So, the guilt beast showed up this week with guns blazing. I’ve been feeling pretty great lately about our family, and that guilt bastard sniffed out my confidence and was like, “WHOAH, THERE SISTER. It’s been a while since I’ve whacked you with mom guilt. My bad. Here you go.”
Guilt’s a punk.
Today, Gracie had a spaghetti lunch for parents in her classroom. Chris and I have known about this for a few weeks now, and since it is really hard for him to get across town in the middle of the work day to her preschool, we decided I would put in for half a day off of work and go eat some pasta with my best girl. Only thing was, when I put in for the time away, I completely forgot that it was on a standardized testing day at our school. Which is an all hands on deck kind of day, and no teacher absences are approved (except emergencies and illnesses and such).
But in the business of our last week, Chris and I never really touched base again about the lunch until last night, when our discussion went something like this:
“I can’t go tomorrow. Did I tell you that?”
“No, you didn’t tell me that.”
“Well, can you go instead?”
“No, I can’t go instead.”
Which meant that at 7:30 this morning, we were explaining to a very excited Gracie that we wouldn’t be able to attend her spaghetti lunch, but I promised to fix a huge spaghetti dinner at our house that night. Then she cried. Then I dropped her off at daycare. Then I cried.
Guilt’s a punk ass.
When I picked Gracie up from school today, her teacher and Gracie both informed me that Gracie was one of only three kids in her class without parents present at the lunch.
Guilt’s a punk ass bitch.
After picking the kids up, we went straight to the grocery store and I let Gracie run my bill up to $30 so that we could have the EXACT SAME dinner as she had for lunch. We even spent 15 minutes looking for these obscure little cookies that they had at the school lunch. But we found it all and I paid a stupid amount of money for a spaghetti dinner at home. BUT I DIDN’T EVEN CARE BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, GUILT.
So, we get home and I am running my mouth a mile a minute, talking away to Gracie about how good our spaghetti dinner was going to be and how excited I was to eat spaghetti with her and all this other stupid stuff that was really just guilt talking. And the whole time, Gracie is playing with her Shopkins and barely even acknowledging me. Then, in my head, the guilt is making me think, “She’s icing me out! She’s icing me out because I’m a terrible mother! I’m going to be estranged from my daughter at five-years-old!”
Guilt’s a _______________ (I would say more, but this is a family blog and I’m pretty sure I came close to crossing the line already with the “punk ass bitch” comment, so just use your imagination…).
Now, on Tuesday nights, we have both baseball and Cub Scouts. It’s a packed afternoon in our house. Normally, we do a quick dinner or maybe even eat in shifts. But tonight I INSISTED that we all sit down together and eat a big spaghetti dinner with Gracie. And then, in true Katie fashion, I made a way bigger production out of it than it needed to be.
Everyone gathers around the table, but because we had to eat so darn early in order to make it to baseball and Cub Scouts, no one was hungry. And because I was pushing everyone to be happy and celebrate this FANTASTIC ($30) SPAGHETTI DINNER, no one was really speaking because I think they were a little freaked out by my manic conversations about how AWESOME this spaghetti tasted. Oh my gosh, had you EVER tasted spaghetti this good?!
After 15 minutes, Chris and Bean declared they just weren’t hungry and headed off to baseball. Gracie and I sat at the table for a few minutes more before she said, “Mommy, I don’t really like spaghetti. Can I go play with my Shopkins?” And then she ran off.
I was left sitting at the dinner table by myself, with my overkill, fake, guilt-laden spaghetti dinner and I realized something. Guilt makes you feel like everyone is expecting something from you, when in reality, no one else even cares. Yes, I was disappointed that I didn’t get to go to Gracie’s luncheon and I know that she was, too. But she bounced back probably before her spaghetti lunch was over. By the time I picked her up from school, she didn’t even remember having a spaghetti lunch.
Guilt is weird, man. It’s like this heavy stone you carry on your shoulders that makes you hunch over and walk slowly. Only, no one else can see that stone. So instead, people are just looking at you like, “Why’s that woman walking so weird?”
Guilt’s a punk.