“I get up and pace the room, as if I can leave my guilt behind me. But it tracks me as I walk, an ugly shadow made by myself.”
― Rosamund Lupton, Sister
Lazy days of summer? As IF. Let's stick with CRAZY days of summer. In order to assuage my divorced/single parent/working mom guilt, I decided to sign each of my kids up for the PERFECT camp this week to suit each of their tiny personalities. I decided to forego the traditional one-size-fits-all-drop-your-kids-off-at-7:30-pick-'em-up-at-6 camp and I created a specialized learning opportunity for them. Baseball camp for Thing 2. Sumo-Bot Lego Camp for Thing 1. It was more expensive. And it has almost KILLED me this week. Only one more day to go.
Daily schedule for the First Week of Summer
5:30 a.m. Wake up. Feed animals. Make coffee. Stretch. Pray (fervently). Write.
6:45 a.m. Shower. Drink coffee. Wake hoodlums. Make lunches. Do various and sundry activities around the house.
8:25 a.m. Leave house. Thing 2 dropped at jock camp. Race to second location. Thing 1 dropped at nerd camp. Fight stoplights and traffic to get to work. Late.
9:15 a.m. Work frantically for two + hours.
11:30 a.m. Leave to go pick up Thing 1. Drop him off at house to fend for himself for lunch.
12:30 p.m. Back at desk. Late. Work frantically.
2:45 p.m. Leave to go pick up Thing 2. Race to pick up location. Late.
3:30 p.m. Back at desk. Late. Work frantically.
6:00 p.m. Home. Make dinner. Try to clear clutter. Clean floors. Wash dishes, clothes, dogs, boys. Encourage reading. Ban technology. Write. Thankfully, gratefully sink into bed before 10 pm.
On Friday, I get to go to the Natural Science Center to watch Thing 1's robot compete in the sumo-bot tournament. I AM actually invited to the tournament and I think he's fairly proud of his efforts. I never EVER turn down any invite issued by Thing 1. But it's at 11:00 a.m. Which means MORE time away from work (and I'm already feeling super guilty about coming in an hour late and missing an extra hour of work during the day). I guess next week I'll chip away at THAT guilt by coming in early and working longer hours.
I feel guilty all the time. I feel guilty because I truly DO believe that parents educate their children best and I am not around nearly enough to do so. I feel guilty because I divorced their father. I feel guilty because I don't WANT to be with my kids 24/7. I feel guilty because I can't afford to buy away my guilt with expensive technology for them. I feel guilty that I cancelled cable. I feel guilty that I am too often satisfied with mediocrity. I feel guilty that I can't give them every THING they want. I feel guilty that I don't WANT to give them every THING they want. I feel guilty about feeling guilty.
So, I over planned for summer camp this week to ease the pain of ALL that heavy guilt. And I have been nuts over it.
As I write about all this guilt and I think two things: 1) it sucks to feel guilty all the time and 2) GIVE YOURSELF A FREAKIN' BREAK.
You know what? It's time that all single moms, married moms, moms who work outside of the home AND inside of the home, moms who cook and moms who don't...it's time that we stop feeling guilty and give ourselves a BREAK. I will make one exception: crackhead moms and all moms addicted to anything...YOU need to feel guilty. Stop the rock, get yourselves some help and take care of your kids instead of your addictions. I wonder if any addicted moms read this blog? Welcome to my stream of consciousness blogging....
Seriously, life in this breakneck world is tough enough. Why do we pile on guilt on top of everything else? Let's just make a pact. Right here and right now. Let's say enough with the guilt. We'll do what we can do. We'll put one foot in front of the other and try to just keep walking. Non-burdened walking because it will be guilt-free.
Is it even POSSIBLE to live a guilt-free life as a mother? As a human being? Do DADS feel guilt the way we do? Are kid-free people riddled with guilt over things? Is guilt just part of the package? Thoughts?
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