If after partaking in one of these horribly self-indulgent moments, you then experienced an overwhelming feeling of guilt while images of your baby being born missing a toe...or two...or three, as a result of your Sheetz hot dog weakness, go on and on like a horror movie reel in your head, while at the same time, your uncontrollable hormone laced brain is imagining greasy, void of any life sustaining nutrients, chili fries with your next Sheetz hot dog because you can't imagine just one more hot dog will make that much of a difference...right? So dads, if that miracle of all miracles did occur, then by all means you do "get it" and you are most certainly welcome to join The Guilt Complex Mom's Club, aka GCMC. Just an FYI...The Guilt Complex Mom's Club is a little like The Hotel California, "You can check out anytime you like, but, you can never leave".
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The doctor assured me that as long as I laid off the tequila from that moment on, the baby would probably be fine. "Probably"? "Probably"? Where in the love of God is the statistical certainty in "probably"?! Clearly, my OBGYN didn't know me that well back then (poor thing knows me all too well now and is considering an early retirement). I'm betting, thanks in part to my neurosis and in part to the mother's guilt that begins the moment that hearty little sperm reaches the egg, that by the second trimester, my doctor realized that my pregnancy may very well be the longest pregnancy in recorded history and wondered repeatedly why he didn't become an accountant instead of a doctor.
So, yes, cuckoo birds, harp seals, and panda bears should make you feel a little better about your worst mommy moments. The one thing all three of these animals have in common, besides sucking at mothering, is their lack of membership into The Guilt Complex Mom's Club. You see, without the guilt of the "whys", "what if's", "should have", "could have", "would have", we would be no better at loving and supporting our kids than these three wild animals. It's the guilt that keeps us from abandoning them in another nest, leaving them out on the ice for the next hot guy who strolls past, or picking the smartest, strongest child over a weaker one. The love and guilt are so intertwined and that's what keeps us coming back for more.
Some days I find myself hanging in The Guilt Complex Mom's Club Clubhouse more so than other days. Maybe I had more of a yelling day, more of a "Me Day", or I left my kids in the neighbors nest an hour...or two....or three longer than I said I would. In those moments, I try to keep in mind all the good mommy moments I have had. Fighting for the child who may not know how to fend for himself. Loving all three children equally and trying not to punch a time card on who had mom the most that day. Tending to each of their needs before my own. Mostly though, I remember that regardless of my mistakes, my selfishness and my ugly moments, my kids know, I will never leave them in someone else's nest (for too long), I will never leave them freezing and starving for the next hot harp seal who walks by (do seals walk?), and I will never, ever chose one child over the other regardless of how little milk there is to go around....unless of course one of them gets me a better Mother's Day gift, then all bets are off and all the guilt is gone.
Enjoy your 24 hours of guilt free Mother's Day...you deserve it. Today, my fellow members, the Clubhouse is closed.