No one tells you this before you become a parent, but one of the instant new bonuses is the intense feeling of guilt. The first time I realized this was when the nurse at the hospital asked me if I would like her to take my newborn son to the nursery so that I could take a nap. After all, I had been up all night and my husband was snoring away on the recliner. “YES, please!” I responded with great gratitude. Then it hit me. The guilt. Did I just send my precious baby off to God knows where with a woman who I JUST MET yesterday not knowing WHAT could happen!?!?!?
Needless to say, my precious little guilt inducer was back in my arms within minutes and I did not take a nap for about 3 more years. The guilt continued, did I breastfeed long enough? Are these disposable diapers not as good as the cloth? Are the preservatives in this baby food bad for him? Guilt, followed by more guilt, topped with guilt with a little guilt on the side.
Now my kids are all a bit older and have survived the preservative laden baby food and the mountain of other things I did “wrong”. The feelings of guilt have not subsided though. I have grown to become accustomed to the feelings and in turn accepted the fact that I am bound to a life of guilt and have welcomed it in like an obscure rude relative during the holidays.
Once in a while it rears its ugly head and demands attention, and that is what happened recently. My son hopped into my car after a visit to a friend’s house and I continued with the regular routine conversation…”Did you have a good time? Did you have anything to eat?” and so on and so forth. He had a great time and had pizza, but what came next was the kicker. He said “Mom, they do not have a TV at their house.” “Really?” I said. “Maybe they have one in the house somewhere but you did not see it.” “Nope, I asked and his Mom said that TV makes the brain stop growing and hurts your eyes.” Are you kidding me??? Like I needed another opportunity to feel the burden of guilt. Now I have halted the growth of my children’s brains and damaged their eyes by allowing a TV (gasp) in my home. So now I have to try to justify to my son exactly why his friend’s mom loves his friend more than I love him. Why would I knowingly hurt him with a TV in our house if this were true.
So here is what I did. I announced that once we get home, I am going to remove ALL of the TV’s from our home because so an so’s Mom thinks this that and the other. It is a natural defense of mine to be cruel when threatened, just ask my husband. And the peanut gallery loses it. Tears start to flow and my daughter gives a speech about the iCarly episodes that she dvr’d and now will not be able to watch and my youngest just about gives up his will to live at the new development of life without TV and asks if this included video games. My eldest son just blurts out a simple “great job, brainiac.” to the poor kid. Hey, let him feel the guilt for a bit. The eyes of my three other children were burning a hole in the back of my son’s head when he begs me not to get rid of the TVs when we get home.
I agree, it was not like I was going to go through with it anyway. And although I have avoided, albeit temporarily, the guilt of brain and eye damage due to those darn TV’s, I now have the underlying guilt of making my son responsible for almost destroying the happiness of his siblings.
Now I feel guilty for sitting here for 15 minutes writing this post and have to go switch off the brain shrinking, eye damaging boob tubes before more damage is done!
Does it NEVER end!?!?!?!?