When my son was born, my mom came to visit and help me with the transition into full-time motherhood. Before she went home, she gave me some book about ‘Mom Guilt’ and tried her best to warn me about not letting it get to me. I rolled my eyes and buried the book under a pile of baby stuff, and still can’t find it to this day. (I know, I know! Mom is always right.) But you see, my mom was raised smack in the middle of the baby boom generation in an Irish Catholic home. In other words, she is the queen of guilt! I wanted no part of it because I wasn’t going to be “that kind of mom.” Yep, I totally judged my own mother. I AM SO SORRY, MOM! How was I supposed to know that there is pretty much no way to avoid the “companionship” of Mom Guilt?
Mom Guilt starts out very innocently with everyone’s best interest at heart. For goodness sake, I had just given birth to this tiny, fragile thing that I am supposed to care for and protect and there were a MILLION things to worry about. How could I not agree with everything Mom Guilt could possibly bring up? But the thing is, once you let her in, she never leaves. She becomes that “friend” that always has to give her unsolicited opinion about every single thing at the most inconvenient times… And frankly, that makes her a b*tch.
My first interaction with Mom Guilt went something like this…
I reeked of a mixture of spit-up, sweat and other unmentionable smells and I had no idea when I last showered. I finally managed a ninja-worthy escape from my sleeping newborn and tiptoed into the bathroom. I turned the hot water on, hoping for nothing more than a quick hot shower with no interruptions. Not 2 minutes into my shower, Mom Guilt swore she heard the baby crying and I popped my head out of the shower, only to discover that the baby was soundly sleeping. Then, only 1 minute later, she insisted that I check again and I did but there was not a peep from the baby. After that, I couldn’t manage to go another 30 seconds without swearing I heard the baby cry. Just five minutes into the shower and the baby is sure enough crying and Mom Guilt went on a rant that sent me into a panic. “Can’t you hear the baby crying?!?! You have to get out of the shower now! No, right now! Oh my god! The baby is going to suffocate from crying or roll out of the bed. Hurry up!” I frantically rinsed the shampoo out of my hair, almost blinding myself, jumped out of the shower and wrapped a towel around my soapy, wet body. Not only was the baby crying, but also I was hyperventilating, sobbing and swearing I would never leave my baby’s side ever again. And my new “friend” Mom Guilt was smugly smiling because now she knew she had me wrapped around her finger.
Once Mom Guilt got comfortable, she started interjecting with her opinions and advice all the time. Her favorite time of the day to bother me is when everyone is in bed and I finally get that moment of silence I have been waiting for all day. As soon as I put my feet up and turn on some mindless TV or zone out to Candy Crush, here she comes just yapping on and on about what didn’t get done. “Why are you sitting down? There is a sink full of dishes and that load of laundry from this morning is still in the dryer.” I don’t even know why she is bothering me, because that is not even my job in this house? Why does she think I have to do everything around here? Go bother my husband. But no… She wants to get on me about my late night snack that I can finally enjoy without any grubby little fingers reaching into my plate. “You know you didn’t work out today or the last week for that matter so you really shouldn’t eat that. I would just have a cup of tea and go to bed.” I know she is right sometimes but jeezzzzz, Give me a break!
The worst is when I finally get a girl’s night out to get away from it all, especially Mom Guilt, and this chic invites herself along. All I want to do is enjoy an adult meal and a glass of wine and there she is with her side comments and “subtle” suggestions. “I don’t even know why you needed to get out. This is not that fun,” and “You should probably leave early so you can get home in time to put the kids to bed so they don’t feel abandoned.” *Insert eye roll*
Do not even get me started on trying to have “alone time” with my husband. Mom Guilt seriously has no boundaries. I am trying to enjoy the moment and let go a little and she is trying to tell me that she is pretty sure she heard one of the kids wake up. Then suddenly she remembers that school pictures are in two days and the outfit my kid should wear is in the dirty clothes and if I had only done the laundry this past weekend like she suggested she wouldn’t have to remind me of this right now… UGGGHHHHHH!!! Just go away.
I can appreciate occasional constructive criticism, a mom tip here and there and sometimes I am just flat out wrong and deserve a tongue-lashing. However, Mom Guilt just can’t keep her mouth shut and needs to be told a thing or two. So the next time she tries to chime in, I will be telling her she’s a b*tch and I never asked for her opinion in the first place. Well, that’s the plan anyway.
Elisha Beach is a stay-at-home mom to four kids and four step-kids…Yes, you read that right—eight kids. She is a wife, home cook, taxi driver, herder of children, terrible housekeeper and founder of The Mom Forum. For more of her mom truth, you can follow her on Instagram or tweet her on Twitter.
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