A Mother Load of Guilt

I am C of E but, with the greatest of respect, and without intending any offence, to my Catholic friends and family (of which there are LOADS!), I firmly believe I too, should be Catholic. After all, nobody does guilt quite like the RC’s – but man alive – I’m pretty sure I could give them a run for their money!

To be fair, RC, CoE, atheist, whatever, I’m guessing that in reality, most of my friends with small people will get this.

No matter what I do, I feel guilty!

This week has been challenging as the eldest daughter has been poorly all week. This is challenging not least because Mr C clears off to London at 6.15am, whilst I attempt to resolve the logistics of a sick child off school and full time work. Of course Sod’s law means this also coincided with the week our amazing CM needed a day off….. Which, obviously, was also the one day that Grandma wasn’t able to make her regular, weekly visit & have the kids….

Anyway, at one point when L was crying about how unwell she felt (by this point my throat was starting to feel sore & Baby F was barking like a dog, indicating L hadn’t been selfish with her germs), I had an overwhelming sense of guilt. I just know that one day, L is going to accuse me of prioritising work, life, training, whatever over her because of times like this when I just can’t drop everything to be with her 24hrs a day.

And it made me sad. I’m not one of life’s natural ‘nurses’ and have little tolerance of inconvenient cold viruses. And I know I’m teaching her other valuable things like a work ethic, what it means to be reliable & conscientious and that you can’t take time off sick for the smallest snivel! But I still felt sad… And guilty!

Then there’s my training. As the amount of training I do increases, so do my guilt levels!

I can’t complain, Mr C rarely (if ever) moans about me training. And, he’s never said “What about my training?” (Which I definitely would have done by now!)..

Despite this, I feel, without a doubt, that when I’m not home… I should be. Is he cross that I’m not home but just not saying? Is there a bubbling, unspoken resentment that he’s not out training himself? Surely as I work FT I should spend all my non working time with the girls?

Rationally I know, and as we both proved during December’s run streak, we CAN both run everyday. It just takes communication, organisation and commitment. But still…

My girls don’t suffer that I’m out. I go early or late, it doesn’t much affect them. But I still feel bad that I’m not home being a ‘good mum’.

I don’t particularly miss out on seeing the extended family… As we don’t see them that much anyway. And again, my training is early or late so is of little consequence to them.

Most of my friends have young kids so we’re not in the going out drinking phase anymore (or not often anyway) and are far more likely to converse via whatsapp, messenger or FB from our respective sofas these days. But I sometimes feel friendships are neglected.

And surely instead of wasting time running, swimming or cycling, I should be cleaning. Or tidying. Or cooking homemade culinary delights… 😂

The list could go on and on… A police car behind me in traffic, someone lost and I can’t help with directions, a work question I don’t know the answer to, accepting help when a friend helps me out, even going out when the babysitter arrives on running nights…So many random things!

And I wonder, what causes this? No doubt some smarty pants will say I must have a guilty conscience… But really?? About what?!!!

Anyway, I’ve kind of rambled on a bit and written this in between afternoon tea with friends, dealing with snotty, teary, clingy kids and baking a disastrous chocolate cake (which of course I feel guilty about having wasted ingredients!).. So much so in fact, that I kind of lost the point… Which actually was….

What really puzzles me is why? Rationally I cannot be responsible for everything..

And my brother is virtually the polar opposite of me being so utterly chilled out about everything that I wonder if he’s ever experienced feeling remotely stressed in his entire life!

How can two people, from the same parents, be so completely and utterly different?
Will L & F be similar or chalk & cheese (I already have ideas on that one!)?

Are you similar to your siblings?
Are you close in spite of massive differences or because of them?
Do women feel guilt more than men?
Why does becoming a parent exacerbate this even further?!!

If you’re still here, thanks for reading today’s rambling musings!!


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