Friday, June 1, 2012
Guilty because you work too much? You don’t work enough? Forgot to brush their teeth? Three hours of TV? Won’t eat their vegies? Didn’t read aloud today?
Guilty because your house is cold? They have to share a bedroom? You aren’t the perfect parent? Your relationship didn’t turn out the way you expected? You are anxious and stressed and sometimes snappy?
Do you ever feel guilty because your children might have to deal with homophobia? They might get teased? They might worry?
Do you ever feel guilty that you had them in the first place?
That last part is written in a whisper. I feel as though acknowledging some guilts – articulating them, even thinking about them – gives oxygen to a whole set of insecurities that, for the most part, lurk in the darkest depths of my psyche.
Parental guilt is a strange beast. It comes from love, of course. It comes from that animal love that would throw you in front of a train before seeing your child hurt. It's strange and kinda sad that the flip side of this love can be guilt about producing that little source of love in the first place. What use is guilt like that?
But I am not alone. Most parents, it seems, feel guilty.