Post on Facebook this morning: “What was I thinking? It’s always Mom’s fault. I should have stayed in bed!”
I feel my friend’s pain. It is always mom’s fault. No matter what the problem, especially in the morning. If there is a problem, mishap or a disaster in another country, it is inevitably mom who has caused it.
I have heard, “You didn’t wash my (fill in the blank),” or “You didn’t sign (fill in the blank)” so many times I’ve long lost count.
If something is missing, mom put it where it couldn’t be found.
If someone is late, mom didn’t get them ready in time.
If someone is hungry, mom didn’t prepare the right food.
If someone is irritable, mom did something to cause it.
In short, mom can’t win.
If a woman stays at home with her children, she feels guilty for denying the family income. If she works a 40-hour job and is exhausted at the end of the day, she feels guilty for frozen dinners or fast food instead of hot, home-cooked meals. If she works part-time, heaven help her.
She supposedly has enough time for EVERYTHING! These are the women who are room mothers, soccer coaches, Sunday School teachers, field trip chaperones, grocery shoppers, house cleaners, pet sitters and bread winners. Whew! It all makes me tired.
I remember a conversation with my second daughter soon after the birth of her son. We were talking about expectations placed on young mothers in today’s society. My comment to her was, “Welcome to the world of motherhood guilt.” I was teasing, sort of. I don’t want her to fall victim to the ridiculous perfectionist demands of magazines and TV. I would love to lift the cover off the mother-mystic and just tell all these young girls to be real. We do the best we can with what we have.
I heard a woman talking about a friend who had just had a baby. I knew nothing about the family or situation, but I did hear this part of the conversation as she rudely talked on her cell phone in public:
“No, she doesn’t understand that a new baby has no idea when and how much it needs to eat. She needs to be waking him up every two hours no matter what to feed him. He has to eat every two hours and somebody needs to make sure she knows that!”
Oh brother! I don’t even need to comment on how I feel about waking a sleeping baby to feed him. This friend was probably oblivious to the guilt she was spreading so freely on this new (probably sleep deprived) mother. Doesn’t she realize this baby will remind his mother when he is 12 that she didn’t wake him up every two hours to eat? And somehow his intelligence, growth or athletic ability has been impaired due to her neglect.
Poor girl doesn’t stand a chance.