Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mom Guilt Part I

Besides being responsible for the social/emotional/physical/educational development of The Babes, I would say Mom Guilt is a close second to the huge and heavy weight that resides on my shoulders.  Mom Guilt is so pervasive, it’s easy to accept it as my “new normal” (right along with never fitting into my pre-baby body jeans).

Recently, I went to a Detroit Bloggers even and caught up with some old friends and met some new bloggers.  It was a great time.

Until I had to live tweet about it.

I pulled out my Transform phone and watched the dreaded loading pinwheel of death that just eternally spins and spins.

And spins.

It’s embarrassing showing up with my junk phone while everyone else effortlessly communicates on their iPhone.  In fact, I am embarrassed that I feel like this because I am not a “keep up with the Joneses” kinda gal.  But how can I go to social media events as a blogger when a major tool of the trade doesn’t work?

I had researched the difference between the iPhone and Galaxy.  I casually mentioned to Harrington that I would be going out to look at phones and that I might actually get one.  But to know me, is to know that I deliberate for months before actually making a decision. (I call it proactive procrastination.  Which sounds way better than passive procrastination.  Or just plain procrastination).

I walked into the store and looked at the Galaxy and the iPhone.  The iPhone was so beautiful, but would cost be an extra $100 for the extended warranty.  I would also have to go to the iPhone store if I needed service, and I love my Sprint store.  However, the Galaxy had a bigger screen.

In an unprecedented move without deliberating or discussing with anyone, I chose the Galaxy.

I really loved the iPhone, but I was just unsure.

Immediately, I felt liberated that I just picked one out with little fanfare. 

Until I came to the realization that I chose the Galaxy because not only did I think I didn’t need the iPhone, but didn’t *deserve* it.

I am ashamed to even say it, but it’s the truth.  I didn’t think I deserved it.

Why did I feel so damn guilty about this decision?

Well, we’ve had our financial struggles.  Harrington lost his job three years ago, but he quickly found a job that has been quite lucrative.

But those first two years were tough, and lots of sacrifices were made along the way.  We are finally in a good place right now.  So why do I still feel so guilty spending money on myself?  On a tool that will make my job of CEO of Everything easier?  On a device that can help me follow my dreams of blogging and writing?  (I should say that until I looked at either of these phones, I didn’t know it was possible to open up email attachments on a phone . . . as I hang my head in shame).

The answer is because I don’t make the money.  I may work my ass off taking care of The Babes and the house.  I take my job a little too seriously (as in researching the chemical-free sunblock, probiotics, healthy foods, preschools, after-school activities. . . .you get the idea).  But with all the blood, sweat and tears that go into that job, it’s hard to feel value when you turn around and another Babe is sick or there are three more loads of laundry to replace the one you just finished. 

I’ve tried to give myself reassurance and pep talks, you know, being emotionally available to myself.  But after taking care of everyone else, I’m damn tired.

And then I’m damn tired of feeling guilty for wanting to treat myself to something nice.

Motherhood is full of sacrifices.  It’s difficult job times a gazillion.  Why do I make it harder by beating myself up when I try to do something nice for me?

If you had made it this far into the post, thank you for sticking with me. And now you are probably wondering what finally happened with the phone.  I returned the Galaxy and got the iPhone.  And I am in deep and serious love with it.

As for the guilt, I am thinking there is an app to help me manage that, right?

Do you ever torment yourself when trying to treat yourself to something nice?


Monica said...

Um, absolutely all the time. I get my hair cut TWICE A YEAR because I feel guilty about it. --Monica

Courtney C said...

I pretty sure that's on the list of Top 10 things all moms must do! I believe pretty much every mom must be able to relate to this. I admit I do have an iPhone but only because I inherited it from my husband. I remember (pre Lucas) a time we had a little extra so my husband gave $200 to spend on myself, so excitedly I went to the mall ready to spend, which I did... I bought my James clothes and toys and spent a whopping $3 on myself for hand sanitizer that I ended up letting James use it.

You deserve something for yourself too! Have fun with your new toy, but be warned: it's VERY addictive! :o)

Anonymous said...

I remember the day I was a stay at home mom and was watching Dr. Dwayne Dwyer on TV and he asked "who is the most important person in the world to you". Well I thought long and hard and I must admit my first thought was ME. Well Dr. Dwyer said "You should be saying You because if you aren't how are you going to take care of everyone else in your life". I agree with the Dr. and I never forgot that. I don't mean you should neglect anyone but remember to take care of YOU and I think you'll be happier for it.

Mommy on the Spot said...

Why, oh, why do we do this to ourselves? Why?! My professional recommendation is to bump it up to 4 times a year and add a deep conditioning treatment. Just because.

Mommy on the Spot said...

Totally. Addictive.

Mommy on the Spot said...

You are so right. It's just like that whole airplane crash speech about putting your own air mask on first before helping anyone else. Somehow it looses that intense life/death situation when I apply it to taking a shower or getting an iPhone or going to the bathroom by myself.

the mama bird diaries said...

the whole time i was reading your post, i'm thinking, "Please let her get the iPhone!!"

Mommy on the Spot said...

It's the most amazing invention EVER! I totally understand why people get all cult-ish about their Apple Products.