Guilty as Charged

Maybe it is my Catholic upbringing or just my personality, but I am often riddled with guilt.  About everything, about nothing, about something that happened three weeks ago.  It can be crippling at times – the guilt keeps me from moving forward or just doing something.  Being a mom has not made my “guilt complex” any better, but instead given me tons of new things to feel guilty about.

Things I currently feel guilty about:

– having a second baby and changing LC’s life so dramatically

– feeling guilty about having a second baby because it is unfair to Lucy

– taking “so much” time off from work for maternity leave

– returning to work at all instead of staying home

– looking forward to returning to work

– knowing that I won’t be as productive as others at work because I have two young children

– sending LC to daycare while I am on maternity leave

– not treasuring this “alone time” I have with Lucy while it lasts

– not exercising enough while on maternity leave

– wanting to hire a babysitter so I can exercise more while on maternity leave

– blogging when I should be reading in Russian to Lucy to stimulate her brain development

– only giving Cal one walk a day (at best)

– enjoying naptime a little too much

– spending money on maternity leave despite a reduction in my pay while on leave

– not spending enough time on my marriage

– worrying about my marriage when I should focus just on the kids

– not spending enough time on “me”

– even considering spending time on “me” when there is laundry to be done and dishes to be washed

So the list could go on.  Today I felt horrible guilt because I sent LC to day care despite the fact that she had been up much of the night.  Honestly, I was happy to drop her off and know I wouldn’t have to fight temper tantrums all. day. long.  But I went home and began making breakfast and sitting with Lucy and starting thing about how maybe LC didn’t feel well or maybe she just needed her mom or maybe she was upset at the treatment of Iranians in Argo.  I don’t know, but the thoughts kept tumbling in my mind.  I decided to call day care and see how her morning was going, willing to go pick her up if it was a disaster.  Her teacher assured me she was having a great day.  So I climbed into bed with my laptop to read the Oscar fashion reviews on Go Fug Yourself.  Which really only started another guilt battle in my head of – you should be cleaning the house or exercising or walking the dog vs. you should be napping because you were up most of the night vs. you should stop worrying and just enjoy the quiet time at home while Lucy sleeps and you don’t have to be back at work yet.

I don’t know how to reduce the guilt.  I try to acknowledge it and move on, because it really can be crippling at times.  The guilt I feel over two choices can paralyze me and keep me from making a decision – like today when I decided WTF and just climbed into bed with a sleeping Lucy and my laptop.  I’m hoping to find some better way at coping with these feelings before returning to work so that they don’t keep me from being the mom, wife and employee that I need to be.


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