Kids sure have a way of (figuratively) punching you right in the gut when you least expect it, don't they? Their unassuming words can wash a blanket of guilt right over you in nothing flat. And before you know it, you're feeling like the suckiest parent in the world and saving your pennies for the future therapy that your kid will inevitably need thanks to you.
Yes, sometimes, even when you dedicate over 98% of your day to your children, it's still apparently not enough. My daughter pointed this very fact out to me one night last week while tucking her into bed. She was beyond tired and cranky and ready for sleep, and she blurted out an accusation so stinging that she might as well have stabbed me right in the heart. Through a haze of tears and snot, she said, "You like your computer more than you like me." Ugh. That REALLY hurt.
Given that writing is my passion and that my ultimate goal is, in fact, to write a book some day, I am on my computer a decent amount of the time. And yeah, I like to hop on my Facebook and my Twitter here and there to keep me in check with the adult world since Phineas and Ferb are swirling around the background of my home 24/7. And even though I know deep down in my heart that I bend over backwards and forwards to make my kids happy whenever I possibly can, my daughter's weepy insinuation totally made me question every single one of my parenting skills. I couldn't help but think, "Have I been a bad mom?"
I swallowed the ginormous lump that was trying to take over my throat and told my daughter that I would choose her over my computer any old day and promised that I would try to be more "present" for her from now on. Naturally, she drifted off to Dreamland without so much as even a second thought, but I, however, stewed over this guilt all night long. Why, as parents, do we do this to ourselves??!! NOBODY is perfect (not even you, June Cleaver!), yet we kick our own asses over not being the perfect mom or the perfect dad.
SO HOW DO WE PUT THE BRAKES ON THE GUILT????