Motherhood and guilt

I had a perfectly lovely Mother’s Day weekend! No cooking required!  Saturday morning we got breakfast sandwiches from Tim Horton’s, and then dinner was takeout from one of my favourite Caribbean restaurants followed by a mini Blizzard!  I actually jumped for joy!  Then Sunday was a spectacular brunch on Granville Island with friends.  We had an outside table overlooking the harbour – it couldn’t have been a more beautiful day weather wise.  Warm – ah! – the lovely sunshine, mimosas and a nearby grassy knoll for the kids to run off their steam.   And finally sushi for dinner and wow – Dairy Queen ice cream cake!  Whee! So much for the budget this weekend. Hubby warned me about the cost of the brunch (my friend’s hubby made the reservations so of course, it was a matter of saving face) and I did have a mini-rant.  But I suppose I’m worth it.

Then I woke up Monday in a snit cause it was back to my “work week”, guilt took over after pigging out all weekend and the kid was in full whine mode.  He seems to have problems transitioning between fun weekends with Daddy and then the horrible woman who wants to change his diaper, make him eat, and go to activities all on her timetable.

Good news is that I actually dropped him off at his All On My Own Class! It’s a class for 2 year olds to learn to play with their peers independent of their parents.   Victory!  This after two weeks of sitting in the mummy chair in the corner because he would have meltdowns if I tried to leave.  90 minutes of sheer giddy freedom!  Except this time, I realized I had misplaced my phone and I ran back to the car hoping to find it inside on the seat only to see it on the ROAD!  And of course, they were paving the main road in the middle of the freaking day and there were no right turns except where the community centre was so of course, 50 cars had probably DRIVEN OVER IT!!!!  I picked up it, the protective hard case still intact but the screen smashed.  REALLY smashed.  I drove to the Telus dealer who tried to download the data unsuccessfully and handed me a card to a repair store.  That was it.  Thanks for nothing.  My beloved Galaxy Nexus.  They wanted $500 if I wanted a new phone.  Yeah, I was fucked.  Of course, it was then that I noticed the sign for the extra protection plan they had. Insurance for your phone that I’m damn sure DH would not have taken.

Well, I had time to pick up a coffee and head back to pick up the kid.  I had had glorious plans to walk to the nearest Starbucks to work on my study material for a Buddhist meeting.  At least my laptop is still working.  My other lifeline.  For a while there, I thought it was toast – the fan was making aircraft noises and I feared the worst.  Seems like something was rolling around in there, hubby fiddled with it, blow compressed air into the ventilation holes,  even tried to take the cover off and get to the fan, but that didn’t work out very well. I switched it to eco utility – to save power – and somehow the noise went away.  Oh, my laptop is my work and also my companion.  Of course, hubby said we’d get a new one cause I needed it for work.  Frankly, it would have been cheaper than a new smartphone. Sigh, you know, I never NEEDED a smartphone until I got one.

Needless to say I chanted for my phone.  Hubby is going to take it to see if it can be saved.

Anyway…. at the brunch, one of the women in attendance  is 5 months pregnant.  So I chatted with her and asked how her pregnancy was going, and how complete strangers will now invade her life to talk about her child.    I nodded my head and smiled, not knowing a bloody thing of course about being pregnant, other than hearsay.  No, I did not touch her belly, I’m not really into that.  I have only touched one pregnant belly in my whole life and that was a close friend and only for a brief moment.  Then when the other women chimed in about pregnancy, I withdrew from the conversation.  It was a little like the old days, that awkward moment that even as a mother now, I can’t relate to.  But it’s only that, awkward, and everyone knows my story so they didn’t go on and on.  Not a big deal.  Not anymore.

I was more verklempt because my own mum was not there. I was going to go see her later, but it never happened. I just sat in the backyard with my kid and a glass of wine and watched him play.  I could have left and driven downtown to see her briefly before dinner but I didn’t.  I could have gone after the kid went to sleep.  But I didn’t.   I had seen her on Friday and Saturday and brought her a musical card and sang to her while I greased her hair and cut it.  She was so agitated (ie. loud keening noises and a bad mood) that the nurse couldn’t even give her the medication to calm her.  I managed to do it a few minutes later after she finally begrudgingly relented.   I sang Bridge Over Troubled Water to her.  She used to sing that to me when I was a child.  It soothed her.  She chimed in, and for a brief moment, her strong voice came back.  That was our time, just me and her.  The days of fancy lunches and drinks and presents are done.  It’s tough.  This dementia thing, it’s a bitch.  I’m not sure about what kind of life a person has living like that.  Yes, it’s life and it’s sacred, but really, to see her like that…..   It’s been 8 years, I’ve never not been with her on Mother’s Day until this year.  I felt guilty but I am trying to let it go. She’d want me to be with my family, but she’s my family too.  And that’s precisely why I didn’t make it to see her on the actual day.  I KNEW it would just gut me.  I just wanted a pleasant day with just twinges of guilt rather than a depressing and sad end to my nice day.

Oh, man, what is it about motherhood that makes guilt such a regular occurrence in life.  The why can’t I just be the perfect mother and daughter and wife and wage earner thing.  Bah, there is no such creature, but we keep trying to be somehow.  Or is it just me?

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10 thoughts on “Motherhood and guilt

  1. I am so sorry about your mom. That must be so hard.

    Motherhood and guilty go together like peanutbutter and jelly, don’t they? I’m trying to break the cycle, but it’s hard.

    I love the way you write about your life. It’s so authentic: I have a hard time finding other bloggers who write about the great, the mediocre and the bad so honestly.

    • Thank you so much for the compliment. Yeah, sometimes my mum’s condition gets me down, I think sometimes it’s just that even while I am grown, I just want my mum to take care of me.

      • I totally get that. Dh is great (well, most of the time, lol) but sometimes I still just want my mommy when I’m feeling sick or upset about something. (And I know how lucky I am that she is still here — even if she is not here-here close by me.)

        I can remember going to visit my grandparents with my mom when I was in university (when she & Grandma were probably about the same ages we are now, yikes!), before my grandma’s dementia started kicking in, & Grandma had made my mom’s favourite chicken & dumplings. And thinking about them then as mother & daughter, not so much in relation to me. I guess we all like having our moms fuss over us, no matter how old we are.

  2. Holy crap. Right up until your phone got the crap kicked out of it I almost thought this was going to be the best couple days in a while for you!!

    There is no such perfect creature. You try, sometimes succeed sometimes fail. Shit happens.

  3. Everyone NEEDS a smart phone!!!!! Or it could just be us, but I’m betting it’s everyone.
    Sorry about your mom. When my Grandma finally got to the point my grandfather could not care for her anymore, she was put into a care home. I visited her once. That’s it. One time. It was by far the most depressing thing ever, especially since she had no idea who the heck I was. I never intended to stay away, it just of happened. And then she was gone and I don’t get the chance to change the past.
    You spend an incredible amount of time caring for your mom – be it in person or the behind the scenes stuff. While I fully comprehend where you are coming from, I think 1 day to bask in the role of mom yourself isn’t too much to ask for. You spent a long time trying to get here and I have no doubt she wouldn’t begrudge you that.
    And I will agree with you & everyone else – that perfect creature does not exist. We do the best we can, then we open a bottle of wine.

    • Thank you. For sharing with me and all that you said. Whenever I consider asking a friend to come with me to the home, the first thing I think of is do they have the maturity to be there with me? Could they take it? It felt a little selfish for me to just “bask in the role of mom”, but I did appreciate just being able to accept the good times (and good food) without all the stress.

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