My husband travels for work, and he was gone all week last week. After a week of dinners, baths, and putting the kids to bed by myself, I couldn’t wait for the hubs to get home and give me the night off. So he comes home, I kiss the kids good night and shuffle them upstairs with their dad – and instead of relaxing, I immediately felt SO SAD. Like the kids were going to miss me or have trouble getting to sleep without me there. I thought, “WHAT IS THAT?!!!” I will tell you: guilt. Soul sucking GUILT.
It’s apparently everywhere. I read this article about the regrets of a stay-at-home mom last week, and it’s been bugging me since I read it. Instead of some thoughtful advice for new moms, this feels like yet another example of a mom feeling guilty for her seemingly reasonable decisions. Some women’s decisions to stay at home are fairly cut and dry: if you make about the same amount as it costs for child care, and you want to stay home, then stay home; if you can’t survive without your paycheck, then get to work. But the author of this article had what seems to be one of those legitimately close calls. She admits she had little to no work life balance, she was emotionally strung out after the death of her father, she missed her babies, and she was able to do some freelance work while hanging with her kids. All of those seem like totally legit reasons to stay home. And 14 years later, she’s in a tough financial position and telling the world not to stay home with your kids?! Come on! (Also, it seems to me like the advice here should be “do some long term financial planning,” but nobody asked me.)
And then I see this “study” and think two things: one, how long till that kid scribbles with that sharpie on the computer?, and two, goddammit! When does it end?! I am over it, just so done with wasting time thinking that I should be doing something different or better or more thoughtfully or with more shamrock sprinkles (yes, I may have felt guilty earlier today for not making green cake pops with shamrock sprinkles for my son’s preschool party – again, WHAT IS THAT?!). So I’m not going to think about the laundry or the workout I should be doing, or the intellectual activity I should be pursuing (OH I just giggled typing that).
Instead, I will watch The Bachelor, and make snarky comments in my head about the women’s outfits and the ridiculous things Brad says. Wheee!