I have noticed that I feel guilty a lot.
An awful lot.
I feel guilty if I put my kids to bed too early (I feel abusive), yet I also feel bad when I put them to bed too late (because they don’t get enough sleep).
I feel guilty when my kids go to bed hungry (because they chose not to eat what I made for dinner), yet I feel bad when I allow them to eat something else for dinner aside from what I prepared (because I don’t want to spoil them).
I feel guilty that I am even considering home-schooling (I feel neglectful, over-protective, and that I will ruin their lives), yet I feel horrible even considering putting my kids in the public schools (the ones around here truly scare me!).
I feel guilty that Lizzie has 4 cavities. I try to be consistent with brushing her teeth, but I’m not perfect. I feel like as her Mother, it’s all my fault. It’s my fault that she has to be strapped to a dentist chair while the dentist medicates her and puts the horrifying drill inside of her mouth.
Today, I had a dentist appointment at 4:30 in the afternoon. The whole family came along and waited in the car because it was just a quick appointment. We decided to pick up a pizza for dinner. Bryce fell asleep in the car on the way home. When we got home, he wouldn’t stop crying. All that he wanted was me. I was trying to get things prepared for dinner (salad, etc.) and he was screaming. Jon couldn’t console him. Finally, Jon asked him what he wanted and he said that he wanted to go to bed. Unfortunately, it had been 3 days since he had a bath and he was starting to rot.
When Jon mentioned to him that he needed a bath, the volume of his scream increased a few decibels. By this time, Mason was screaming as well. I told Jon that I would just take care of Bryce and put him to bed, since he only wanted me anyway. That doesn’t sound like such a bad idea, right? But Jon wanted to do it. He claims that the kids need to be “weaned” off of me, particularly Bryce. So Jon took him and gave him a bath. Bryce screamed the entire time. He finally stopped screaming and I went to him so that I could put him to bed. When Bryce saw me, he started crying again. Why? He thrives on the attention that I give him when he cries.
This is yet another reason that I feel guilty. I know that I give my kids too much attention when they cry. I feel guilty if I ignore them (because I want them to know that I love and care about them), yet I feel bad when I constantly baby them (because they will probably be fine if I ignore them and I know that they really shouldn’t cry so much, anyway).
Against Jon’s will (he wasn’t being pushy, he really just doesn’t want Bryce to get his way all of the time), I ended up putting Bryce to bed. I know that I should have allowed Jon to put him to bed. It’s true, I give into Bryce way too much.
But is having a child who really wants his Mommy to put him to bed really that bad?
I genuinely love putting him to bed. The child who frustrates me so much sometimes during the day that I feel like I’m on fire miraculously turns into the sweetest, loveable little boy at bed time. He lays down on his pillow with his sippy cup of water next to him. I cover him up with a few blankets. He looks up at me with his dark brown eyes and my heart just melts. I always talk to him in a whisper at bed time, and he always uses a whisper in response.
“Do you want me to sing you a song?”
I sing “Lullaby”, and “I Love to See the Temple”.
“Do you want me to say a prayer?”
I say the prayer and he whispers “Amen”.
“I love you, Brycie.”
“Love you, Mama.”
I kiss him on the cheeks and on the forehead and rub his hair for a minute.
“Sweet Dreams, Mama.”
And I leave the room.
Why should I feel guilty for wanting to put my son to bed? Yes, I know that he is getting what he wants. But I just feel like kids need to really feel loved before they go to bed. I feel bad on the days when we are in a hurry and they go to bed too quickly.
I just wish that I could get rid of all of this unnecessary guilt sometimes.
What about you? What do you feel guilty about?