Several months ago, any time I met up with friends for coffee or to go shopping or for a walk, it was so simple and fun. We chatted and laughed and enjoyed ourselves and I thought nothing of it. But nowadays, that’s totally changed. It’s changed because now when I meet up with a friend, I’m not on my own, I’ve got Little Boo with me. And I feel a strong sense of duty to be there for this mini human that depends on me so completely.
Several times recently I’ve met up with different friends in town for coffee and it’s been incredibly challenging. Because each time I’ve found myself torn between wanting to be there for my friend, present and engaged in our conversations, and being there for Boo, my primary concern and the one person on this planet who currently needs me more than anyone else.
I never anticipated this happening before Little Boo arrived on the scene. Whenever it does, I feel split down the middle; unable to fully relax and enjoy the time with my friend and simultaneously feeling as though I’m not giving Boo the full attention he deserves. And that’s really the killer, because hey: #momguilt!
Yup, when you feel like you’re letting down your kid the Mom guilt cuts right to your core. Imagine the biggest disappointment of your life and combine feeling like you’ve completely failed and someone you were relying on has totally failed you. Now times that by a gazillion and you’ve got an idea of the overpowering overwhelming sense of Mom guilt that I (and I think every Mom) goes through when they feel like they’ve neglected their kid in some way.
And it doesn’t mean you’ve let them starve for days or anything so drastic. It could simply be that you got impatient with them only to discover the reason they’d been so fussy was because they needed to let rip a massive burp, or because they’d actually been sitting in their own poo for the last hour…
We’re never going to be the perfect parent, no matter how hard we try. We are human beings after all and being human means making mistakes. But that’s actually ok because, as one wise lady told another Mum next to me, if you were the perfect parent, how on earth would your kid survive in this very imperfect world of ours?
So, I realize Little Boo will be ok, even if he doesn’t get my full undivided attention all day, every day. Besides, if I don’t learn to unwind and handle hanging out with my friends with Little Boo in tow, the only alternative I can see is to tell my friends I’m won’t be able to engage in any decent meaningful way with them for about the next thirteen years… Little Boo and my heart are just going to have to toughen up.
Then again, from the looks of things, maybe it’s just my heart needs to toughen up – Boo looks just fine!