Guilty

16 Oct

So I was bloghopping (ever do that? Follow links on someone’s blog to other’s? It’s fun, until you end up at the same one after 25)

I digress. I came upon this post, in which Gerah talks about her postpartum period, and becoming a bit of a wreck in it, from guilt and all that good stuff.

And it made me ponder a few things-It really made me question why there is no room in this society for a woman to mourn not being home with their child. It’s what you naturally want to do-be home to nuture and feed and bond with your child. Biologically, that’s kinda how it works, what with the boobs and all. But we live in this messed up world that believes a woman should bounce right back to work, and feel nary a twinge of anything, instead swinging right back to conference calls and bad coffee.

I feel for her, because it’s so totally fucking avoidable, simply because our society, all of us as women, need to say “fucking pick one.” Don’t have the media sell me this blissful image of SAHM when most of us couldn’t stay home if we wanted to. Don’t tell me that breast is best when I have to work and commute 12 hours and somehow pump enough milk for my baby. Create an infant and family friendly country which truly values both the impact and contribuition of the working AND at home mother. Let women like Gerah know that guilt will always be there, no matter what choice we make. But that it’s normal, however evil it is.

The other thing it brought to mind was-I never felt any real guilt at going to work. Nuthin. The occasional twinge now as I’m leaving in the morning as someone wants “one more hug!” but that dissapates as soon as I’m up the street, listening to Versus the Mirror without someone yelling “TOO LOUD!”

Am I the wrong woman for children? I don’t really think so-my girls are insanely happy and incredible little girls. Am I wired wrong? Highly likely-I wonder how much my bipolar has to do with how bond with my children-only now do I grab Ros and want to squish her I love her so much. Never felt that when she was an infant. Could the bipolar also make it easier for me to be a working mother? Or was the guilt I felt, at not loving my kids immediately, something that overrode the “normal” guilt that most mother’s have?

I love them now, to pieces, but reading Gerah’s post made me remember a time when I questioned my love for them, and I hate hate hate that she’s gone through so much guilt and ICK at a time when she is likely just happy to sleep. I really want my girls to grow up with a rational, real idea of what pregnancy, birth and post partum is.

The Dorf worries that telling them the actual details of my situation when pregnant/post partum will affect them negatively. And while I have to agree that Rosalyn will likely not be told about my desire to abort her until she well past 16, they will know what their “genetic inheritance” regarding mental illness and childbearing really is. I do not want either one of them going in expecting sunshine and lollipops and coming out with dead roses and blood. I want them to know that something like this really is dirty really is more than can be explained.

I want them to know that it is the farthest thing from perfect they’ll ever see. I don’t want to ever have to talk them back from a suicidal state.

11 Responses to “Guilty”

  1. nicole October 17, 2006 at 1:58 am #

    WOW, now THIS is some blog template! I see you’ve made the switch to WordPress. Nice job. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Rudicus October 17, 2006 at 4:05 am #

    Link updated. sorry I haven’t been by for a while – life started acting up again.

  3. Jennifer October 17, 2006 at 6:35 am #

    Know what pisses me off? When the husband, who is on PATERNITY leave, makes me feel guilty for wanting to run my business, or WORK, God forbid. He thinks he’s on fucking holidays. Why should I be made to feel guilty for wanting to be something OTHER than a mother? Oh, now I’m pissed off all over again. Hes asleep right now, I have to work in the am, get up early get the Rugrat off to preschool and here I sit with a crabby kid, while the husband snores at 1am. He sucks. I’m gonna go hit him with a pillow.

  4. Missy October 17, 2006 at 3:01 pm #

    I think it’s a good idea to let your daughters know about PPD; knowledge can often relieve pain and guilt. If they’re aware of it, and they have symptoms, maybe they’ll get treated sooner.

    I think it’s a subject you can touch on at multiple levels of understanding, as opposed to just hitting them with it all at once when they’re 16 or 18. We don’t teach math all in one fell swoop, why should mental and emotional truths be any different?

  5. Rae October 17, 2006 at 3:29 pm #

    I never had any guilt about leaving my kids and going to work either, when they were young. (I had the first two 18 months apart.) Like you, I enjoyed having time to myself to pee and eat and have daily social interaction with other adults.

