Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Hot Dog With a Side of Guilt

It's been a fun few days. By fun I mean horrifying. Traumatizing. A sort of "standing naked on the top of the Chrysler Building with a machine gun" few days. Over dramatic? I

Eli's been waging a war on sleepy time. It's been...unpleasant. Finally today I had to do something so I switched out the locks on his bedroom and locked his door from the outside. It was brutal. 2 hours of struggle...but finally success and he fell asleep for about an hour.

After he fell asleep I just sat on the couch and bawled. It dawned on me that I was so upset because I felt this crushing amount of guilt for having to lock my child in his room to get him to sleep. (It could have also been related to intense sleep deprivation and pregnancy). As I reflect on my reaction, I realize that as a mom I am a constant ball of parent-related guilt.

Even when I try to chill out I still think about how I'm screwing up my poor child's life. Is he watching too much tv? Is he eating too much sugar? Do we do enough educational activities together? When was the last time I clipped his nails? Dusted his crib? Checked the air filter on the furnace to make sure he's not breathing in those little cartoon character dust mites?

I think I'm a pretty average person. I try not to jump on crazy bandwagons or do any nutso "fad parenting" methods. But even with how normal I strive to be somehow mothering guilt occasionally tries to eat me alive. I guess it's a standard part of having kids. I guess this awful feeling that I'm somehow slowly ruining my son's life will never end. I guess that the fact that I dedicate my love and heart to two feet of absolute wonderful means that I've opened myself up to a whole host of emotional trauma. Oh well. In the end I love being a mom even more than I loved working at that hot dog stand. I never worked at a hot dog stand. But I couldn't think of anything that even comes close to comparison with motherhood.

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