Monday 19 September 2011

The guilt tag

Sumana of TinynLittle tagged me to write about the guilt trips that I have, as a mom. (Thanks, Sumana!). The first thing to note is that mommy guilt can be good. Yup, you heard that right. Mommy guilt is good because it effectively wipes out all the other kinds of guilt, because there is no time/mindspace to feel guilty about anything else (*crazy slightly hysterical hyena-like laughter here*). I don't remember the last time I felt guilty about digging into my nth portion of some sinful dessert, or not exercising, or taking care of my health, or being rude to random strangers :))
Sigh. When life revolves around one or two or more short people, then even the guilt revolves only around and about them and their little concerns. The tag says that I have to:
1.Write about 2 instances where you have put yourself before your child/ children… been a wee bit selfish.
2.How did you feel? Did you feel a pang of guilt or were you comfortable?
3.Tag 2 more moms.
Here goes.
1. I felt very very guilty when I enrolled Y in playschool when she was just 20 months old. I didn't have much of a choice since I was speeding towards writing my exams in a few months and I simply needed 3-4 hours in the day to study. I'm fundamentally opposed to putting my kids in the charge of a maid/nanny, who in all likelihood would be untrained, unwashed and uninterested. I preferred Y to be in a school environment, with trained teachers, a safe secure place for her to play and plenty of other kids to interact with and learn from. The fact that he school in Noida was a 5 min walk away and a truly fantastic place made me feel better about the decision. But yes, if I wasn't studying at that point, she probably would have stayed home with me for another year or so. I wrote about all the decision-making and associated angst, here.
2. I feel guilty every single day when I lose my temper, not for legit reasons, but simply because I'm impatient, irrational, too darn tired to deal with the situation in a mature adult-like manner. When I scream and completely lose it and throw a tantrum and then expect my kids NOT to do the same, the scene appears to my mind's eye as farcical, absurd and so hypocritical. I always feel more guilty when I do this with Y, because, unlike Ads, she doesn't always cry. All she does is look at me with those big brown eyes through her glasses, her lower lip trembling ominously, sometimes a thin film of unshed tears wavering on her eyelid. She doesn't allow the tears to fall and at that moment, I have to control myself from throwing myself at her feet and abjectly begging for forgiveness :( 
So these are my guilt trips. Of anyone who's reading this wants to take up the tag, please consider yourself tagged and drop me a note. I'd love to read what other mommies feel guilty about!


  1. I am also very guilty of losing my temper at R when I could have dealt with the issue better. Patience is something even motherhood could not heap on me..:-(

  2. Hmm - interesting - how I wrote pretty much the same thing - I feel guilty about my temper in front of the kids.
    How old are your kids? Ads is 6 and your daughter?..

  3. @Noon: My daughter will turn 3 in 2 months.

  4. The guilt trap, it seems Aparna, starts with mommyhood and continues through out life. :))
    I used to feel this more earlier, but now, since I am doing more from heart than due to any other obligation, I feel a lot more relaxed and satisfied.

    Having said that, the monster still visits once in a while - sometimes it's justified, sometimes not.

    I think, feeling the guilt pang, when its justified, is good. because, that's the only way we will introspect, reflect and improve ourselves.
    I too think that losing my temper with my kid is the worst thing I can do to her. And, if I ever do that, the guilt is bound to happen. Or rather, it better happen because, I think if I would not yell at an adult, I have no right to yell at the little one. They deserve all the respect that any adult deserves.
    As I'm writing this, it's more of a reminder to myself, Aparna.

    Very genuine, heartfelt post.

  5. Thanks Rashmie, your point is well-taken. I have to say i have come a long way from 6 years ago in terms of maturity, patience and wisdom...its a journey that will continue till my dying day!


I would love to hear your thoughts :)