    It wasn’t until my last son was born, six years later, that I craved being home with him. The older boys are in school, so it’s just him and I. Somehow, making the decision to leave him at daycare now that I’ve been with him 24/7 for the first year of his life, is terrifying. I guess it’s the last thing I have left to hold on to. The last child, the getting older thing…

    So no, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you ot that there’s something missing because you don’t have guilt about working. I think that’s very normal, especially with two little tiny ones. I don’t know how some women do it, with 3 in diapers and baking apple pies and shit. I’ve seen it on some of the SAHM blogs and it amazes me. Every time.

  6. thordora October 17, 2006 at 4:32 pm #

    Nicole-doesn’t it RULE! I love it! It’s so my parents living room in 1983.

    Hey Rudicus-no worries. I don’t get everywhere all the time either!

    Jennifer-that’s retarded-why do men do act like that? I’d go hit him with something a little harder than a pillow. I love how men never seem to have ANY guilt with this shit.

    Missy, my girls are explained to about why Mommy is sad sometimes, and why mommy gets mad easy, etc. So I’m sure the conversation will happen sooner than later. I just think some parts will be held back. Who wants to know that Mommy tried megadosing with Vitamin C in order to abort you?

    Rae-I can imagine that if we ever adopt, I’ll feel that way, I’ll want to stick around and enjoy it. And it’s not like we aren’t around our kids-I just feel like “how can I miss you if you never go away?”

    I don’t know how the SAHM’s do it either. They’re so not me. I have trouble making dinner.

  7. Caitlin October 17, 2006 at 6:33 pm #

    Well, for what’s it worth, even if you are “lucky” enough to stay at home, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be just like in the sitcoms. You know how the sitcom kids are never around unless it’s for comedic relief or it’s one of those after school special episodes? In real life, they’re -always- around and have 1000 times more energy than you.

    I think it’s a lot harder to be a disatisfied SAHM than it is to be a disatisfied working mom. People generally understand balancing a career and raising a child isn’t the easiest thing. But they don’t seem to understand that spending 12.5 hours a day with a toddler isn’t 12.5 hours of Kodak moments.

    I agree with Missy about telling your daughters about PPD, although for different reasons. I just couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone how miserable I was for almost two years because I really didn’t think anyone would understand. When everyone is telling you how wonderful it is that your husband is willing to sacrifice your income, what a blessing it is, and aren’t you just the luckiest woman ever, how are you supposed to tell them you’re not happy without feeling even more guilty?

    I think if you tell your daughters about PPD long before they’re pregnant, they’ll know they can come to you for help and know they’re normal moms, not bad ones. I will be telling Paul about PPD when he gets the sex talk, because I think part of being a good partner is not letting your partner get overwhelmed and lose themselves in motherhood.

  8. thordora October 17, 2006 at 6:51 pm #

    Caitlin, that’s a GREAT point that I don’t think we see reflected in “popular media” often-that just because being a SAHM is what you’ve chosen doesn’t mean you’re going to be dancing through tulips. It’s damn hard-why do you think I prefer going to work? entertaining, enriching, feeding little creatures all day long, while trying to stay sane? HARD. WORK.

    And I’m nothing if not lazy.

    I’m not sure how the PPD dialog itself will end up going. Having bipolar, I’m sure there will be a few detailed conversations about what it means for them, but I’m glad I have a while to figure out how to explain what PPD is exactly.

    I’m just glad I’ll be there for them more than anything else.

  9. karriew October 17, 2006 at 7:55 pm #

    Sometimes the tulips have thorns. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Nat October 17, 2006 at 11:24 pm #

    Bloghopping is one of my fave hobbies! heehee

  11. Heather October 18, 2006 at 5:59 pm #

    Since bloghopping is how I got here, I figured I should comment – it’s even relevant!

    I never felt guilty about returning to work. I put in a full year at home (well, I was a FT student, too) and I was miserable for most of it. I was itchin to get out of the house.

    Someday I’d like to make the big bucks so DH can stay home. He’s SOOOOOOOOOO much better at it than I am.

    I refuse mommy guilt in general, though. I figure I do the best I can and screw everybody else if they think I’m evil for

    a: working FT and sending the spawn to daycare
    b: loving it
    c: getting coffee by myself inbetween leaving work and picking the spawn up at daycare

    pick one, you know? Whatever helps me keep my sanity. Life’s too short for misplaced guilt.

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