Friday, August 7, 2009

The Guilt Monster

Last night, R (my 2 year old) fell asleep completely by herself. Shocking, I know. This has been quite a struggle for us lately. She claims to be afraid of the windows in her room. She is afraid of her curtains. She is scared of the lack of light. The list goes on and on. So, I should have been thrilled that this happened. However…

After a long day at the splash park, followed by soccer camp for her brother and dinner out, the kids were showered and in my room a waiting their nightly cuddle time. I ran downstairs to do a few minutes of tidying up and to change the laundry (OK and check a blog or two…). I was down there 10 minutes- max.

I came upstairs to find her older brother and sister watching a show sitting on the floor and there she was up in my bed. She had her 3 stuffed animals, her blankie and was wrapped up in her favorite Cinderella blanket from downstairs. On my pillow, next to her, was the book Mommy Loves Me. She had obviously brought it up there for me to read. The day’s activities had their impact on her and she passed out from pure exhaustion.

I asked B and A whether or not she said anything to them or if she asked for me. They said no, she just climbed in and fell asleep.

And that’s when instead of relishing the fact that she was already asleep, along came the guilt monster. I swear I can have mommy guilt about anything. I wouldn’t have felt so bad if she just fell asleep. But, it was the Mommy Loves Me book that did me in. I was cleaning house and on the computer instead of snuggling and reading that to her. I felt guilt about that. Here, she had gone through the motions of her bedtime routine by herself. I felt guilt about that. She is only 2 after all.

When I think of R’s baby and toddler hood, I am conflicted. At times, like tonight, I am completely amazed and proud of her independence. I mean, how self-sufficient can you be at 2?!? Yet, sometimes, I am sad that she lives such a different 2 year-old life than her older brother and sister did at that age.

Their toddler hood was filled with only age appropriate activities. We were almost always home for their bedtime at 7:30 pm. And they were never exhausted from trying to catch up to someone 5 years older all day long.

R gets shuffled around to so many activities. She spends more time in the car than I even care to think about. She watches Hannah Montana. (I can’t believe I just admitted that.)

My husband was the baby in a family of 4. He survived. He did loads of things that were ahead of his age group at the time. He tries to reassure me that she is getting things from having an older brother and sister that they didn’t experience. I just hope that some of them are positive.

You can bet money that I’ll be up there tonight for bedtime and an extra snuggle. And this time, I’m going to be the one bringing Mommy Loves Me. Because after all, at 2, someone should still be tucking you in at night-especially with those scary windows and all…


  1. The Guilt Fairy gets around, doesn't she?! I'm pretty good at spotting her making her way up the street... If you ignore her long enough and focus on the fact that you did your best and your kids had an awesome day you'll find she stops coming around so much... ;)