The guilt epidemic

Women are wonderful at time management and I've been told I'm tenacious about time-on-task and follow-through. Parenthood has really put a damper on my ability to follow a rigid schedule that enables me to do everything. When morning sickness showed up at week 5, I hung up my a.m. workout sneakers. Those shoes continue to collect dust although I'm proud to say they are dusted off once a week for 30 minutes. Just getting to the gym for that short amount of time has been a major accomplishment in a world full of parent-guilt.

Guilt. A feeling traditionally reserved for Catholics has been spreading into the female parent population for the past fifty years and has become increasingly prevalent over the last decade. Lucky me to be raised Catholic, born a woman and now gifted with parenthood. I had a .01% chance of escaping the guilt-disease.

I have "attacks" or "flare ups" when I decide to do something for myself. In addition to going to the gym once week, flare ups occur on my day off when I clean the house and go grocery shopping, the rare occassion that Andy gets up in the morning (5 minutes) before me and everyday I drop Caroline off at daycare and go to work. I'm near hospitalization if say, I decide to have lunch with a friend on my day off or, heaven-forbid, I buy myself an article of clothing.

The guilt comes on very quickly and my reaction to it has a ripple effect on the entire family. I am forced to confess my guilt to Andy and then mope around for the rest of the day sighing loudly. Sometimes the only remedy is to yell loudly at Andy and threaten to donate all of his personal belongings to the local charity or walk around the house grabbing my belly and muttering "fat". Interestingly, another term commonly used for mommy-guilt can be found on my favorite hypochondriac's website webmd: "martyr".

Now I get it, Mother Teresa!


Devra said…
How about some good ole absolution from a couple of nice Jewish girls? ; )

You are not alone in the guilt (nor in the yelling that is actually the numero uno guilt inducer for thousands of moms!)

Not here to spam you with buying our book, it's in most public libraries, just wanted to let you know we're around if you need some tools to cope with the guilt and cut down on the yelling so you feel less torment and more enjoyment in the parent hood.
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