• giarmove

When "mom guilt" sets in-- A poem

This is a stream-of-conscious poem about the guilt that consumes us once the baby is sleeping and it's quiet enough to sit with all we wish we could go back and change about the day.

[ORIGINAL POST via Instagram on July 28]

It's 9pm and I’m feeling the weight of my guilt.

If you followed today’s IG stories, you know that my son’s school called to tell us he was sick and needed to stay home for a day.

I was concerned for him of course. But I also thought, “Wait, how am I supposed to have my meetings?”.

The day began with me posting stories about how comical it all was: entertaining a 2-year-old while leading client calls.

But I stopped posting stories around noon.

Because that’s when I broke.

Even though he’s feeling totally fine, he was whiny.

He wanted my attention.

He cried over spilled milk (literally).

He climbed in my lap during a Zoom call and— while cute at first— started grabbing at my chest and yelling.

And it stopped being funny.

Frustrated, I cancelled the rest of my calls, changed my clothes, and walked him around the neighborhood.

I wish I could say it was the moment I realized “what really matters”, but that’s not how the story went.

I got hot. Then I got mad about being so sweaty. Then I got hungry. And anxious about missing emails. And flustered with his yelling over nothing.

By the time he went down for a nap I was so tired that my plan to “get stuff done” fell flat and I just sat on the couch in my underwear eating cereal out of the box— feeling like I “wasted the day”.

Now it’s almost 9pm and I feel so awful about focusing so much on work. I am ashamed of how I yelled at him for making messes, shouting, and not being “easy” while I worked.

This is where you’ll want to comment, “We are all doing the best we can. You’re doing great, Mama!”

But today was a wake-up call for me about how being so close to work has blinded me to the reason I’m working in the first place: him.

So tomorrow will be better.

Tomorrow will be better.

Tomorrow will be better.

[My constant refrain.]