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The Epidemic of Mother Guilt

It's a conspiracy

It’s a conspiracy

We moms talk about guilt. Every single mother I know suffers or has suffered from it. In one form or another. Whether they had a single episode or have experienced chronic guilt. It happens to us all. It’s pretty much an epidemic. I mean, seriously. Every time a bout of it flares up, we should be quarantined.

We feed off of each other. “Oh my god, little Johnny wet his bed last night. It’s totally my fault. I yelled at him two Wednesday’s ago because he tried to feed his goldfish the meatball sandwich I was saving for my husband’s late night snack. I scarred him for life. I’m the worst mother EVER!”

“Oh, don’t feel bad, let me tell you what I did…” As if it’s a competition. My guilt is worse than your guilt. And the winner is…umm, I hate to break it to you, but we’re all winners.

I have the habit of labeling my forehead with a big “L” as in LOSER with my forefinger and thumb. Like I’m twelve or stuck in 1985 or something. “I’m such a loser mom. I’m totally getting Mother of the Year.” I mean, how many of these damn awards are there? How can we ALL be recipients of the most prestigious award known to mothers? Apparently, it’s possible.

Mother guilt causes sleepless nights, crying jags, severe regret. We take away their phones, tell them they can’t go to a party they’ve been dying to go to, ground them for a month, take the car away, send them to their rooms without supper, put their favorite doll up on a shelf. All because they broke a rule.

But they broke the rule. Not us. So, why do we have to suffer? Why do we feel bad?

Remember when our parents would punish us and they would say, “this hurts me more than it hurts you?” And we would give them the stink eye because we couldn’t believe they totally just said that. I mean, if that’s the truth, then just don’t punish us, right?

And then we would get punished for giving them the stink eye. But I digress.

Well, now the torch has been passed. And we finally, finally, finally get it. They were telling the truth. It does hurt us more than it hurts them. Because they freaking get over it. For us, it lingers. Like when you eat enough garlic to raise the dead. Seeping out of your every pore. Except sometimes way longer.

We feel bad because we love them unconditionally. We love our little crotch fruit with every fiber of our being. Let’s face it, the feeling isn’t likewise. Sure they love us. That goes without saying. But when we die, they will get over it. Eventually. That’s the way it should be. Dang, I’m digressing again. Sorry.

So, should we stop the Mother Guilt? Yes, we should. Will we? No, we won’t. Because we can’t dammit. We just can’t. Like I said, it’s an epidemic. It can’t be stopped. And our children will always do something to piss us off. It’s a vicious circle. With no way off. So, enjoy the ride. And I’ll be sure to pass along my crown to you.