Friday, October 14, 2005

My Mommy Guilt Therapy

I finally realized something and I need to share with you. It was almost like an epiphany, but not quite. Sitting at Girl's basketball game last night (more on that later), PC and I were chatting with the other parents there and catching up on summers, falls, comparing notes on our older children's new high school experiences when the conversations took a turn at the intersection of Sports and MommyGuilt. A mother, D., leaned over and inquired, "Do you ever feel like you are 'shirking your duties', so to speak, if you can't make it to every sports event that the kids play? I mean, there are SO many games and if we go to them all, we have no time with the rest of our family or for doing other things that need to get done, let alone spending time 'with me'."

It was then that the lightbulb went on! DING! Wow! What a concept! I turned to D. and replied, "You know, I used to feel just awful and have so much guilt about missing things. I've always felt it to be such a key in our children's development to be there for them as much as possible and, supporting them at their events is definitely included in that. This year, though, I think I've lightened up a little on that theory. Don't get me wrong, I still think it's HUGE for our children to have us behind them and to support them, but that doesn't mean that we need to get to every single game, especially when they play 80 games, minimum, not counting playoffs and extra tournaments, in one season." Wow! Did that just come out of MY mouth? The Queen of MommyGuilt? Holy cow! I went on to explain to D. how horrible I would feel when I had to miss something, even if there was a legitimate reason, a conflict with an activity for another of my children. I told her how it just doesn't have that hold on me anymore.

This is when your therapist looks up from the notepad and says, "Mrs. MommyGuilt, I think we've had a breakthrough!"


Julie said...

I think you've got it! They'll not only survive, but will be ok if you aren't at all the games. You need some "me" time too! :)

I remember not liking it when my mom showed up to my gymnastics meets--I always did better when she wasn't there. I think I was probably pretty unusual that way, though.

PM said...

No S***, Sherlock! It's only taken how many years for you to reach this revelation?!!!! The world won't come to an end because mommy isn't there. There's only so much time in a day and the kids don't own it all, contrary to popular belief. Nothing is more freeing than we the light bulb finally turns on. They love you know matter what because, not in spite of, your being their MOM.

Love you.