When I gave birth to my first born nine years ago, it seems that I gave birth to two demons in my head too: guilt and worry.
Since then, I seem to be spending my time chasing them away with my big stick but to no avail. Yes, maternal guilt and worry are my everyday companion. There seems to be no running away from them. Not even in my sleep.
I feel guilty when I say “no sweets” to my children while others are having some. I feel guilty when I see that they have less presents than others. I feel guilty when I deliberately choose not to buy them the latest trendy toys or games.
I feel guilty when I tell them off for asking me questions while I’m trying to get out of our tricky drive. I feel guilty when I let my daughter eat too much. I feel guilty when I try to stop her eating too much. I feel guilty when I have to force her to eat her vegetables.
I feel guilty when I am not cuddling them when they’re ill because I have to work. I feel guilty when I say no to my son when he asks me to sit down with him and play because I have a deadline to meet. I feel guilty when I get grumpy when they come in my office and disturb my concentration while I’m writing.
When I’m not feeling guilty, I worry. I worry that I’m not feeding them enough of their 5 a day. I worry that I’m spoiling them. I worry that I’m not giving them enough attention and I’m alienating them. I worry that my daughter may be too fat and my son may be too thin.
For goodness sake, I even worry that I’m infecting them with my worries. Worst of all I worry when I’m not feeling guilty.
Arrgh… I’m a complete nutcase. Now, I’m worrying that they have a mother who is a complete cuckoo.
I’m amazed that mothers survive these mental assaults every day and remain sane. From what I heard, every mothers experience the same feelings (although, mine might be a little unhealthy than usual.)
My only consolation is that between guilt and worry, there is the feeling of being loved even if I’m a fruit loop. And I know that if I hang on to that feeling, I will survive motherhood. Just about.