a new resolution

i am thinking of giving up the quantitative resolutions i made for this year and starting on a new project called slithering out from under this guilt rock. seriously, i’ve been habitating there for 3 years. yes, in this metaphor i am a snake. it works because snakes live under rocks and because snakes are kinda sexy, right?

so i’m a sexy snake living under a guilt rock. how do i become a sexy snake living freely under the sun? yes, that is the life objective.

i feel like i live life in a constant state of guilt. it mainly has to do with a 36-inch-tall being walking around my house yelling things like “mom, will you tie this dinky tail around me so i can be a little?”

why does parenting have to come with such a guilt package. and why does it have to be ridiculously crushing? here is a non-itemized list of things i am at any given time or have been at any time or WILL be at any time feeling guilty about:

not spending enough time with darla. spending too much time with darla. buying her too many things. not buying her enough. not living in a bigger city. not living on a farm. not living in a log cabin in the woods. not living in france. not providing her with a nanny that speaks 3 languages. not breastfeeding her longer. not sleep training her earlier. not co-sleeping longer. not growing our own vegetables. not having her in school already. putting her into school too early. putting her into school at all. putting her into the wrong school. sending her to public. sending her to private. not enrolling her in more activities. enrolling her in too many activities. letting her be too independent. not letting her be independent enough. not raising chickens.

if i kept typing i could come up with probably 1043 ways that i will/have screw(ed) up her life. i really think that our generation of parents has so much more guilt riding on our shoulders than previous generations. there are certainly more standards for what makes you a good parent and those standards seem unachievable. at least, to me they do.

but i can’t change that.

i can only change how it effects me. i’ve been trying to put a lot of time and thought and research towards evolving into someone who just doesn’t care. if i can stop caring about all the standards then i may just be able to slink out from under this guilt boulder.

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7 thoughts on “a new resolution

  1. You have NOTHING to be guilty for/of. Had no idea you felt this way, but your last paragraph sums it all up. Who cares is the answer and I never knew you didn’t feel that way. You are doing a much more than wonderful job and keep up what you do and how you do it. Forget the peer pressure. It is really over-rated!

    • thanks mrs. wright :) thus far i’ve been able to keep how much it effects my actions to a minimum, except for the good ways in which mary catherine describes below as a catalyst to always keep learning new things and sharing new experiences, but i need to do the work to keep it from effecting my thoughts and having self doubt. it always rears it’s ugly head the most when mike is absent b/c i have more time to get caught up in my own thoughts. i appreciate your positive words so much. love from columbus!

  2. Here here. Let’s be done with guilt. It keeps us trying, learning sometimes, but is mostly no good. You’re a wonderful mama!

    • thanks mc. i’m sure you can relate to the “am i doing enough?” “am i giving enough?” “am i being my best?” questions that seem to plague my mind. here’s to being at peace with it all.

  3. Amen Elaine. I understand completely. I’m there. Day after day and I’m struggling for all the same reasons about the possibility of baby #3. Will having another one be a blessing or will it take away from my other two? Can I give to three in all the same ways I am giving to 2?
    I’m also there right now with reading. Carter is ready to learn to read- he’s starting to put two and three letters together and somedays- I think- great…. I should further this…. and somedays I think- no way. He’s too little. Some of the more successful readers in history come from countries where formal reading education doesn’t start until age 7.
    oh…. the stresses of motherhood. to do or not to do, to give or not to give…..
    I get it. loved this blog. thank you for proving that I’m not alone, nor crazy. ;)

  4. Elaine, have you read/heard of “The Idle Parent”? Get it. Read it. Good stuff! I felt far less similar guilt after reading that book.

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