as can be, until you are sitting there sipping at your cup of coffee, reading a parenting article about children’s vaccinations and suddenly realize that you haven’t scheduled your toddler’s 15 month checkup. You count the months on your fingers and realize that your child is now already 17 months old! Your mind races as you go through every possible scenario that will happen to your precious firstborn in the next hour and a half, while you are at this coffee shop. “Maybe she’ll come down with the measles from the kids at the local park, (she did feel warm before you left) and those playgrounds are crawling with germs.” Or even worse, you convince yourself you saw a rusty nail hanging out of the front stoop before you left, and that ” Oh my Lord, she’s going to get tetanus!” And then it sets in, slowly but surely… the mother guilt. “What kind of mother am I?” you ask yourself. Your child is walking around this germ infested world with nothing but a cheap windbreaker as a barrier of protection, (“more guilt…should’ve sprang for the LLBEAN jacket,”) while you’re sitting there drinking a hot latte. There is no question, no second thought, you need to get home and you need to get home right now! And there you have it. A perfectly lovely and relaxing evening is ruined once again, due to the inevitable, mother guilt.
Most of this mother guilt is a sure thing, we will all go through some degree of it, from birth on up to adulthood. There is however, some good news for all you stay-at-home moms. There is one type of mother guilt that you are guaranteed to never ever have —DAY CARE GUILT.
Marion Burgos is a stay-at-home mother of three, who survives her chaotic days by writing and laughing about her endeavors.
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