Contrary to popular belief, guilt is not a Catholic thing, nor is it exclusive to the Jewish community. Guilt is a women thing and more specifically, a mommy thing. From the time Adam loaned Eve a rib we have felt indebted to mankind.
Chat to any mom anywhere, anytime, about her baby, her tot, her toddler and somewhere the word 'guilty' will come up. Just this morning I had a chat with one my colleagues about her little boy who doesn't particularly like his new minder. He's not at creche or play school yet and she mentioned that she feels guilty that he doesn't have that companionship during the day. I on the other hand feel a twinge of guilt that Emma was at a creche from 18 months, only half day I might add (as moms we do that, we justify a lot of things).
The amount of guilt I feel for having 'sent' her off so early she may as well be in a boarding school, a million miles away.
I feel guilty for working full day and been away from Emma. But when I'm home and I know things need to get done at the office I feel guilty too. I feel guilty that I haven't gotten Emma to love vegetables as much as she loves sour jelly tots. I feel guilty that her constipation might be caused from not drinking enough water during the day or because she refuses to eat bran for breakfast.
I feel guilty that I didn't (and won't) read every book available on raising children yet I feel guilty that I'm not 100% aware of ALL the milestones Emma should be reaching. But then I don't want to feel guilty that she is and I'm pushing her to over-achieve. I feel guilty that quality time becomes quantity time which becomes quarreling time on weekends. I feel guilty that by Sunday night I'm ready to get back to work, for a rest. I feel guilty that I might not be strict enough on Emma but I feel guilt-ridden on the few occasions I have raised my voice.
I feel guilty that Emma is an only child and she doesn't have a little brother or sister (yet). But I feel guilty that there's a 'yet' and then my time will be split. I feel guilty when Mark tells me I spoil Emma but I also feel guilty when I don't. I mean which tot doesn't deserve spoiling? I feel horribly guilty when Emma's hurting and I can't protect her but I know I'd also feel the guilt if I were told I molly-coddle her.
I feel guilty when Emma calls for me and doesn't want daddy. But then I also feel yuck when she'd rather lie on his lap at night, because that obviously means I'm not doing a good enough job which then makes me feel guilty. I feel guilty that I might have given her bottles with BPA, or without BPA. I feel guilty that I don't know which one she's supposed to have. I feel guilty that the chicken I give her might not actually be free-range and then I feel guilty for the chickens cooped up in a 'breeding room'.
I mean, we feel guilty when we forget to feel guilty. We feel guilty that whatever we're doing isn't enough even when we don't know what enough is and whether we're doing it or not....