This is the first post in a series of posts dealing with "mommy" guilt. The other posts are written and ready to go so be sure to come back over the next few days to read them. You can also always subscribe to this blog's feed by adding your email address to the subscribe button located on the side of this webpage.
There seems to be no shortage of people expressing guilt today.
In what is arguably the most affluent, and free society in the history of humanity, it seems to me that there is almost always someone who is expressing angst, frustration or anger over someone .
In fact, we’ve created a brand new term in the last decade. Mommy guilt. Of course mommy guilt isn’t the only term. There’s Daddy guilt and grandma guilt…grandpa guilt.
It’s practically pandemic.
But do we do with this new disease? What do we do with this new problem?
Well, like all disease, we need to figure out the different origins of this problem.
One of the most common areas where I see parent guilt is when another parent is doing something that the first parent can’t do.
Kate takes Peter to the Bahamas
Elisabeth feels “mommy guilt” because she can’t take Neal to the Bahamas. She becomes more and more bitter as she sees more and more pictures of the trip on Facebook.
This version of mommy guilt can get played out mommy baking cookies that are truly Pintrest worthy, or someone else’s dad gets to be the coach. Essentially it boils down to someone else gets to do something for their kids that I don’t get to do for my own.
I actually have a problem with this version of mommy guilt. It’s based out of envy.
To some extent, we’ve lost the ability to actually be happy for those who are better off than us in society.
I’m afraid we no longer rejoice with those who rejoice—perhaps we never did but this is the worst kind of mommy (parent) guilt because it minimizes other people’s true struggles about what they can offer their children.
It puts the onus for our contentment on other people. It removes it from us our own ability to learn to be happy where we are at in life. It devalues true contentment. It drives us to falsely believe our children care as much about stuff as we do.
But let’s be honest, there are a lot of other versions of mommy (parent) guilt.
There’s the parent guilt from not being able to actually spend what we feel is the appropriate amount of time or enough time with their children.
The mom who has to work so she can’t stay at home with her children. The mom who has chosen to stay hom but worries she won't have the means to provide for her children to the level she desires.The Dad who has to pick up another shift in order to pay for his kids orthodontics…or to put food on the table.
The parent that realizes their own issues have bled into their parenting style. They’ve been yelling or ignoring their child.
The parent that knows they’ve made the “big” mistakes. You know, they spent the first twelve years of their children’s life hidden inside a bottle or floating on some drug induced cloud.
The parent with the divorce haunting them…even though they didn’t have a choice…or they did have a choice and now regret it.
The parents who don’t have any “big” problems but let’s be honest, there is nothing we do that has a greater invitation to revet than parenting.
Tomorrow we’ll start dealing with those issues of mommy (parent) guilt.