Guilt

For some reason today, a modified version of a line from a Paul Laurence Dunbar poem is running through my mind today. In his poem “We Wear the Mask,” he writes, “We wear that mask that grins and lies.” Instead, in my head, it’s “We carry the guilt that grins and lies.”

Ok, so maybe I lied. I know exactly why this line is running through my head.

I feel guilty. Every day.

On work days, I feel guilty that I’m away from The Kid for 4-6 hours. I feel guilty that there are moments that I don’t think about him, when I’m engrossed in my work.

On non-work days, I feel guilty that I’m in mom-mode, and that I’m not grading papers or prepping for the next class.

I feel guilty that there are moments when I want/need time to myself.  I feel guilty for not wanting to play with The Kid sometimes.

I feel guilty that I left my career in health insurance, and took a 75% pay cut in order to teach. I feel guilty that Hubs has work hard to support us, and that I can’t contribute more.

I feel guilty every day that I’m not a better wife. I’m less affectionate than I was pre-Kid. I think I’m just tired of being touched by the end of the day. Before The Kid, all of my love and hugs went to my husband. Not so much anymore.

Every day, I feel guilty that I’m not eating or doing 100% healthy things like I should. I feel guilty that I’m not counting PointsPlus for my food right now (seriously, I’m Weight Watchers brainwashed). I feel guilty for having a little more treat-type food than I normally would. I feel guilty that I haven’t been walking and exercising like I did last year because I’m already physically uncomfortable. And I have 3 months to go.

Which brings me to the biggest reason I feel guilty every day. I feel guilty that I’m pregnant. That there are so many women out there who would love to be pregnant and can’t. That there are women who have lost their children, and I am blessed with one with another on the way. I feel guilty that, aside from my gut issues, there are no complications with my pregnancy (touch wood). I don’t know what to say to women who are struggling with pregnancy because of this guilt. All I want to say to them is “I’m sorry.” I didn’t know what to say to the 19 year old girl who just had her second ovary removed, and is dealing with the fact that she will never have children naturally.

I hate feeling guilty, that I need to apologize for everything I say and do. But I do.

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About JessieB

Just a 30-something girl trying to figure it all out. I write about weight loss, books, motherhood, life, and whatever is on my mind.
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3 Responses to Guilt

  1. annaholler says:

    Ought Oh.

    Try to remember that we all have our journey in life. I am certain that yours has not been without struggle. Enjoy what comes easily to you… feel worthy.

    I fear that when you have your baby you’ll feel guilty about dividing your attention even further. Try to make peace with it now.

    • I know, Anna. I’m getting better at feeling worth, but it’s difficult sometimes.

      I am nervous about how the family dynamic will change when #2 comes along in August. It’s going to require us to work as a team, something Hubs and I have struggled with. I think part of the problem is that we waited so long to have kids. We had 14 years together as a couple, and adding a child to the mix has been so different. But we’re getting there. 🙂

      • annaholler says:

        I can only share my experience, but when I had Lila I felt a lot of guilt about leaving Bunny. As you well know, babies are a lot of hard work and it was incredibly difficult for me to get over the feeling that I was abandoning Bunny to care for another person. Bunny had become my whole world and passing her off to someone else in order to feed and change Lila felt like such a betrayal. This guilt was definitely the catalyst for my PPD.

        The shift into parenting is a tough one. Jay and I never had to experience it because the time period between our first kiss and our first pregnancy was over before I blinked. Here’s some pretty good advice that I’ve gotten though. Don’t be afraid to make a list of “chores.” Often times partners will not realize what they can be helping with and one person always feels that they are “telling the other what to do.” So, making a list of things that someone is always responsible for, such as bath or dishes or laundry, takes the guess work out of supporting each other. Different things work for different people, maybe if you’re not already doing this it would be helpful?

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