Is “Dad-Guilt” Even A Thing?

Yesterday, Micheal and I agreed to disagree (JK we didn’t even agree on that). It was the “2nd to last football game of the year” **eye roll**  and he wanted to go meet his friends at the bar to watch it. After a few minutes of good ol’ healthy arguing about why he should stay home and hang out with us on the only day of the week that we both had off — he reluctantly decided to watch it at home. By reluctantly, I mean he then sat on the couch for both football games with a crappy attitude (THAT’S THE ENTIRE DAY for anyone that needed clarification on how long two football games last). Pouting husband on the couch = probably more annoying than if he had just gone to the bar to watch the game.

I will admit, I am not really good at ‘letting’ him (Letting? Do I actually have that much power? Probably not), scratch that… I am not very good at ‘accepting’ when he wants to go out and leave me here to survive life with a toddler on my own. It’s not exactly jealously because if he told me he would stay home and I could go out — I wouldn’t. But its more annoyance that he doesn’t feel the need to spend every single second with us, particularly Thomas. Don’t get me wrong, he is a REALLY GOOD DAD. He is so hands on and he loves his kid. When Thomas was born, Micheal did every single night feed. EVERY one. He would get up at 11:45 PM, 2:00 AM, and 4:45 AM to feed the screaming baby while I slept, and then he would leave for work at 5:30 AM running on two hours of sleep. He does bath-time every time, because I hate it. And he probably changes more diapers than I do (“Oh did you poop? Here, hand this diaper to daddy”). He also works 60+ hours a week. So yeah he definitely deserves to go out and have a beer. I guess I am resentful that he doesn’t have any of the F&*%ing dad-guilt.

I have mom-guilt about everything. I’m guilty when I am not home because I should be at home spending time with Thomas. I am guilty when I AM home because I should be spending more QUALITY time with Thomas. I am guilty when the TV is on because we should be reading a book, or playing pretend. I am guilty when I am cooking dinner because I am ignoring the crying toddler clinging to my leg yelling “up” and that my food isn’t healthy or organic enough and that this is the 3rd day in a row that he’s getting chicken nuggets. But dads?… they’re not guilty. They are the “cool” ones who give you a cookie before dinner,  the “fun” parent who turn on Sesame Street when they are tired of reading Llama Llama Red Pajama for the 6th time, the ones who let you wear pajamas for the entire day, and the one who comes in the door after spending the day at the bar watching football and you’re SO EXCITED TO SEE THEM. And they don’t feel one single bit bad about it. Not even one bit.

WHY ARENT YOU GUILTY?

OR. Why am I so guilty and why do I want everyone to be as miserable as I make myself worrying about things that I don’t need to be worrying about? Guilty or not we both love our kid. Guilty or not, he loves us back just the same. Yeah, he was a big baby for pouting on the couch all day when he didn’t get what he wanted but he wasn’t wrong in wanting to do something for himself in the first place. Maybe I need to stop punishing everyone who doesn’t feel the exact same way that I do.

It doesn’t make you a bad parent to want to do things for yourself. It doesn’t make him a bad dad for wanting to go out after a long week of work. It DOES make me a not-so-nice wife for resenting him for not feeling the exact same way that I do. Mom guilt is real and while I don’t think it’s going away for me any time soon —  I do need to accept that “guilty” isn’t the only right way.

PS. Sorry Micheal. But also, you’re welcome. Ranting on my blog is nicer than murder.

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