She wears her hair in a tight bun. The severity of it pulls back her features. Her eyebrows are permanently raised upwards. If they could speak, they would say, ‘are you really going to do that?!'.
I am guilty. Guilty of listening to this mad woman. She pervades my thoughts every day and wears me down. Those eyebrows of hers are omnipresent.
She reared her ugly head the very same moment that The Whirlwind’s was yanked into the world and she has been residing on my shoulder ever since.
A Forceps delivery meant very shortly after birth I was whisked off to surgery. That’s right, I abandoned my baby an hour after her birth. Oh the guilt. Yes, I know. It wasn’t really my ‘fault’, but Mother Guilt does not listen to this rational way of thinking. In fact she puts her God damn hand up and says ‘what-ever!’.
Once we arrived home from the hospital, she questioned me over every decision I made. She made me feel bad for leaving my babies to settle themselves in their cots. So I brought them into bed. Then suddenly, there were those eyebrows accusing me of doing it ‘wrong.’ She makes some mothers feel guilty for not breastfeeding. And then those who do it she goes and bullies for not ‘allowing' Daddy a chance at bonding through feeding. She is impossible to please.
A few months down the line and she dumps a whole load of new guilt on your shoulders: going back to work. Although, this time round, I have been fortunate not to have to do this, bizarrely this still makes me feel guilty. How will my youngest cope with starting preschool when he hasn’t had more than a handful of days away from me? Will he be less socially able and confident than his peers who have spent time in a Nursery from a young age?
And now. She makes me feel guilty every time I say to my children, ‘Just wait a minute’. She makes me feel guilty for doing the housework when I should be playing with the children. She makes me feel guilty for not doing the housework because I’ve been busy playing with the children. She makes me feel guilty when I turn the TV on. She makes me feel guilty when I am cooking the tea and all The Giggle Monster wants to do is read books and cuddle. She makes me feel guilty when some days I just don’t feel like playing Rapunzel.
Mother Guilt, you have worn me down. I have had enough. I will find the energy to peel you off my shoulder. And when I do, I will unravel that bun. Then I will swing you round and round Mrs Trunchball style and fling you away like my life depended on it.
Maybe it does.