Guilt: Particularly Mom Guilt

This week has been a shitshow of epic proportions. School is a disaster. I have no patience left for anyone by, oh, I don’t know, third period? My toddler is frustratingly, annoyingly, independent: and regressing on potty training. My students are being entitled brats. My husband, lord help him, is bearing the brunt of my frustrations for the littlest infractions. One of my cats is sick. And yesterday it felt like everything came to a head.

Tuesday night was shit. I had a makeup event (fucking snow days!) that I had to be at for school, plus grad school homework, and a bad day in the classroom. I was angry with my husband. And noticed that my child had THREE accidents at daycare. Last week there was a day where he had FIVE at daycare, six total. Both days he also had ginormous poops, so my daycare provider thought maybe a probiotic or something to help with that would help.

Mind you, this kid is supposed to be fully potty trained so he can go to three-year old daycare this summer.

Anyhow, I go to pick The Monster up yesterday, and my daycare provider goes…”I’m starting to worry about preschool this summer” because he had multiple accidents, again. I agreed. Tried to talk to her a little about it as Mr. Impatient himself was trying to get to the car. He refused to say goodbye to our provider, but tried to run back in when I tried to take him outside. I buckled my screaming child into the carseat, where he screamed, cried, and fucking shrieked until midway on our drive home.

Well, I had to go to the store, because of fucking course I did. But I forgot my wallet, because, again, of fucking course I did. So we ran home, I left him in the car when I ran inside to grab the wallet and all way fine.

Until we got to the store and he demanded we use a cart. No. We need one thing. So we compromised with a basket. I didn’t find what I needed so I said we were going, he said we had to get food. I picked up my screaming toddler, and left the store. Embarrassed, because I live in a small town and there were parents of students, coworkers, and neighbors at the store.

Of fucking course.

Being frustrated and living six blocks from the store…I just put him in the front seat with me, rather than wrangle him into the carseat. Mistake number one.

Note: 2017 Ford Explorers passenger doors open when the lever is pulled, even when the car has been locked.

So…my child is attempting to open the door. I braked, grabbed his arm, and pulled him back. Hitting the brake in the process, and his head slamming into the dash…

Because of one small mistake.

He’s fine. I moved him into the backseat. Called my husband. Called my mom bawling that I probably shouldn’t have one kid, let alone another one.

He has a goose egg, but didn’t further express any pain or discomfort. And really…the kid has the hardest fucking head. Trust me, it came out of my vagina and has met with my head a time or a million in the past nearly three years.

I talked to my mom about all my parenting frustrations, particularly the potty training regression. She reminded me that in the past two weeks we’ve made progress for baby 2’s arrival, including rearranging G’s room and putting the crib up. And that’s probably a factor. My stress due to grad school and my students and school are also things that he picks up on.

Obviously the guilt I feel about my kid’s head is tangible: I mean, I really feel like I should have called CPS on myself, I fucked up, made the wrong choice in a moment of weakness.

But the more pressing guilt comes from being a working mom who chose to go back to school, taking time away from my husband and child. And education isn’t a field where what happens at work stays at the office, it comes home with me often in the worst ways.

And I feel so guilty about the choice my husband and I made to have another child, because it’s very much affecting G, and I’m more afraid that come June, everything is going to fall apart. I worry that G will hate his little brother, I worry that he’ll resent him, me, his dad, every one. I worry that he’ll backtrack even further in potty training. I worry that he’ll hurt the baby.

And, yeah, I feel guilty about all of it.

Any mom who says she doesn’t feel this overwhelming sense of guilt has to be full of shit. I recognize that mine is more sickening often because of my anxiety and the fact that I replay it all over, and over, and over in my head. But…

My child isn’t getting the best of me. He isn’t getting his best mom. And that’s hard as fuck for me to accept. (Realistically, no one is getting my best me at this moment: I’m phoning in grad school, my students are dealing with a sassy and over their shit teacher, as well as one who is substantially behind in grading. My husband gets…nothing, really.) I don’t know how to make it better. I read the books, the posts, but G isn’t those kids, so that’s a factor too.

Mom guilt is a real thing. I’ve never been a stay at home mom, so I can’t speak for that, but I can say that the guilt I feel as a working mom, as a teacher mom, is massive. I feel selfish every time my students get more of me than G does. I feel selfish for going to grad school. I feel guilty because I’ve missed milestone moments while he was at daycare. Because he slips and calls me Jenna. Because, honestly, my daycare provider did most of the potty training to date. Because it’s fucking hard, you guys to wear these hats, bear these loads, and not completely lose a sense of myself in the process.

I want to be the blog that has great suggestions and advice for these overwhelming situations, but today, this morning as I’m writing this at 5:30, I don’t have any wise words, advice, or even inspiring words.

I have guilt, frustrations, and a feeling of sadness. Because this isn’t who I wanted to be. This isn’t how I pictured myself as a teacher, a mom, a wife.

Maybe in a couple days I can come back with some distance and offer advice…or you, the darling people who chose to read my word vomits, can offer some to me instead.

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