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.