Honestly, I thought I had (what I call) “the epidemic” beat.
As a parent, I have been (fairly) guilt-free for some time now.
That’s not to say I don’t combat the occasional relapse after a few long, somewhat unbalanced, parenting-work-life days. However, those moments have lately only lasted a few hours (if that). Suffice to say, I haven’t felt the true, multiplying impact of day-after-day guilt in a long time.
That is until the unexpected recently hit.
I always forget the unexpected wildcard… the one that reminds me not-so-subtly:
“Kate, you CANNOT plan for everything.”
Put into perspective, it could have been worse. There were no illnesses, no life-threatening situations, not even an unforeseen financial woe (which is an easy culprit over the holidays). No, this unexpected wildcard was merely a severe case of cabin fever caused by mother-nature herself in the form of a “Polar Vortex”.
My kids and I had 2-blissful-weeks off work and school for the holidays…
We were ALL fully rested and ready to jump back into our everyday lives…
Only to be met by 5 more days (an entire week!) of house arrest caused by…
Dum-dum-duuuum… (sung to the tune of a villain’s entrance)
2 feet of snow, sub zero temperatures and week-long school cancellations.
No illnesses. No criminal activities. Only ice and snow.
And (children’s) boredom…
Mixed with my own stress of returning to work after a long vacation.
Plus, wa-aa-y too much electronic device time.
In addition to the fact that there were mountains of snow my kids could look at BUT not play in (due to the sub-zero temperatures)…
Oh, and (most importantly) I was back to work with: NO CHILDCARE*
*unless you count my 11-year-old
Have I drawn a complete picture yet?
Guilt was sure to find it’s way through my well-built walls.
Ultimately—it’s over now. I survived. I’ve come out (beaten but alive) on the other end. And here is what I’ve learned:
Do not take for granted the support that I do have.
- A loving family that is always willing to help
- Friends and a husband who listen and offer encouragement
- The amazing childcare options I have access to (that many others don’t) on those weeks and days when we’re not face-to-face with a Polar Vortex
The truth is, until this past week I thought I was combating this epidemic of guilt all myself. Turns out, I have an ally. Wait! That’s not completely true, I have many allies—in the form of the networks of support I have managed to build. I truly have my own village of support.
I will never, ever be as naive to say I’ve single-handedly beat guilt, because I believe my greatest defense to this epidemic of guilt is: the support of others.
Leave a Comment: What supportive communities have you built for yourself and your family? How do they help you fight against the epidemic of guilt? And seriously… what did you do during the Polar Vortex?
Did you know…
The NAMC provides Mothers’ Center group members with access to Group Discussion Guides meant to encourage reflection and conversation. The previous post was inspired by our discussion guide: Mindful Parenting. To download this guide and others, visit the members only section of the NAMC website. Not a member? Learn more about the Mothers’ Center and it’s unique culture by downloading our New Group Start-up Guide here!