I live in an area of the country (USA) that doesn’t see a lot of snow. But, we just received a whopping 8 inches of it the other day! For the past 2 days the sun has been shining, slowly melting the snow. Yet the temperature and wind chill are below freezing, so overnight everything that melted during the day refreezes causing ice to form on the roads & other such surfaces. One of those surfaces is the ramp leading to/from our front door.
My 4-year-old daughter wanted to go out and play, make snow angels and otherwise romp in the front yard today. But, I was too scared to try to go down the slick ramp. So, I told my daughter that she could go out but that mommy would stay on the porch. I saw the disappointment on her face, but she said, “Okay… Thanks, Mom!”
These are the moments in which guilt can creep in, diminishing the joy I could be experiencing. Although it’s not my fault that I got sick; it’s not my fault that my body is losing a battle with mobility; I did nothing to cause the limitations I have, I still feel like I’m robbing the magic of my daughter’s childhood. I feel bad about not being able to join her in certain activities. I’ll feel guilty for not being able to go places with her or give her the “Physical Mommy” that other kids have.
But, these are also the moments I must make myself pause and reflect on how resilient, flexible and accommodating my little girl is, especially at her young age. She is living out a wonderful childhood, despite her mother’s “disabilities.” We go to shows, the zoo, the park, the library. She’s involved with church, school and gymnastics. We cook together, help each other with household chores, play board games, put on puppet shows and so much more! She’s happy and she has wonderful opportunities for social engagement.
And today as I watched her play in the snow from my perch on the porch, all that I noticed was her smile, her singing made-up songs out of contentment, her giggling and having a blast!!! I didn’t need to feel guilty after all for she was not affected by me not being able to participate. She was just pleased that I joined her outside and watched.
Feeling guilty about my role (or rather, lack thereof) as a “Physical Mom” is a useless endeavor. Besides, I should be concentrating on the fact that my daughter has an “Emotional Mommy” – and that is so much more important!!
Soooooo…… GUILT, BE GONE!!