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May 26, 2009

Failing as a Parent

Recession Every mom feels "mommy guilt" now and then- we let our kids have too much screen time, we forget to pack the bathing suit on swim day, we miss teacher conferences. Oversights, mishaps and occasional lazy parenting, can be forgiven and maybe even laughed over once time has passed.
But lately my mommy guilt is above 11. It's Beyond. And I'm hearing the same thing from my friends.
We are smart educated middle and upper middle class women who have failed--or are teetering on the brink of failure, staring down its dark unforgiving maw.
We have broken promises to our children. Because of the recession.

Life as we knew it is fading and the future is uncertain. "This is not how it was supposed to be," says one of my gal pals. "This is not what I wanted for my kids," says another.
The future is scary, so we look back, but only to second-guess ourselves. We contemplate how far back we'd have go to to prevent being stuck where we are today.

Should I have changed my college major? "I wonder what would have happened," I ask my husband, "If someone had steered me toward a money-making career when I graduated college. You know, instead of taking my feel-good/save the world, but earn a poverty level salary whilst doing it kind of job? What if I had gone for the gold?"

"You never would have listened to that advice," Hubs suggests.

True that.

But what if I hadn't stayed home when my boys were little? What if we'd bought a house in a different neighborhood? I think back, searching for the fork in the road where I should have gone right instead of, well, wrong.

It's cold comfort knowing that I have friends in the same position. In fact, I feel fortunate compared to some of them. My family is not losing our house, our cars are paid for, we can afford our groceries, we are pretty healthy this year (knock wood), and my business is going well. My friends can't all say this. So I thank my lucky stars But still. I fear in the coming months I may be breaking bad news to my boys and it's ripping me up inside. I feel like a failure.

Original post to Chicago Moms Blog.
Kim blogs at Hormone-Colored Days and shares her thoughts on marketing to moms through social media at Positive Impact, Inc.


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