Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Single Phenom Mom, Episode 2: Secret Guilt

If you have even one child you are sure to feel guilty about something.

Guilt over things you've either failed been unable to do for your child(ren), decisions made over this and that, or things you've done to or around them. Then, there's that guilt that stems from comparing your child to another child of similar age, gender, aptitude ... whatever (we all do it, so stop pretending otherwise).  Of course, the worst guilt is the kind that happens when, against your better judgement and will-power, you compare yourself as a parent to another parent or, even worse still, you compare your parenting to another parent's parenting.

That last form of guilt there is a sure-fire way to bring the shame-train barreling into your life and there's usually no amount of reason that can stop it once it is en route.

Thanks to Time magazine's recent outrageous spectacle and the resulting fury that ensued in the media and online, we've all been reminded of that last form of guilt and the havoc it can wreck haven't we?  Oh thank you, Time for adding fuel to the blazing "Mommy Wars" that just never seem to burn out.  Ever.

Seriously, though?  Time's marketing department must be just stacked with an absolute genius brood (imagine me slapping my knee here for some sarcastic emphasis).  Exploiting the oh-so-obvious fact that moms, more so than dads, often carry this parenthood-induced guilt around with them wherever they go?  And, spreading misinformation as infuriating sensationalism right on time for Mother's Day?  That was pure mastermind and super considerate too.

Um, no.  

Phenom's interpretation of the "Mom Enough?" cover for the mag:  "Happy Guilt-Ridden Mother's Day, Bitches!"  Love always, Time Magazine. 

So yeah, guilt is pretty much guaranteed emotional territory for any parent, at some point or another.  Any parent that tries to convince anyone else that they are living a guilt-free existence when it comes to how well or not-so-well they're raising their kids is a cocky son-of-a-bitch.  Not to mention, a liar.

I liken my own "Mommy Guilt" to a bad hangover I can't seem to shake.  Or maybe the hazy memory of a bad one-night stand ... Yes, I have had a few of those over the course of my thirty years (I know, I'm such a slut! *snicker*) and said incidents were usually maybe sometimes followed by a mild hangover.  Ahhh, memories. 

Anyway, what am I guilty about exactly?  Certainly not any of the hyped-up crapola any judgmental pot-stirrers like to bicker about on the interwebs regarding the millions of parenting choices all of us parents have to make in the struggle to try and raise kids that grow up to not be douche canoes.  And nope, I'm definately NOT guilty over any of the hullabaloo that everyone seems to be blogging and debating about in response to Time's insanely outrageous cover.

Not. Even. Close.

Instead, my guilt has been a semi-secret form of guilt for quite some time now and I've often been ashamed to admit it. Even to myself.  I prefer to stuff it way down deep in the back of my existence; blur it out of my mind's focus as much as possible.  Thanks to the Time cover however, and it being blasted all over almost every blog I follow, the "Mom Enough?" caption has brought this semi-secret guilt of mine right back up to the surface for me. Thanks again, Time. No, really ... thanks a heap.

As a divorcing single mother with a full-time job and a million things to do every damn day, I needed to have my shame bubble back up to the surface almost as much as I need for J-dog to break out with a flea infestation right now (note to self, order more Frontline as early as yesterday!).

Every mother out there's life. Times ten if you're a a single mother.
Frankly, I'm kind of surprised at myself for being willing to share what I'm guilty about here; even if I have been known to share my raw emotions with all of you before on this journey towards starting over wonderful.

This one's deep. And it is quite shameful.

Here goes nothing ...

I suspected that my marriage might be doomed for divorce after I miscarried a month in.  Knew it deep down inside myself but irrationally rationalized my feelings away for a multitude of reasons I won't get into for this post.  I could even go so far as to say that I contemplated cancelling our wedding months before ever walking down the aisle at all.  I didn't because, back then, I was too concerned with what everyone would think to listen to my instincts and run ... a wonderful lesson learned the hard way, wouldn't you say?

Despite this "knowing" if you will, because let's face it -- hindsight is 20/20, I put getting pregnant again after losing a baby first and foremost over anything else.  I was terrified that something might be wrong with me since I miscarried the first baby I had ever carried.  Instead of facing the fact that our marriage was broken and never meant-to-be in the first place, I reasoned that my desperation to become a mother (something I have always, always wanted to be) was stemmed from needing to fully throw myself into our marriage through bearing a child.

I mean, the only way to make a relationship work is to throw yourself into it 100%, and in the moment, having a child is basically a way of saying that you're in it for the long haul, right? Yeah, that is the kind of rationalizing that went on in my head as I demanded the STBX "fertilize me" even if we were in the middle of arguing because damn-it-all, I was ovulating.

I just wanted to be a mom that bad.

I wanted C so much that I couldn't see past my fears of "What if I have a fertility issue?"  I had done everything "right" in preparation for my lifelong goals of being a mom someday. I went to college first. I established a decent career first. I got married. We owned our house. I did all of what you are supposed to do first.

I always wanted to be a mom and after losing a baby, that desire trumped everything else.  I was desperate to fill the hole left in my heart from losing one child with all the joy and happiness having another would bring.

Did I ignorantly believe that having a baby might magically "fix" our relationship?  Not for a second.  Yet I forged forward with trying to conceive anyway.

So, this is where my "Mom Guilt" comes from.  Not from feeding my son crap food sometimes, not from my struggles with breastfeeding and not even because I'm a working single parent going through divorce from my son's father.

I feel guilty because I brought my sweet, innocent little C-Man into this world with some sort of inkling that it probably wasn't going to work out with his father in the long run.  I feel like that was selfish of me; to want to be a mom that bad. To want to give my love as a mother that much despite what may happen between his father and myself.

Hopefully, my unwavering love and devotion as C's mother is enough to make up for all of the rest that comes with having divorced parents.  The fruits of my labor so far these days show me that just might be the case.

In my opinion, a mother's love is always enough.  Not to mention wonderful.

C having fun with Mommy on the swings at the park last week

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing that. Hits a little too close to home for me.

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    1. As a good friend told me when I discussed whether or not I should share my secret guilt here, "don't let hindsight bias punish you".

      Because, when you're looking back through the 20/20 lens of hindsight, there is no way you can be completely fair to yourself because you end up clouding what you probably really did believe to be true in the past. Does that make sense?

      ((hugs))

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  2. 20/20 always makes things seem for me like...wow you were an idiot...especially when I ready my blog from a year ago...but I have to remind myself that in the moment things are NEVER that clear. Great post

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  3. I keep trying to post a comment on your blog and it never lets me :P

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    Replies
    1. They have to await publishing moderation. I have a troll going around my blog leaving swearing assholery diatribes ... One sour apple is always ruining it for the rest!!

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    2. aaah ok I didn't even know these made it I think my browser was being funny too. Boo to trolls.

      Delete
  4. Yes, Phenom...I also believe a mother's love is always enough!! Even if there was doubt deep inside, I also believe there was a tiny piece of us that believed we could create a family that would always be together. Regardless of the outcome, we are strong women who will be able to teach our kids many empowering lessons :)

    ReplyDelete

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