Annoyance and Mommy Guilt

July 29, 2011 Corie

When my parents said that we were all going on a camping trip to the beach, my first thought was hell yes, I haven’t been to the beach in years, I am so excited.  My second thought kind of cringed at the thought of taking my 16 month old to the beach as a single mommy. 

I love my son, and generally do not resent the fact that I am a single mommy (except at 1am when he hasn’t gone to sleep yet and I just got home from a twelve hour shift at work, but that isn’t often.)  However, all I could think about when it came to taking my son to the beach was how it was not fair that I had to watch him and not get to go out and do stuff by myself while his father could go to the beach every weekend alone if he wanted to.  I am very fortunate that my parents are here to help watch him, but it still didn’t seem fair.

This morning, we were at the beach for about half an hour before my son decided that he had had enough and wanted to come home.  I had barely got to play in the water and hadn’t gotten to lay out at all.  He didn’t like the water and nly started to like the sand at the very end.  He was tired and crabby and just wanted to come home and take a nap.  I don’t blame him, but I wanted to stay out.  When my parents said that they were going to drive around Myrtle Beach and would take the baby with them so I could go to the beach alone, I was so excited.

Cue Mommy Guilt.

I got to the beach and found a spot to lay down.  Looking around, I saw a daddy who was probably 30 years old (if that) with his 2 or so year old daughter.  He had dug a gigantic hole in the sand and was filling it with water for her to play in.  One by one, other kids that I am sure he didn’t know came and jumped in the hole and started playing and he just laughed and played with all of them.  I turned to his wife who was just a few feet from me and told her that she was lucky, because he was a good daddy.  Then I started to feel guilty.

Rather than enjoy my son this morning at the beach and play with him and let him get used to the sand and the water on his own time, I resented the fact that I couldn’t do what I wanted to do.  I wish I could go back and tell him that it is ok, and mommy knows that the sand hurts your feet and that the water is too fast and that it is a scary place, but that I will hold your hand and we can explore this place together.  I am just glad that I realized this on the first day of our vacation and not the last.  Hopefully tomorrow we can go back to the beach and mommy can have some time to play with him.

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