Friday, November 4, 2011

Mother Guilt

From the moment I had my first Muddy Baby I experienced Mother Guilt, this terrible feeling (which for some reason manages to escape the Dads) of guilt over actions or decisions or care for my Muddy Babies. Now I've experienced a lot of Mother Guilt over the last four and a half years the reasons for which have varied from stopping breastfeeding, to returning to work, to being late for a day care pick up to something as simple as I couldn't be bothered feeding my kids vegetables for a night. It unfortunately can hit at any time for a wide range of reasons, I have found that there is simply no escape and for me the best way to deal with it, is acknowledge it, sometimes discuss with my friends and fellow mothers.

That was until my WORST experience of Mother Guilt so far. Muddy Girl 1 goes to Pre School in town twice a week, we live 30kms out of town so Muddy Girl 1 catches the bus in (no this is not the bad bit) and home. We slowly built up to this, catching it first with friends around the corner from Pre School, then catching it with the neighbour (a little boy born the day before Muddy Girl 1), we still do this in the morning. However since I started maternity leave Muddy Girl 1 now not only catches one bus home, but changes buses and catches the second bus to the end of our dirt road (still not the guilty bit).

On Wednesday the bus reached the end of our road, there was just one problem, Muddy Girl 1 WAS NOT ON THE BUS! The driver just shrugged and said he didn't know where she was, while all the school kids on the bus were calling out to let me know that she was still on the first bus sound asleep! Yes MOTHER GUILT in the extreme. I am a very lucky Muddy Farmwife as I have the most wonderful friend and neighbour who was collecting her little boy off the 1st bus and collected Muddy Girl 1 (who by this point was in tears, waking up and realising she'd missed her stop for changing buses), we were straight on the phone to each other and met along the road for a changeover. But this still did not assuage my Mother Guilt.

I felt (and still feel) like the worst mother in the world for making my 4 and 1/2 year old not only catch the bus (and it's a big bus with a lot of school kids) but also making her change buses to catch 2 buses. So many thoughts keep going through my head - Am I a terrible mother, should I be driving her into town in the morning and driving in of an afternoon to pick her up?

Next year Muddy Girl 1 will start school and will be catching the bus every day, in letting her catch the bus (and she was dead keen to do it) I thought it was a nice introduction to something that she's going to be doing for the next 13 years, or until she gets her licence! For lots of city kids buses aren't even a realistic choice until late primary, early high school, and even our town kids either get dropped off or walk to school, but for us it's the way life is. At the end of the day I still have extreme Mother Guilt over this, but I figure if my Muddy Hubby survived it as a child then our Muddy children will too, and I am now tied to the bus drop off and pick up, until Muddy Bubby finishes school, which equates to about 1/4 of my lifetime!

The only time I won't have to do the bus run is when our road is flooded out like December 2010,
then we don't go anywhere.

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