Sometimes I read all the PYHO posts and I think that I wish young mothers wouldn't feel so much guilt. Guilt about what they are feeding their babies, guilt about having or choosing to work. I want to tell them it will all be all right and have them believe me. I hate to know they are feeling bad and worried when I know everything will turn out all right.
I am a hypocrite.
I would like to pretend I am laid back and I don't feel guilt. No guilt that I work full time. No guilt that I train nine hours a week for triathlon. No guilt that I get home from work many days with not much energy left for my own kids.
I am a hypocrite.
The facade came crumbling down Saturday night when I went on the first date I have been on alone with The Coach in 2011. While we were having adult beverages at the bar he was trying to get caught up on the kids grades. I admitted I hadn't been hounding the kids properly.
He said, "All you have to do is ask Tanner if he has done his homework and if he says no then tell him he can't go out and play."
That sounds so easy when I am freshly showered sitting in a bar full of adults wondering what to do with my arms because they are both empty. It was such a simple solution that doesn't take into account the reality of life. It is the same reality as all moms have.
In the middle of our first date in months tears start streaming down my face and I cannot stop them. The more that fell the worse I felt.
I come in from work with two babies asking me a million questions and refusing to get out from in front of me so I can run to the bathroom as a result I wet my pants. Again. I am carrying a diaper bag, a gym bag, a book satchel, a lunch box, and in all likely hood a grocery sack or two and a child. I could get home earlier and be prepared for the after school rush, but I use the time the babies are napping at the sitter to get in my second workout of the day. I feel bad.
I start yelling out orders for the next activity, or I am trying to count kids and figure out which one isn't home yet. Maybe there are no other activities that day and I am just wanting to sit down and veg for a while. Maybe the kids I haven't seen all day are pestering me and I just want everyone to BE QUIET. I feel bad.
Tanner usually slips out. I don't realize until he is gone that he didn't do his chores properly and I didn't ask about his homework. I call him back in and make him do the chores right. Most of the time I even help him to speed up his departure from the kitchen. Then there is some reason ALL of his homework isn't done and I will let him go because I feel bad for interrupting his fun to complete chores.
The truth is I ALWAYS feel bad when it comes to Tanner. I know so much about Ty's life. More than I want to know sometimes. I know nothing about Tanner's. I couldn't say who he considers his best friend. I don't know his favorite teacher's name. He won't give any hints as to his girlfriend status at school. What if he is sitting around his whole life thinking I love Ty more because we talk? I am a terrible mom.
I don't want Tanner to grow up and move six states away.
I have these feelings about Tanner often, even as I am trying to get some insight into his day. But on that particular date night it crested over into guilt about all the children.
Guilt that I didn't realize on my own that Ty is really smart. I let the camo and the dimples fool me into thinking he was a Bubba. Luckily The Coach recognized lazy latent brains.
Guilt that I should encourage Saige to work out with me instead of cherishing my alone time. Guilt that I should do something brilliant to quell her math intimidation.
Guilt that I just want the babies to STEP AWAY FROM THE MAMA from time to time.
They deserve perfection, yet I will never be perfect. I will be distracted, impatient, and tired. I will do my distracted, impatient, tired best and I will pray that God will take care of the rest.
(You know it has taken me all week to figure out the end of this post. I went through different things I could do better such. Finally as I sat down to finish this I realized I don't have to be perfect because He is. )