Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Surprised by Guilt

Parenting is surprising.

When I was pregnant,
I wondered how I could love someone I never met.
I was surprised at the instant love I felt for my son,
the moment he took his first breathe.

I was surprised at all the things I've done,
that I swore "I'd never do."

I am surprised that I daily say sentences like,
"Yay! Pee Pee on the potty!"
"Sharing is a lot more fun. See it's nice when we share."
"Stop that is enough. I said stop! No!"
"We can watch choo choo trains after we eat dinner."

I am surprised by my strength.
I am sometimes surprised by my shortcomings.

But mostly, I am surprised by guilt.
Parenting a child has a unique way of highlighting all your faults.
I never thought I was very selfish or short tempered before,
But somehow my sweet two year old,
points these faults out in me in a way only he can.
I feel guilty that all my parenting trials and errors are tested on my first born.
I feel guilty for washing dishes when my son wants me to play.
I feel guilty for taking shortcuts when I'm exhausted.
I feel guilty for losing my temper sometimes, on stuff that is no big deal.

All this weighted guilt compounds itself with an overall uncertainty.
Am I doing this right?
Is this okay?
Can I trust my instincts?
Will my son talk about me to his psychiatrist one day?

Raising a child in love is one of the most self-less things you can do,
I knew it would be hard,
It's the guilt, the uncertainity that is hard to swallow.
I can't get a parenting report card... maybe that is a good thing.

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