Friday, January 9, 2015

Phantom Crying and the curse of Mommy Guilt

I just stepped out of the shower. Showers used to be relaxing.  Lately I have been plagued by a phantom baby that haunts my shower and cries constantly.

A phantom baby you say? Do you mean Bennett cries while you are showering??

Nope. It is a phantom baby that haunts my shower.  Bennett is typically sound asleep napping when I take showers. But not the phantom baby. When I think I hear its cries,  I open my bathroom door and stick my ear out as far as I can without falling out of the shower. Lo and behold.... no crying coming from Bennett, or anywhere. Frequently I get all the way out of the shower and tip toe to Bennett's room to check on him and there he is, sleeping like a baby. And I look like an idiot sopping up the floor with water, half (or fully!) naked in the middle of my upstairs hallway.

As soon as the bathroom door is closed once more, the phantom baby strikes again! Needless to say I I spend a lot of my shower stressing out over if Bennett is really crying or if I am delusional.. Once I convinced myself it wasn't real and took an extra long shower (and shaved my legs... how luxurious!). When I got out poor Bennett was wailing and then came the Mom Guilt.

One thing I wasn't quite prepared for as a new Mom is the onslaught of guilt that comes with the job. I sometimes feel guilty for taking showers. Moms feel guilty if they work outside the home, they feel guilty if they don't. They feel guilty for eating a food they suspect upset their baby's tummy. They feel guilty for getting angry and frustrated when their baby woke up and they haven't slept in days. They feel guilty for not feeding their kids enough vegetables, or not reading them enough books. It doesn't matter what the choice, Mommy Guilt will come a lurking.

Surely we should not abandon our children... and surely there are some things we should feel guilty about. But as a general rule I need to challenge the mommy guilt in my life and tell it to go away.  So I will continue to shower and try to ignore the phantom baby crying.  It's not like I have much time to shower anyway...

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