Day 21 : Guilt?

22 Jan

Like most moms, I have a certain amount of mommy guilt. Its part of the job description, sadly enough. Usually when I am sane, I try to guard against it and am confident that I am doing my ultimate best to raise Bandar , and if that is not enough, well then so be it. But then when I am in guilt mode, its a never ending stream – picking up Bandar even five minutes late, not buying organic fruits for her on a grocery shopping trip, a harsh  word when I am putting her to sleep,not giving her enough attention in the evenings when she is home and so on.Even within my small friend circle of moms, I do know that almost every mom goes on similar guilt trips. I guess that at the end of the day , as long as the non guilty and confident moments outweigh the guilty , negative ones, all is good.

A surprising thing I noticed off late though, is I feel another kind of guilt, not Bandar or being-a-mom related at all . I even feel weird putting this into words, buts it’s guilt related to being a wife almost. Let me try to explain this a little.

So for over the last year, I am usually the one who drops Bandar at school, picks her up , gets a full day of office work done and somehow gets food on the table or lunchboxes for all the meals. Of course, when I travel for work, which is about 25 days in a year, the husbadoo does all this. He also is only happy to help on normal days when I can’t get some of this done and I guess that is what marriage is about, isn’t it? . But now here is the weird thing – when I can’t do some of this, and request help from the husbadoo, I feel this intense feeling of guilt. Almost like an inner voice telling me -“You dropped the ball on this. And this should be your job.”On majority of the days when I get all this done, I almost feel triumphant and joyous when I get to bed at night . My day’s  checklist is simple –  good day of office work, meals on time, Bandar school pick up-drop duty, lunch boxes planned /packed.

So for about a week now, the husbadoo has changed his schedule slightly such that he is the one who drops Bandar to school. I relinquished this duty without saying much. It let me get a slightly earlier start to my work day, which is working out well in fact. But today evening when I had a work deadline that I thought I couldn’t make and pick up Bandar on time, I gave the husbadoo a call and he agreed to go and get her on time. I however followed it up with various questions – Is it going to disturb your work, is it going to be inconvenient for you and so on. I apologized a few times to ask him in the very last minutes. He replied no to all of this, and said he didn’t mind at all .He probably even looked forward to getting some time with his daughter.But what I did was that I finished my office work in a whirlwind of activity and rang him up soon after, telling him not to go and then I ran to get her at the right time. All for what?So that I had the satisfaction of doing my bit?The small task of the pick up duty  as I had already given up the dropping off duty? I really don’t know why I am this silly. Who keeps score like that in a marriage partnership?

Then take food. The husbadoo is a very non demanding husband even at his worst. He won’t care if dinner isn’t ready or even planned, he will volunteer to cook, he will figure out something to order, he will make us yummy sandwiches – you get the drift. But yesterday, I had planned to make Pad Thai for dinner. I had most of the pre work done. The only thing left was to chop the spring onions and suatee everything together. I had to get Bandar to bed at 8 pm and felt terribly guilty when I realized that the husbadoo would have to do the chopping. (Sauteeing I felt less bad about, as we usually stir fry together, but its me who usually gets the prep all done before hand). Again, it was the familiar voice telling me that I was getting my husband to do something that wasn’t part of the deal. I had committed to making dinner , hadn’t I?And failed. Anyway needless to say he got the job done and well at that and served me my Pad Thai restaurant style.

There are some tasks that I never commit to – like I never commit to keeping the house clean. Our house is usually messy at the end of the day, and I don’t feel an ounce of guilt about that!  I am not a cleaner I think in my head. That is the hsubadoo’s job or a joint deal on the weekends. But I am the grocery shopper most of the time, and I will feel awful if I ask the husbadoo to get something back from the store or multiple stores on his way back home . ( I myself will happily go to multiple stores to get what I need)

I have an extremely supportive, helpful spouse and like to think I am a fairly empowered women. I know I don’t have to be able to do everything I commit to on the domestic front. I won’t get fired like at work for dropping the ball , sometimes or even frequently for that matter, or asking for help. It’s not because I am a lovely , doting wife and can’t bear her husband to do some extra tasks. If you see me and the husbadoo fighting like cats and dogs , you will be convinced of that!  It is more about my sense of fairness and something about not sticking to my end of the bargain in this relationship

Well, that is all there is really to say as I end this.In a nutshell –  I feel some weird sort of guilt when I can’t do some basic daily activities occasionally. The solution is maybe as simple as picking up one of the  tasks that I mentally call the “husbadoo’s”  small jobs – like cleaning the living room, on days that he does one of “my” chores and call it even!

8 Responses to “Day 21 : Guilt?”

  1. More than words January 22, 2015 at 8:21 am #

    I was sooo like you till a few years back !! Repeated telling myself and the hubby telling me finally worked its magic 🙂 … Just relax !! Like you said he is a good guy… And marriage is about working as a team… A little slip doesnt hurt…. Iam sure you wouldnt mind if one day he asks you to do something that he normally does… If in your head thats fair then why put the added pressure on yourself….
    As for mommy guilt, i think we are all stuck with it…. No matter what or how much we do, it never meets our own expectations !!

    • popgoesthebiscuit January 22, 2015 at 11:11 am #

      Smiled reading this comment. Ya, I don’t mind picking up the slack , and he doesn’t either….all in my head

  2. srividhya January 22, 2015 at 11:05 am #

    Just relax. Everyone goes through this… I stopped this organic thingy loooong back. Kiddo h hubby doesn’t demand much but I feel guilty for that also instead of being happy. Am I not doing enough is that why they don’t expect??? Hubby gets free lunch at work. But still I pack for 3 days even when says no.. if I don’t do that I feel guilty. sighhhh
    As I mentioned in one my post, except for kitchen my house is messy too. 🙂 Part and parcel of life yaar. And I do ask M to get something or the other from grocery. I prefer him to do the grocery as he doesn’t spend unnecessarily. If I go I spend minimum $20 extra. 😉 😉

    • popgoesthebiscuit January 22, 2015 at 11:13 am #

      Haha…we all have funny guilt yaar. Smiling at your am I not doing enough one…

  3. Dil On The Rocks January 22, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

    Been there and now totally over it P 🙂 You need all the help you need honey. You know that. But the fact is even I feel guilty that if I am not sweating over these things, Murali is. End of the day, one of us has to struggle. But as long we have the husbands helping us, its better that way, right? 🙂

    • popgoesthebiscuit January 22, 2015 at 10:59 pm #

      We are lucky to have good husbands yaar. Need to be okay sharing the load…I usually am but have conditioned myself to only do some tssks…Need to get past that, quit apologizing to my spouse for nothing and enjoy sharing the daily burden.

  4. greenboochi January 28, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

    I so get what you mean.. Some times I wish S does the cooking.. And he is ready to jump in at such opportunities. But I feel really odd just sitting. So I go back to the kitchen.. Husband thinks I don’t like his way of working in the kitchen.. but it’s really not that. Though I would love to get his help, I feel really odd. Your psst actually made me feel better, I’m not alone.. 🙂

    • popgoesthebiscuit January 29, 2015 at 6:54 am #

      I know, its the feeling of oddness and not doing your bit! Totally get you

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