Saturday, May 4, 2013

And This is What You Call Mom Guilt

Apologies if you have heard this story already; I can't seem to shut up about it. I did something dumb. It didn't cause the world to end or anything, but it sort of ruined something for Sody and made me feel horrible and and it was all. my. fault. We are over it now (actually, Sody was over it right away, I am the only one that felt so awful about it) but Mom Guilt is so real and so powerful. Waaaaah.

Let me explain.

A few weeks back, there was a birthday party for one of Sody's school friends. She had been looking forward to this party for quite a while, and truth be told, so were we: all our preschool-parent homies were going to be there (we have gotten pretty close with some of the couples at school lately) and there was going to be a hired "fairy" on hand to do face painting and balloons and yadda yadda yadda. Also, the birthday girl's mom was a former pastry chef so I wanted to eat all the treats. (I have my priorities, people.)
So Sody was on a countdown for the upcoming party. The day before, we went to buy a birthday present and ended up getting Sody a purple "princess" dress (her first one, I couldn't resist because it was cheap and she was being so good and she was SO excited to wear it to the party) and she was literally telling *everyone* we saw (store clerks, customers, whoever) that "she was going to a party and there was going to be a REAL fairy there with face paint and balloons" and on and on and on. And on. No joke. She was crazy excited. So we got our outfits and the present and the card all finished, and we were just so, so ready for this party.
Sunday, party day. Sody woke up ready to roll. But we had to wait aaaaaaall morning, until 2:00 pm, party time. Endless morning. And then finally - finally! - we left for the party and Sody was crazy on the way there, just so ready to show off her dress to all her school friends and meet this real fairy and get her face painted and eat cupcakes. We pulled up to the house and noticed that some people were filing out. Quickly, horribly, gut-wrenchingly realized that the party ENDED at 2:00, not started at 2:00. I had read the Evite wrong in my haste.
I made her miss the one thing she had been so, so excited for. The birthday girl's parents were awesome and let us stay and hang out, so it wasn't so traumatic. And we actually ended up staying a loooong time and essentially had a playdate:  the girls played and trashed what was left of the cake, the grownups had beers, the mom found some old face paint so we could paint something on Sody's face, since she had missed the face-painting fairy. She really took it like a champ - there was some questioning of "why are all my school friends gone? where is the fairy?" but in general she accepted (or didn't comprehend) that we had completely missed the boat - but I was literally near tears a good part of the afternoon. I know she had a fun day anyway, but knowing what she was supposed to have made me feel terrible. Knowing that I had made her miss it made me feel terrible. I ruined the thing she had been looking forward to.

It seems kind of silly, thinking of it all now...but at the time, it just crushed me. Like, I always feel like there is never enough time with her during the week, so the weekends are our time together and I want to make it good. It needs to count. Or otherwise I am going to be a constant pile of tears about how I just never see my kid. So, then when the big anticipated fun weekend times get screwed up, I just feel like I am failing on all counts.

Being a working mother blows.

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