My kids drive me bananas sometimes. Like, crazy to a level I have never known. Usually it’s when they are peppering me with questions and requests. Oftentimes it’s when they are conducting the crazy train all over our house and it’s too cold or dark to send them and their boundless energy outside. That hour or so between dinnertime and bedtime, when we’re all tired from a long day and our nerves are worn raw, is the danger zone. And I know it’s not just me who gets fed up with kids.
And then I think, I’m lucky though. I wanted this SO MUCH. I signed up for this. I booked appointments, took medications, paid for ultrasounds, and went through two surgeries for this. I would have given both arms for this. If I thought it would have helped, I would have danced naked under a full moon while chanting in a foreign tongue and waving an olive branch over my head FOR THIS.
Be careful what you wish for.
Using my precious time off to stay home with them when school is closed? Should have known. Spending more money on their shoes than I have ever spent on on mine? Yep, without a blink. There are people who don’t get to have this and who dream of having this. I’m blessed through the random gods that be and GET to be the mother of these amazing miracles.
There are so many different ways we as parents feel guilty. Saying no to a favorite activity because we can’t afford it right now/don’t want to do that. Waking up a sleeping angel before the sun is even up because school starts early. Not making ramen noodles again because you can’t have that every day for dinner. Listening to your kid pace a little outside your bedroom door before knocking instead of just inviting him or her inside right when you hear the pitter-patter. Oh, that might just be me.
I’ve heard this referred to as “mom guilt.” It’s 2018 now, people, and dads experience guilt just as much as moms, right?
This, though, is a very weird and specific kind of guilt.
I don’t know if parents who have come by children easily (or accidentally) feel this. There is an ever-growing cross-section of infertility conquistadors who have been able to achieve parenthood despite the odds. And speaking as one of them, I feel guilty. I feel guilty for the ones who are still battling or have given up the fight and are forging on without that particular dream being fulfilled. I feel guilty for yelling at my kids when they push ALL of my buttons and for rolling my eyes behind their back. I feel guilty for remembering my child-free life with a bit of nostalgia.
I shouldn’t complain, ever. I should live in perpetual gratuity. I should always, always be thankful.
Some days, I worry about it all being taken away. I worry about my worst fear coming true and losing my children. I should live for the present and appreciate them now in case it all gets shot to sh*t, right? And then my fear does this funny thing and holds hands with my guilt, and my stomach starts to ache. My overthinking casts a shadow on my meager efforts to live in the moment. I can’t take this for granted because it would be an insult to all of the work it took to bear children despite infertility, as well as to all of those who have struggled with infertility or will someday.
How do you get over it?
Any ideas, healthy advice, revelations? Am I the only one who thinks this way? As they outgrow putting everything in their mouths and having accidents, will I outgrow this?