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A Case of Mommy Guilt

My stomach hurts.  Like I have the stomach flu and could toss my cookies.  And it feels like I have a boulder lodged in my throat.  And my nose stings.  Like sinus pain from the nagging allergies of May.

Only I’m not sick and it’s not my allergies causing the nasal pain.  I have a bad case of guilt.  Huge mommy guilt.

How do you yell at that little face?  Who said she is giving herself a “special foot sand scrub at the Spa of the Yard.”  Who would shout and demand she “TELL the truth NOW”?

I would.  😦  And now I feel sick.

Because not only did I shout when she told me she didn’t do what I boldly and confidently declared she did, but she didn’t even get upset.  I was like one of those bad prosecutors on an episode of Matlock (which, by the way, I loved as a kid.  Did any children love Matlock?  I should blame that show for today’s behavior).

She sat, as if on trial, watching and listening then simply said in the sweetest voice, “Okay mama, maybe I did it before?  I’m sorry.”  And one minute later I discovered she was 100% not guilty of the household crime.

Gulp.  I’m the guilty party.

I’m crying.  This might be the worse I’ve ever felt as a mom.  I know people say parents make mistakes, we learn from them, we move on, we don’t beat ourselves up, we’re doing the best we can.  But I feel like a pile of doo.  Sure I feel bad that she wasn’t the guilty party.  But I feel worse that I handled myself in that ugly, unloving way.  Guilty or not, that’s not how I want to handle any situations in my life especially when it comes to my little girl.  I was stressed about something unrelated and took it out on an innocent 3-year old bystander.  Who came from my womb.

I imagine her heart aching from the accusations and the loud witch-mama in her face.  I imagine her writing an essay about this when she’s in 11th grade titled “Why I’m Afraid to Tell the Truth and Other Musings on Being Raised by a Furrowed-Brow-Guilty-Until-Proven-Innocent Mommy Dearest.”

I swallowed hard, pushed back the tears threatening to fall, and hugged her while apologizing.  She smiled as she ate her dinner and said, “I know, mama.  It’s okay.  I’m not mad.  I knew you would love me still.”  And she patted my back and brushed the hair away from my face as if she was the adult and I the 3-year-old.

Waaaaaaaah.  Why couldn’t she kick me, tell me to get away from her, and flee from my evil face instead?  I’d feel better.

I’m sure I’m learning many lessons from this.  Right now, lessons are being taught to this rookie mom.  But I’m too busy dealing with my guilt (which surely has a major role in the lessons) to process those tonight.  I’ll take the quiz tomorrow, thank you.

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Comments

  1. I’ve done similar – doesn’t feel good but we are only human!

  2. dearjes says:

    I’ve done it too. And I know that my boys have appreciated my apology. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Mommies are people too… and people make mistakes. It’s healthy for munchie to know that you mess up and say sorry too. I know your heart is heavy. But this is a good lesson for her- you are a wonderful loving example every day. This is just a tiny blip on the radar. xoxo

  3. dearjes says:

    And… I want that pic! My future daughter in law is so precious!

  4. Welcome, my friend, welcome. This place called parenthood is not for the weak-at-heart. You are a wonderful mommy and guilt gets us all the time.

  5. You are being way to hard on yourself. You are doing a fantastic job and she is not going to even remember this. I love the picture and would also like a copy.

  6. I’m sorry to hear you felt so yucky and I’m glad today is a better day! Thank you for sharing and being so honest. The fact that it was a big deal to you shows what an amazing mother you are and one event here and there doesn’t change the special bond you guys have. With the hubs gone this week, my patience has been tested more than usual so I feel your pain. Don’t forget that you are her world and nobody is perfect!

    • Aw, thank you, Abby! Don’t know why I was reactive and harsh exactly, but I’m glad I can move on from it now with kind words from people/friends like you :). yikes. I’m glad Hubs is back home!!! Now get some sleep! And get ready to schedule our next Saturday visit to my new favorite place….

  7. Very personal, ver poignant, very human. The great part is often we become better people (parents) through our mistakes. Sometimes I wish there was an easier way:-)

  8. Tabitha says:

    Mommy guilt is the worst! I always find it so interesting how much we learn as parents. Its not easy, but by God’s grace He gives us a second chance to try just like our children do. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this!!

  9. I’ve been there too Danielle…it feels like crap! But it sounds like your little girl is a real sweetheart, so you’ve been doing something right 🙂

  10. loverbean says:

    The thing about mommy guilt is….it never goes away. I have it right now because at 3:30 PM on a sunny Saturday my seventeen year old son said, “Let’s take a hike to ….”—a six mile steep round trip hike, mind you. I couldn’t change gears quickly enough and wasn’t sure what time it would get dark so I said, “How about tomorrow?” Tomorrow came and instead of a gorgeous, sunny, blue sky day we woke to wind and rain and gray skies. The moment was lost. You wished your little would have just kicked you and now I am kicking myself. 😦

    • 😦 Oh the guilt. You kick me, I’ll kick you–we’ll call it a day. Wishing you sunny skies soon!!! Thank you for sharing–it always helps to be reminded that the the mamas get it and know it well 😉

  11. How did I miss this post?! Sorry I’m only now commenting.
    This scene happens in our house more often than I care to admit. I completely understand how you felt. **HUG** I always wonder how I must look to Violet when I lose my temper and act like an irrational, stressed mama. Then I feel awful. Then I vow to make it up to her. Of course, it doesn’t make the guilt go away, but I like to think I create more really good memories for her than I do bad ones. ugh.
    Just by the way your girl responded to you and later to your apology shows that you are an AWESOME mommy! She was calm, kind, patient and forgiving. You are teaching her all the right things. And we as moms also teach our kids how to admit when we are wrong and to apologize for it.
    Don’t sweat it too much, D. You are the best mama A could ever have!

    • Thank you so much, Jen. I appreciate your comment more than you know. And thank you for sharing about your own m.guilt. I’m sure we will be discussing these moments & more in the months and years ahead 🙂

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