Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mommy Guilt

I just can't be everywhere. I can't prevent every scraped knee. I can't anticipate every fall. I can't keep my kids in a bubble. And even though I know this, it still means a healthy dose of Mommy Guilt once in awhile.

Last night, I was overcome by it. I was away at a birthday party. One of the very (very) few times I get away by myself. I left the princesses in the very capable hands of hubby. All was well. Around 12:30am I called to check in and that's when my Mommy Guilt bombshell dropped. There had been a small scare. Princess #1 (who is 7 and has been sleeping on the top bunk of her bunk beds for nearly 5 years without incident) fell out of bed. She was crying in his lap when I called. Instantly, I regretted my night out.

Funny how that happens really. I think often of how nice it would be to get away, to do something without the kids for once. I look forward to evenings out with girlfriends. It's a rare opportunity I get to go out like I used to without care before I had children. I enjoy it. But the second something happens to one of my babies, my heart is home and I have to follow it. I have no choice. It's like an unseen pull, I can't be away from them. And I wouldn't have it any other way. The desire to be home trumps any prior feelings of wanting to get away.

I immediately went home, checked out Princess #1 to make sure she was fine and then curled up next to her in my bed where she slept all night, between hubby and I. I did not sleep well. Mommy Guilt was kicking my butt. The what-ifs kept running through my head. As if I would have been able to keep her from falling. As if I would have known to be there to catch her. Of course not. But Mommy Guilt is not rational. Mommy Guilt expects the impossible.

In this sense, I'm very grateful that I have cautious princesses. I'm not sure I could survive the Mommy Guilt that would accompany rough and tumble boys. I suppose I would if I had to, somehow toughen up some, not let myself be so troubled by the Mommy Guilt tape running through my head. Maybe... I have the utmost respect for those that deal with more than their fair share of Mommy Guilt. She's not very nice.

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