The other day, the fam and I gathered around the kitchen table after dinner.
“Ugh, I should have never ate that last piece of hazelnut torte!” I complained, grabbing my jelly-belly for emphasis. “Why can’t I just lose weight??”
My husband looked me squarely in the eyes.
“You know what the difference between you and me is?” he asked.
My jelly belly and I waited.
“I never feel remorse. I don’t ever feel guilty about indulging. Ever.”
I stared at my husband, the one-of-no-remorse, in complete and utter amazement. I couldn’t believe how absolutely right he was. I felt I had stumbled upon a revelation, the secret to the difference between men and women:
Women feel guilt. Constantly. Men don’t.
When I work, whether it be from home, or at the hospital, I feel guilty for leaving the kids. I worry about the amount of TV their father will allow them to watch, or how the littlest will miss me. Especially if I’m working from home, I worry that I am 1) wasting too much time on Facebook 2) they will think I am ignoring them because I’m in plain sight, well, ignoring them or 3) that my husband will hate me because I’m wasting too much time on Facebook.
I feel guilty each and every time I am not playing with the girls. I feel guilty for not cleaning my house more. I feel guilty when my husband complains about the stains on Ada’s clothes. I feel guilty because I just made burritos tonight and somehow, the beans are rock hard after cooking all day. I feel guilty after every piece of chocolate, every ice cream cone, ever-so-sinful molten chocolate lava cake. I feel guilty when I don’t wake up early and exercise. I feel guilty when I wake up early and exercise, and don’t hear Mya wake up and find her screaming in her crib. I pretty much feel guilty about everything, all the time.
That’s a lot of guilt. And quite frankly, it’s exhausting.
What would happen if we women took on the attitude of our men folk and felt no guilt about anything, ever?
No “I shouldn’t have had that second cookie” or “I wish I could still fit in my pre-pregnancy jeans?”
No guilt for working or not working, no guilt for a little extra pudge, no guilt for not documenting every single second our children’s existence?
What kind of world would that be?
I don’t know, but tonight, I think I will find out.
With the help of a vanilla-caramel drumstick.