Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mother's Guilt! Anyone Else Have It?

I was watching Studio 5 this morning while Radcliff was napping, and they had different mothers explaining they weren't getting the "me time" that they felt they needed.  One mother was saying how she loved to write, but felt guilty perusing her talent because it took time away from her children.  Another mother came on begging for ideas of how she could get a little "me time" away from her two full-time toddler boys.  A woman responded by saying that sometimes when you're in the thick of it like that, even just going to the bathroom for five minutes and locking the door while you're in there can be enough time to regroup, while other women were saying that that was in no way enough time to yourself.  And then there was the debate on how much was too much "me time", and what was a good balance? 
It's interesting to me that this topic came up, because I have been struggling with mother's guilt like crazy lately.  Just this morning, by cute sister-in-law called who I love talking to.  She called as Radcliff and I were starting our morning routine.  I'd say it was multi-tasking at it's best (a perk to being a girl right!?)  I talked to her throughout the process of changing Radcliff's blowout diaper, getting in the tub, washing him, washing myself, getting out, putting a diaper on him, lotioning me, lotioning him, and dressing us both. As we ended the phone call, it occurred to me that almost an hour had passed.  As I looked into Rad's little eyes, that were begging me to look at him, I couldn't help but feel guilty that I hadn't paid enough attention to him during the process of all that.  It was already time for his first nap and I felt so bad I hadn't even connected with him yet for the day.  Even typing that out sounds crazy, I know!  But this is just one example of the many times I feel this guilt throughout my days.
Others are, when I'm nursing him I feel guilty for scrolling through my Instagram feed rather than looking at him.  When he's playing on the floor, I feel guilty for watching the morning news instead of smiling and cooing at him.  Geez, I even feel guilty for having to drive anywhere period because I know he's not fond of the car-seat, and I feel guilty for having to have him stare at the back of the seat!  And after reading those silly statements, I think you've figured out projects and other things I used to love to do are almost completely out of the question for me now.
And then there's the guilt of going places.  Like how horrible would I feel if something happened to Radcliff while we were driving to meet a friend for lunch, or something even more trivial like shopping.  I would never be able to forgive myself.  So I go as few places as possible.  
Which brings me to this issue... Not only do I have mother's guilt, on the other end, I have everyone else (family, friends) guilt.  When I hang out with my friends or family I feel guilty like I'm not paying enough attention to Radcliff.  Because of this I haven't been seeing or calling family/freinds as much as  I normally do.  I'm sure a lot of you feel like I've fallen of the face of the earth.  I haven't.  And I'm sorry.    
I have been trying to figure out why I feel the way I do.  I think the biggest part of it is feeling bad for him.  He's not one of those babies that is really into a lot of things other than me.  I know that sounds like I'm floating my own boat, but it's true.  Whether we're playing on the floor, nursing, in the bathtub, on a walk, or even the second before he falls asleep, his eyes are pretty much glued to my eyes.  How do I not feel guilty not looking into the eyes of the cutest little face ever that's begging for more eye contact?  It's impossible.
I think another big reason is me.  I don't ever want to look back and regret not spending every second I could kissing his fat little cheeks, or squeezing his legs, or getting him to smile and laugh.  Because I know that day is coming way sooner than I'd like it to.  But I also know there has to be a balance too.
     Sorry to go on and on, but I just want to know... Am I crazy?  Or does anyone else have these same guilty feelings.  I'm sure they can only get worse with more children too.
What are your solutions?