Guilt

Since quitting my job and becoming completely submerged in housewifery and motherhood, I somehow manage to feel guilty for everything I don’t do and everything I do. Sometimes I even feel guilty for things other people do.

If I don’t have an actual job then my job is looking after the baby and the house. And if I don’t do both of those things ALL THE TIME, I feel guilty.

The other day I roasted a chicken and vegetables for dinner but I didn’t do the laundry I had planned to do. I already felt guilty until my husband brought his own laundry downstairs and I practically became unhinged. He needed clean socks. I failed at my duty to provide clean clothing. There were clean socks in the dryer that I hadn’t put away, but I was still a mess.

One recent Saturday morning I got up when baby demanded to be fed at 6:00, then put baby and myself back to bed. I felt guilty about that (shouldn’t I spend every waking moment singing to him and helping him strengthen his neck and core?), but I was tired so I went back to bed. And when baby fussed about an hour later, I asked my husband to take care of him. And felt guilty about that because I shouldn’t have gone back to sleep anyway and my husband needs to sleep, too and guilty guilty guilty.

But I couldn’t stop sleeping! So when my husband popped his head back into the room 3 hours later with a plate of breakfast for me, I was out of my mind with guilt. I had gone back to sleep instead of playing with my baby, made my husband get up instead of dealing with baby myself, been selfish enough to sleep in AND lazy enough to not cook my own breakfast.

This has to stop.

My baby is 3 months old next week and I am still afraid to cut his nails. The one time I really committed to trying, I accidentally cut some skin under his thumbnail and he cried and I felt guilty for making him cry. So I usually file them and feel guilty for not being a caring enough mother to cut them.

I’ve been feeling so guilty about filing instead of cutting that I skipped a few days. This morning I saw that he has a few noticeable scratches on his forehead. Guilty!

This afternoon I managed to cut almost all of his fingernails. I didn’t break the skin; it was a triumph. But I felt guilty about not successfully doing it sooner.

My feminist self feels guilty that I’m doing ANY of this. I should be protesting John Boehner’s existence.
My mommy self feels guilty that I’m reading political blogs instead of cutting fingernails and washing socks.

This has to stop! I’m going to bed now and I don’t feel guilty. No, I don’t. No I don’t no I don’t no I don’t.

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