By Stephanie Pappas of snackdinner
Right now I’m feeling guilty.
Guilty that I grabbed you too roughly to put you back into bed at 3 AM.
Guilty that we never have enough produce.
Guilty that there are five kinds of sugar cereal in the house.
Guilty that I’ve taken to wearing a new “uniform” of your dad’s old undershirts because I can’t take another load of laundry right now or make a clear space to store it.
Guilty that I let you eat cake for breakfast because I was too tired to take it away from you once you’d pushed a stepstool to the counter to retrieve it.
Guilty that I was too tired, stressed, and unshowered to take a cranky you to the park.
Guilty that, in my desperation to take a shower after two days and a vomit-filled night, I didn’t see the pill box within reach on the bathroom counter.
Guilty that I blamed your dad for leaving it out, even though it could easily have been either of us.
Guilty that there’s a whole drawer of other meds that needs to be kid-proofed.
Guilty that I let you have my phone to look at trains and that you are now watching Amazon advertisements for off-brand locomotives.
Guilty that lunch today was a handful of rainbow carrots you wouldn’t eat, a wedge of pear, and a juice box.
Guilty that I haven’t dusted in two months.
Guilty that you were in your PJs until 3:30.
Guilty that I forgot to buy socks with the grippy bottoms and now you keep slipping on the floor.
Guilty that you don’t have lots of other little kids to play with.
Guilty that I have to feed you protein shakes to keep weight on you.
Guilty that I don’t tell you when I’m happy, only when I’m tired, or frustrated, or angry, or sad.
Guilty that you know the name of every Thomas train, but won’t say your aunts’ and uncles’ names.
Guilty that we don’t see your grandparents enough.
Guilty that we keep wasting money on tiny sips of milk from boxes purchased at Starbucks because I can’t ever manage to have a clean travel cup available.
Guilty that you are eating way too many free cookies from the grocery store.
Guilty that I’m doing so little to improve the world you will inherit.
Guilty that I waited all afternoon for you to fall asleep so that I could get to work and then spent all of my work time panicked because you fell asleep in the stroller with a bag of Skittles in your hand and what if I counted them wrong and one is still in your mouth?
Guilty that I ignored your request to play in order to look at toddler shoes in the next size up.
Guilty that instead of having you help me make dinner, I gave you a new toy to keep your hands out of the pesto.
Guilty that you have so many “boy” toys, not because you want them or because other people keep buying them for you but because they’re the toys I’d rather play with.
Guilty that I keep squashing your independence at teeth-brushing time.
Guilty that even my brushing, punctuated by your vigorous protests, is probably doing nothing against tooth decay.
Guilty that the recycling has been overflowing for two weeks so the garbage is full of empty wine bottles and juice boxes.
Guilty that I yelled at you when you were still up at 11:00 saying, “I need one hug and one kiss.”
Guilty that I’m so looking forward to kindergarten when every other mom I see on social media is weeping about it.
Guilty that I know something will happen tomorrow to make me feel guilty again.
This post was originally published on snackdinner.
About the Author
Stephanie Loomis Pappas is a professor turned stay-at-home parent committed to debunking all of the bad parenting advice on the internet. She started snackdinner.com to remind Googling parents that whatever they’re doing, they’re doing just fine. You can find snackdinner on facebook @snackdinner and instagram @trysnackdinner.