I’ve read lots of blogs and columns and articles that mention “mom guilt.” In a lot of cases, they are pieces based on the stupid working-outside-the-house mom/stay-at-home mom battle. (Most of which say there shouldn’t be a battle. And there shouldn’t be. SO WHY ARE WE STILL WRITING THE SAME COLUMNS OVER AND OVER? All moms work. Some need or choose to work outside the home. End of story.)
Anyway, the mom guilt I’m feeling isn’t about my job. (I love my kid, loved being home with him on maternity leave, am not cut out to stay at home permanently.) It’s about how I’m tracking how he’s growing up.
I have this blog. I have a very cute baby book for which I overspent on Etsy. I have a journal. I have a camera on my phone, and a new, fancy camera that I bought for Christmas. I have lots of ways to capture how quickly Teddy’s growing, and how much he’s learning every day. B and I comment a lot on the first time Teddy does something new, or makes a new sound. I keep telling myself that as big as these moments seem now, they’ll blend together over time, and I’ll forget them.
So I should write them down, and snap those pictures.
I haven’t written here since New Year’s, and I haven’t cracked my journal open since I went back to work, despite my attempt to get back to writing down five good things every day. I wrote down Teddy’s four month height and weight in the baby book and realized that I’d missed a bunch of milestones that the book prompts you to write down – and already, I couldn’t remember when they’d happened. I keep forgetting to back up my pictures, and my monthly Snapfish digest is drifting toward quarterly.
But then there’s what I have done: Take walks. Watch Teddy play on his activity mat. Rock with him in the recliner. Dance with him to the indie children’s radio station on Pandora, and see him smile with me along to Jack Johnson and the Beatles. Read Dr. Seuss and Richard Scarry and the Barnyard Dance, over and over. Laugh while he peed on himself in the tub. Rub his back while he coughed in the steamy bathroom during his first cold. Smile when he figured out how to jump in the jumperoo. Juggle him, his carseat, and the aforementioned Barnyard Dance through security at National Airport en route to take him to visit his grandparents and great-grandparents.
So it turns out that I’m *not* missing things. I’m there, and present. I’m just not writing them all down, at the very the moment we do them.
ps. I wrote this post late last week but am just now getting the chance to put it up (right in line with the message of this post!) but I was there yesterday when Teddy rolled over for the first time.