Monday, July 23, 2007

Mama So Guilty

I do not spend a lot of time wondering if I am a good mother.

Perhaps the statement alone is enough to make me bad mother, but the way I see it, I am home with the babe, I rarely leave her side, dress her in cute clothes, kiss her contantly and try to sing and read to her a few times a day. But sometimes I have days like today where I have a big project due and I spend most of the day feeling like I am babysitting. On those days, when I look at her, kicking her toys in her gymini, laughing at the dog on the bed or batting at the butterfly on her exersaucer, the thought does start to creep in: Am I crappy mom?

I can usually push that thought away quickly with reassurances. Of course I am not a bad mom. Look how much I love her--more even than myself. But does she know that? Does she know that when I plop her in her crib praying she will nap through my interview, that she is more important than anything else? Does she know the money I am making is for her, so I can be home with her?

With all these thoughts swirling, the last thing I needed was a cheap shot from cloth diaper mom. But guess what I got today.

I belong to a city-wide moms group. The group has about 200 people who are (mostly) quite supportive of one another. I can ask about babysitter, food, crib bumpers, sleep problems and more. Usually I get a response within hours that answers my question and makes me feel better. This morning, my friend posed the rather innocuous question: "what do we make of the gym daycare at (my gym)?"

The answers came quickly; mostly quite positive. It serves its purpose--to let mothers work out for an hour or two while the babies are supervised. But Exeter, it ain't. I know this. And most other (sane) women on the board know this. But one woman decided to regale all 200 of us with her tale of motherly woe. And what a sad tale it was. A tale of workouts lost and gym memberships squandered all because she was too good a mother to waste her child's clearly superior intellect in the gym daycare. "Perhaps it is ok for SOME moms, but clearly not for me as a consumer of cloth diapers, electric cars and an incredible inferiority complex that makes it necessary for me to tell everyone just how far the stick is really plugged up my arse."

Bitter I may be. But give me a break. I plop my kid in that daycare at least twice a week and I have to feel bad about it? I have to feel bad for taking ONE hour for myself in a day that is entirely devoted to my baby, my house or my job? I have to now feel like a bad mother because I prefer to see my husband in the evening rather than run to the gym the second he gets in the door?

So thanks cloth diaper mom for ruining yet another thing that I loved. Sometimes I just want the mom chorus to tone it down a notch. We all can't use cloth diapers or feed our babies organic, unprocessed cow dung. I will continue using the gym daycare. Take that hippy mom with your unshaved pits and bandanna hair. But thanks to her, I will now do so with an enormous guilty conscience. See what she has achieved? What a hero.

1 comment:

Kristi said...

We mothers are hardest on each other, aren't we? That woman is pathetic, and I guess I fail to see the connection between using cloth diapers and driving a hybrid and not leaving her child in gym daycare. Is the gym daycare not environmentally friendly? She makes no sense.

And no, do not feel guilty. If I felt guilty for all the times other mothers (mainly those in my own family) made me feel like I was doing something wrong, I would be in therapy five times a week.