He Gets an A+ In "Mommy Guilt 101"

Oh, my sweet boy has my heart all a jumble of pride and sadness and guilt tonight. Let me explain...

Hubby is out of town on business. I hate it when he has to be away. The kids hate it. And Hubby hates it. But hey, it's a job with relatively good security, benefits, and flexibility. I'm thankful, I really am.

But have I said this yet?...I hate it when he has to travel.

I miss my best friend. I miss under the covers toe warmer. I miss my kid's Daddy. Everything is less fun and more work without him. All of that and cold toes to boot. (sigh)

So why the pity party? Because I'm leading up to something here...

Ben has been such a joy the past couple of days. He's just been helpful and cheerful and sweet. He's my kid who, when he thinks I might be feeling sad, tells me silly jokes. After a few jokes, he'll say, "Are you feeling happy now, Mommy?"

Well, tonight as I was tucking the kids into bed Ben said, "Oh, I miss Daddy."
"Me too, buddy."
"Have you noticed Mommy? I've been trying to be really good while he's away."
"You have been extra nice haven't you?"
"Yeah! And sometimes when you ask me to do yucky stuff that I'd normally say 'no' to...lately, I've just been doing it!"
"Oh? Like what do you mean?"
"You know, Mommy...like throwing away that gross diaper when you asked me to."
"Oh, okay."
"I've been trying really hard to make it easy for you while Daddy's away. I'm the man of the house when he's not here, you know."
"I know, sweetie. And you've done a great job. You've been taking really great care of us."
"Yeah....(big sigh, as if the weight of the world is getting a bit heavy)...I sure miss Daddy."

Oh, my little man! I feel so proud of him for trying to step up and help when Daddy's gone. But is he too burdened? Have I done or said something that makes him feel responsible for my feelings? I'm the parent here...I'm the one who's supposed to make it easier on him!

I think I've said this, oh, about 94 times before...I sure hope I'm not screwing these kids up for good!

Untypically Jia  – (9/04/2008 12:01:00 AM)  

Oh that just breaks my heart! What a sweet little man!

bristowmom  – (9/04/2008 05:34:00 AM)  

That is so sweet that it has me in tears! Truly! I don't think you've done anything to make him feel he has to take care of you, I really think boys are born with that inside of them. I've heard similar stories from other Moms.

Anonymous –   – (9/04/2008 07:26:00 AM)  

I have a little boy just like Ben...my first born. I think that has something to do with it too. Kind of people pleasers. It was good to hear you say that. I've wondered the same thing. I think they are just "made" that way! :)

Anonymous –   – (9/04/2008 11:41:00 AM)  

You know, I just think he's modeling his dad. He sees how his dad helps with the family, and he's learning the lessons he's meant to learn about how a man should support and care for those around him. I know it seems sad to think of a 5-year old being "burdened by responsibility" but I think it's just proof he's learning the lessons he should be learning. Consider the alternative: a boy who doesn't care if his mom is burdened, isn't concerned by the needs of those around him, only cares about what makes him happy. If you think of that, it's clear he's turning out just the way you'd want him to.

Hilty Sprouts  – (9/04/2008 09:19:00 PM)  

Oh that is so sweet! I have to agree with Jodi's comment. As an oldest child I always felt "responsible" for everyone else. I wanted everyone to be happy.


Summer  – (9/07/2008 08:09:00 PM)  

"Toe-warmer" haha. Totally. ;)

As a "oldest kid" myself, I remember feeling that same way. Responsible for everything. I think it's only natural. ?

That thought enters my mind at least once a day; "Oh- I hope this kid isn't permanently damaged!" Haha!

He's got a mom who lets him know he's off the emotional hook. He's got a mom who admits when she does something wrong, and shows by example how to apologize and try to do better the next time. What more could there be? He'll be fine, right? (At least I hope so, 'cause that's all my kids are getting for a mom... ;)

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