The guilt often keeps me company when I go to bed and through the night showing itself in tears down my cheeks and a dampness on my pillow where I lay my head. I try not to sob outloud, keeping my tears silent so as not to wake my partner or toddler unsure of where this guilt and sadness that has hit me like a tonne of bricks has come from. Anything can trigger it, a cross word, the feeling that I’ve not spent enough quality time with them that day or a fleeting look of sadness when I’ve said I’m too busy to play. The weekends they go to their Dads it can be walking past their empty bedrooms. They shouldn’t be empty you see, I’ve failed as a Mum in not providing them with a secure stable home environment. The guilt that shouldn’t be mine to bear has never the less been placed on my shoulders.
I lay awake unable to sleep, the feeling of regret, remorse, and a promise to myself that tomorrow I will do better. I will be a better Mum. I will forget about all the mundane everyday tasks that often take over. I will focus on the present, the here and now and cherish the ordinary moments. They are only going to be little for a certain amount of time and then they wont need me so much anymore. The feeling of being stretched and pulled in every possible direction will no longer be as intense as it is now and I will miss it, I know I will. As I miss the sleepy baby cuddles with them, how the 8 year old no longer walks holding my hand and instead walks ahead with his friends talking and laughing. The toddler already so fiercely independent.
Sometimes the guilt is to much the bear and I think that they deserve better than me, a better Mummy. That I don’t deserve them. That’s not what they want though, they want me. In their eyes I’m a good Mummy, they look at me with little eyes full of love. In the daytime I look at them and they are happy, smiley healthy children with a safe home. They are lucky and we are blessed to have them in our lives. I know that the guilt is still there lingering like a shadow in a corner waiting for when I’m vulnerable, tired and used up. Unable to sleep it will creep up on me again and I will lie awake making promises to myself that tomorrow will be different.