The Ways in Which I Fail as a Mother

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock, via PJ Media)

I’m not completely sure I knew what I was getting myself into when I said I wanted kids. I knew about the lack of sleep. (OK, I had a vague understanding that there would be less sleep, but no one can really prepare you for sleeping a total of 45 minutes every night for four straight months. Putting the half and half in the cabinet after pouring it into the coffee and leaving the keys in the front door more than once are but two inconvenient side effects of the no-sleep thing.) I also knew that life as I knew it would change. (To that end, it did take my husband and I quite a few months to get used to the idea that we were tethered to the apartment once our son was in bed for the night. No more impromptu dates or dinners or walks to the Pinkberry up the block. From now on we would have to take turns running out for dessert or a bottle of wine. And if (a big IF) we had the forethought to hire a babysitter, we would kiss a cool $60 goodbye before even spending a penny on a bite of food.)

But those things one can get over. Kids are small for such a short time and before you know it they’re leaving you to hang out with their friends at night. No, the things I was unaware of go deeper than torturous amounts of sleep deprivation or house arrest. It’s the guilt I’m talking about. The gut-wrenching, heart-aching, I-want-to-scream-and-cry-my-eyes-out guilt that a mother can feel at virtually every turn. And with that, I present the ways I have failed as a mother since my son was born 19 months ago (partial list):

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