Write a blog post inspired by the word “guilty.”
Ah, mom guilt. It’s palpable. It bubbles up and comes out your pores and there’s no use in trying; you can’t stop it.
On Monday, we missed basketball. It’s my job to take the wee one because he plays a half hour before his brother. I just need to pick him up, get him there, give him a snack, change him into shorts and sneaks and then watch him from the tiny little viewing window upstairs above the gym. It’s become a highlight of my week, to be honest. But this week, there was a server issue at work coupled with hideous traffic and by the time I picked him up, it was not only impossible to get where we needed to go on time, but I also pulled in 15 minutes after daycare had actually closed for the day (read: more guilt).
It’s been a busy week. Those happen all the time. But I’m certain that played a role in what happened next. All of my to-dos started choking me and I looked in the rear-view mirror at my little dude who loves playing basketball but was heading home instead, and I just started sobbing. The look on his face told me immediately that he didn’t know why I was crying. Even if I explained it to him in the best detail possible, he wouldn’t understand until he was one-day a parent himself. I apologized through my tears and he said the only thing he could: “It’s OK, mummy.” And somehow, weirdly, his sweetness amidst my mental collapse only served to make me feel more guilty.
It was a sunny evening though, so we salvaged it with a great bike ride (people-vs.-bike races, actually, in which I was the people). I knew, deep down, that it was just one day, one basketball practice, that he was just as happy biking as he would’ve been playing basketball for 30 minutes. But knowing and feeling are two distinctly different things and it’s the latter that controls my waterworks.
Thanks, as always, to Mama Kat for the writer’s prompt.