Laying on the Mother Guilt
I am going solo tonight, which is not an unusual occurrence. What it means is that I get very short with the kids: mildly scolding, maybe yelling at them to finish their dinner, do homework, tidy lunch bags, brush their teeth, get into bed. Without fail, there are special requests: can you lie down with me? can you get me my bag that I left outside? can you help me with this (when they full well can do it on their own)? When I reach my point of saturation, I explode.
"Can you just do it on your own so I can go and have my dinner in peace? I have been going nonstop since we stepped foot in the door, making your dinner, asking you to put away your clothes, helping you get your homework done, doing chores. You need to go to bed now, so that I can eat dinner in quiet."
This is one of my more tame guilt trips. Once, in a parked car waiting for the rest of our party to run an errand, I was accused by the little folk of always "working", when I launched into a tirade about "what I do all day on the computer." I elaborated: "For one, I am working, always working, so that we can afford your soccer cleats or that gift for the friend who's having a birthday party or even just our house payment. For another thing, I am not just dilly-dallying on this computer. I am researching activities for you, signing you up for your soccer league, emailing your school, coordinating schedules so someone can be at such-and-such school event ...."
I really lost my marbles. I went on and on about how I did everything for them, nothing for me. Don't judge. I know I'm not the only one. What I hate is how I catapulted into the guilt trip, the "don't-give-me-grief-I'm-doing-all-of-this-for-you" mentality. In reality, I do generally feel selfless, I do feel like I would want to go above and beyond for my little ones, even without their acknowledgment or appreciation, but sometimes these guilt trips just. come. out.
I was raised in a household where guilt was laid on thick. I felt like I needed to count my blessings every day. Granted, I had many blessings, but I was almost made to feel that I didn't deserve the blessings. I don't want my kids to feel that way. I don't want to make my kids feel that way.
Tell me about your guilt trip moments. But also tell me about the things that you wish you had said instead, instead of making them feel bad, what would you have said that would have just aired your feelings, but would not have assigned all that blame?