Mother’s guilt

I’m not the first mother to blog about mother’s guilt. Its in blogs from other crafty work-at-home-mums (or WAHMs as they’re called in endless websites, support groups and forums), books about parenting, and conversations amongst girlfriends.

Germaine Greer said that women are capable of feeling guilty no matter what. If we’re juggling work, home and family, we’re guilty. If we weren’t juggling, we’d be guilty we weren’t. (But there’s Catholic guilt, survivor guilt – women are not the only ones tormenting themselves).

I’m no different. This week my bout happened in Maeve’s swimming class. The other mums and I held our chubby babies, smiling and singing nursery rhymes with an extra dose of exclamation marks in all the right places as we swished their bodies through the water.

The rest of the babies in Maeve’s class have no siblings. They wear gorgeous colourful rashies and bathers with frills and polka dots. Maeve wears a Huggies swim nappy (the guilt starts to creep in there).

They’ve all just celebrated their first birthdays so our pre-class conversation was filled with chat about cakes, helium-filled balloons and jumping castles (I know!). One of the mums was explaining the 3D teddy cake she’d made, how you clamp the tin together and pour the mixture in. I thought back to Elsie’s first birthday cake and all of the bowls of coloured icing and the get-together to celebrate. A bit more guilt starts to creep in just here, as I remembered Maeve’s birthday three weeks ago and how I had a cup of coffee and a piece of slice with her two grandmothers. And we took photos.

And looking at those photos, you wouldn’t know it was Maeve’s birthday. Except she’s in them all. Not a cake or candle in sight.

So, after swimming, and just three weeks late, Elsie and I made Maeve a birthday cake. Elsie decided on the shape (a car), the colour of the icing (all five, of course), and how many marshmallow people got to sit in the car.

Then I took a photo of Maeve sitting with it. And if I save it in the same file on my computer as the ones from the actual day – oh I should have dressed her in the same shirt…

One more marshmallow for the steering wheel. And yes, I know, she didn’t care and won’t remember – it was to satisfy my guilt now and its for Maeve to look back on in years to come.

For the rest of this week (after hours, of course, when there’s no guilt), I was full-time at the sewing machine. Here’s a sample of some of the items that went into the post this week:

1. Size 0 tops for twins
3. A vintage transport mobile (custom order)
4. The cutest little winter dress
5. My newest bestseller – the pink and red birds mobile

I still have a list of custom orders to fill and I love doing them. So for now, it’s another (guilt-free) Mint Slice and back to some gorgeous bright hot air balloons that need to be sewn.

3 thoughts on “Mother’s guilt

  1. Oh, Larissa. I had to wipe the tears (of laughter) away… Poor second-borns. I well remember Mika hitting the water in nothing but a swim nappy and feeling exactly the same guilt 🙂

    And if only you hadn’t blogged about poor Maeve’s first birthday, she never would’ve known! Now Elsie can rub it in all through those turbulent teen years xxx

    PS: Love the new mobiles. Seriously clever! And gorgeous…

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  2. What until you get to the third child Larissa, my guilt got even worse. No baby book, not sure if I have acutally printed any photos of her first year of life and she got to celebrate her 1st birtday in conjunction with the AFL grandfinal so people only had to come over to our house once!! Oh and unlike the first two she has never had a swimming lesson! I took the first one religiously every week for the first two years of her life! There is some definite why didn’t you do that for me Mum talks for later in life!
    Love the new butterfly mobile, very cute. 🙂

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  3. Thanks ladies – glad to hear some more firsthand cases of mother’s guilt! And funny that the poor third child doesn’t even get swimming lessons! As for putting a polka dot bathing suit over the top of Huggies swimming nappies – it’d be like putting a normal pair of knickers over the top of your control briefs – no point, the job’s already being done…

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