Some Feelings of Guilt from a New Mom
So now she's here. She is the absolute love of my life, the reason for my existence, the bounce in my step, and a dream come true. Being with her every day is one of the best jobs I could ever ask for, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
At his job at the hospital, the husband works 12 hours shifts - from 7:30 to 7:30, so is usually gone almost an hour before he starts, and is home about a half hour after his shift. That makes for a long day.
Often times when he's working a weekend I'll pack up Ellery and we'll go home to my parents' house in Ontario, since because of the lengths of his shifts, he leaves when she's sleeping and gets home when she's sleeping, so it's not like he could spend any time with her anyway. We come back into the city when he's going to have a couple days off, and usually spend time together just the three of us, which I love.
On the weekends when he goes back to Ontario with us, sometimes he'll go out for a few hours, or even an entire day, fishing, or golfing, or visiting friends he doesn't often get to see. Now he doesn't do this all the time, and in fact he never goes without asking me first, but herein lies the problem. I don't feel like I can ask him not to go. If he stays at home with me there isn't usually anything really exciting going on, just visiting family most of the time. If I tell him to go I feel almost angry at him, because that means he gets an entire day to himself, not to have to work, or take care of Ellery, but just to do what he wants.
See? Now I'm sitting here bawling because I feel like a bad person for even confessing that...
When he's off for a few days in the city I'll ask him if he can watch Ellery for a few hours, just so I can get out. He always tells me that of course he'll watch her, and to go out and relax and do whatever I want. I used to go and have to be back within a couple hours, because I was breastfeeding, but now I can stay out longer if I want. One day I even spent about 7 hours away, and it was great, but I couldn't help but feel guilty when I got home after being out the whole day.
I keep thinking that he's the one working, so why should I ask him to watch Ellery alone on his days off? Even for just a few hours?
If he has to work the next day I never expect him to get up to feed her in the middle of the night, and even when he's not, I usually get up with her before he has a chance to. Plus, he's pretty much dead to the world at night, so he never hears her. But then when I'm sitting there in the dark, giving her a bottle and falling asleep, I'm angry at him for not getting up. And sometimes he really doesn't get a chance before I'm out the door, so I don't know how I can be mad about it.
Now I know that to any mom out there, and even to most fathers, this sounds stupid. I know (especially you moms) that staying home with a child every day absolutely IS work, and I'm an idiot for thinking that somehow his work is more important than mine. I'm with her 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - I know her better than anyone else.
The thing is that I love being with her. I never, ever resent her, or feel like I don't want to be with her, not at all. But I just miss being able to go out and do mindless things, like shop or take a walk. I miss the chance to exercise my mind by doing freelance work. I miss spending time with other people, ones that I'm losing touch with simply because they are not in baby mode.
Why is this such a difficult thing? Why do I feel so guilty about it? Why do I get mad at the husband for wanting the same things that I do? Why is it easier for him to do those things?
Alright, I'm done. Time to go get the little shriek-monster ready for the day :)