It was 8pm on a Tuesday night. Little Edison was taking his own sweet time, munching on his apple, and watching the TV. I was anxious to return to our home from my PIL’s house, but the boy has not even taken his shower.
I was tired and my face was ‘black’, but he didn’t notice it. I packed up our things and I told him angrily to continue eating very slowly until 10pm, because I’ll be leaving without him. Then, I dumped our things into the car and pretended to start the engine.
He got a shock, and he dashed out of the house with his teary eyes. Then, he cried and said to me that he wants to go home with me too. I quickly showered him, and we drove home.
On our way home, he looked at me innocently, and muttered “I love you, Mama.”
At that instance, I was surrounded by guilt again – for raising my voice at him, for losing my temper, and for threatening to leave him behind.
“I’m such a terrible mother!” I repeated that to myself several times, and I apologized to him.
Things like this happen once in a while.
In my five years of motherhood, I’ve thrown a few things out of my ‘guilt sack’, but there are also new things that get added along the way. I’ll share some of them in this post.
Things I used to feel guilty about, but not anymore:
1. Being a working mom
I can still remember vividly the first day I sent him to the infant care centre, that was during the last week of my maternity leave. I sat on the bench, sobbing quietly and struggling with separation anxiety from my baby.
I blamed myself for not being able to take care of him 24/7. It’s not because I’m career-minded, but there are valid reasons why I need to maintain my financial-independence.
Now when I look back, I’m at peace with my choice of being a working mom. I can’t be with him all the time, but I’m with him most of the time when he needs me. And I’m always there for the important events in his life – his birthday, his parent-teacher meeting, his graduation concert, when he’s unwell, etc.
2. Feeding him with a less balanced meal
I don’t cook so often, and I used to be guilty about that, but not anymore. We eat home-cooked food at my mother-in-law’s house every weekday. So, on weekends, we usually eat-out at our favourite restaurants.
When we’re out the whole day, sometimes he missed his mealtimes and naptimes too. Out of convenience, we also feed him with burger and French fries. But again, I tell myself – one day without protein will not malnourish him, one day without afternoon nap will not make him tired or cranky.
Most importantly, we spend a meaningful and fun weekend together. It’s okay to bend the rules once in a while.
3. Stealing some ‘me-time’
I like to attend to him whenever he demands my attention. But I’m a human after all, and there are times when I really need some quiet times for myself.
So, I’ll plonk him down with his favourite iPad game or in front of the TV. I told him not to disturb me, and I disappear for ten minutes. Whether I’ll be enjoying my cup of coffee, taking my power nap or lose myself in a book, ten minutes are all I need to recharge and rediscover myself.
Guilt that I’m still working on removing:
1. Losing my patience
(as in one of the classic examples that I’ve mentioned at the beginning of this post)
I’m a person with a limited patience tank. Throughout my motherhood years, this tank has gradually grows too. Many times, I told myself to be patience and I succeeded. But again, when stress level builds up inside of me, sometimes I do lost control too.
I feel guilty whenever I raise my voice, scold him or give him a little whack on his bottom. I convince myself that all I’ve done is for his own good, and I should not feel guilty. But most of the time, I’ll end up blaming myself for not being the perfect mom who is always patience, caring and loving towards him.
Now, what is the biggest ‘guilt’ in your sack? I love to hear from you too! Leave me a comment!