A Healthy Dose of Mommy Guilt

4 Mar

I’m missing my favorite meeting on the month right now — the NICU Family Advisory Council. I really love them, the people and what we do.

Nobody’s sick and there wasn’t any great emergency. Instead, Jackson laid the smack down. For the last two days, he’s told anyone that will listen that his Mommy is never home. He tells me I never spend any time with him anymore and when I do all I say is just “No, no, no, no, no, no.” Last night there were tears and sobs. This morning he begged me to quit my job, so I compromised and told him I’d come straight home and miss my meeting.

Can’t quit my job dude. Did you want to eat next week?

Even when I called on the way home from work, he lit into me again. Once I was here, he huffed and puffed and didn’t want to do anything I asked him to do.

Finally, I told him we were going out — whether he liked it or not. We don’t wallow in our house. That he could wipe the scowl off his face before he got in the car.

I wasn’t real sure what my game plan was. I’d skipped my meeting and he wasn’t even that happy to see me.

Abby, Jackson and Mommy were here.

Abby, Jackson and Mommy were here.

I decided to drive us to a burger place. I got them both their own meals and milkshakes. We drew on a big chalkboard together at the restaurant while we waited. We talked about our days and the Kid’s Choice Awards and why we like our burgers the way we like them. We checked the weather about snow and pondered about school on Friday.

Afterwards, Jackson ran and Abby did the “Abby hustle” down to Petco. I carried all the leftovers and everyone’s cups. Both of the kids got their own mini-cart to push around the store and we shopped for the dogs. We talked to the birds and picked our favorites. We looked at the biggest bones they had and the strongest chew toys and thought about a dog tuxedo for Ace. After we checked out, we walked back to the car, me with my purse and the Petco bag and all the cups and leftovers. I let Jack keep his milkshake in his carseat. I let Abby climb into the car herself, which takes four times as long as me just picking her up.

Pet shopping.

Pet shopping.

We did baths, PJs and a Super Why. I read to Abby and tucked her and Ariel in. I checked on Jackson and gave him permission to play his Kindle until 8pm. I hugged and kissed his head, reminded him to say his prayers. “Goodnight, I love you,” I said, leaving his room.

“Night,” he said, not looking up from his game.

He’ll probably say I never pay any attention to him tomorrow. At least I’ll know, though the words still sting, that he’s wrong. I’m Mom even when he doesn’t notice.

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