Before I have Little Edison, I had no idea that being a mother would involve carrying around a huge sack of guilt. A totally unnecessary sack of guilt, I should elaborate, but no matter how hard I try to avoid, it still creeps stealthily towards me.
Last week, I was watching a Korean drama at 10pm. I told Edison to sleep on his own as the drama will end at 11pm. It will be too late for him to wait until 11pm, and he’ll definitely have difficulty waking up the next morning, but he refused.
My six-year-old big boy is acting like a baby again. He wants me to cuddle him to sleep, but I’m dying to watch that drama. (A Gentleman’s Dignity on Channel U, are you watching it too?) The last time I watched a Korean drama was 8 years ago, and the very last time I watched a Korean drama by Jang Dong Gun was 12 years ago!
Why can’t I have just one hour for myself?
I was frustrated. I insisted that he should go to sleep on his own (in a VERY stern manner), and continue watching the TV. He walked to his room, feeling very disappointed.
Suddenly, I felt an internal battle going on inside of me.
“Emily, is the drama more important than your son? Are you insane? The boy has been waiting for you the whole day while you’re at work. You sure want to disappoint him this way?”
“Arrgh, just continue! It’s just a one-hour show. It doesn’t make any difference after all. It’s not like you’re watching it every night. You hardly spend more than 5 minutes a week on TV since the day he was born. That was pathetic, you know!”
Well, there are a lot of good factors that I can debate on. Firstly, he should be independent enough to sleep on his own. Secondly, I’ve spent the entire evening with him the moment I got back from work. I should get my own “me-time” too. When the drama is over, we’ll be back to our normal routine. It’s just 20 episodes anyway (not 200!).
But still, deep down I knew that I’ve disappointed my little baby. I felt so guilty. At the end, I switched off the TV and went to bed with him. That sack of guilt is always there.
I always question myself if I’m doing enough for him. Five years ago, when I saw him crying at the infant care centre, I questioned myself if I should quit my job and take care of him instead. Three years ago, he cried when I dropped him off at school, I again questioned myself if I should homeschool him instead.
When he tells me how much he misses me when I’m at work, I feel guilty again. It’s not an easy process, and I don’t think it ever will be. Although I’ve thrown a few things out of my ‘guilt sack’ from time to time, but there are other new things that get added along the way.
After five years, I’m still trying hard to find that equilibrium. No matter how heavy the sack is, I’m still trying my best to be a good mother to Little Edison. And I always will.
Do you have a ‘guilt sack’ too?
To be continued…