I feel guilty for being a mother.
Let me explain.
When I’m with a bunch of mothers, the conversation inevitably turns to either pregnancy, labour, or babies. I sit quietly until I’m asked about any of the three aforementioned topics. I can see the disbelief and proverbial daggers form when I relate how I wasn’t sick when I was pregnant, how my labour was drug-free and short, and how my son was sleeping through the night at four months. Apparently, I’m an anomaly. You’re supposed to heave your insides for the first three months. You’re supposed have sleepless nights with a wailing infant. You’re supposed to have a long, hard labour that makes you tell your husband that you’re going to kill him for doing this to you. But, none of that occurred (the labour did hurt but I only pushed for half an hour). Other than an allergy to shellfish (which went away after my son’s birth), my pregnancy was pretty uneventful. Oh, did I mention that I didn’t need stitches and lost the thirty pounds I had gained in six months? Yeah, I’m a freak of nature. As my sister would say, “That’s SOOO not fair!”. I’M SORRY!
On “Sesame Street” they have that song about differences – “One of these things is not like the other. Come on, can you tell me which one?”. Yeah, I feel like that sometimes with other mothers. It’s as if morning sickness, an episiotomy, or twenty hours of labour would induct me into some special mommies’ club. I’M SORRY!
I also feel guilty when I see other mothers having trouble with their children at the mall. Their kids are howling something fierce while the poor mom is pulling out her hair and praying for the Lord to give her the strength not to commit infanticide. There I am, with my heels and skinny jeans, sipping my latte while my son looks on with a look that can only be described as bemusement. Except for that one instance of projectile poo, my son hasn’t given me any trouble. I’M SORRY!
My son isn’t at that stage yet where he has separation anxiety issues. Or maybe he is and has decided that he doesn’t need me. Wah! When we go to family parties, I can pass him off to someone and actually leave the room. He’s fine like that. I get a twinge when I hear someone say, “You’re so good. My kid won’t leave me alone”. I’M SORRY!
I remember an episode of “Jon and Kate Plus 8” where they talked about the birth of the sextuplets. Although they were in the NICU for a few months, they were fine. Kate said that she felt guilty for having six beautiful healthy babies when some parents didn’t have one. That’s an extreme case, but I can somehow relate. Having a healthy baby is truly a blessing. My heart goes out to those parents who care for a sick child.
So, as good as my son is right now, I know that it may not always be the case. My husband and I joke is that our next child will have to be the devil incarnate. After all, there has to be balance in nature.