Let me let you in on a little secret; I try to be supermom, but not because I want to, but because I feel like I have to be.
I don’t know what happens during a nine-month baby carrying stint. Of course, I know that a fetus develops into an infant. I know that a mother’s belly turns round. I know about the excessive food cravings. But there is also a mental transition from motherless to motherhood.
And with that transition is guilt.
Every morning after dropping my boys off at school, guilt is there to greet me. She’s there when I come home late from work. And over the weekend, guilt followed me to San Antonio, Texas.
This past weekend I traveled to San Antonio to see my father who has struggled with an addiction to crack cocaine longer than I’ve been alive, graduate from culinary school. I also spent the latter part of my time in San Antonio hosting a book signing, appearing on a radio show, giving interviews to magazines and newspapers and promoting my newly released memoir, “The Other Woman”.
Despite my demanding schedule, I had originally planned to take Jason Jr. and Joah with me. Mother guilt kept reminding me of how wrong it would be to abandon my husband and children for three days. And even though family members tried to convince me that traveling with 3-year-old and 22-month-old children would be difficult, I ignored them and purchased Jason Jr. a ticket and documented Joah as a lap child.
As our departure date neared, so did Mother Nature’s snow storm. The airline representatives and all of my family and friends encouraged me to leave a day earlier. After hours of crying and yelling at the airline reps, I was told that there was only one seat left on all planes flying out a day earlier, which meant Jason Jr. would not be able to attend.
After telling my husband the bad news, we agreed that Joah should stay behind, too. And even though my husband insisted I leave them at home and that it wasn’t a big deal, I couldn’t turn the guilt button off. Even as I boarded the plane, my heart was sad. I tried to keep my phone calls to my husband to a minimum because I felt so bad.
Even as I sat on a small jet, shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers, I felt guilty. I even felt guilty when I felt myself laughing too hard or smiling too much. Does guilt taunt other mothers, too? And do fathers feel this way?
I’m only three and a half years into motherhood, so I’m wondering if the guilt eases as time goes on.
Tunette Powell is married with two children. You can read her every Tuesday on momaha.com
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