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Mom Guilt: What's it good for?

My husband was out of town for a good chunk of last week. And taking care of the kids alone left me frazzled. So, I was giddy to have a sitter come on Thursday afternoon to give me a break.

How did I spend that precious time? Why, shopping, of course. As I was waiting in line to buy some shoes I really didn't need, I noticed a woman–a mom with a baby, ahead of me. The sales associate made some remark about the baby's extreme cuteness and the mom's eyes welled.

She pressed her cheek to her baby's and inhaled deeply. She said, "I love this girl. I'm a nut case, really. And she's my fifth."


Holy cow.

I can barely handle to the two I have. They are lively and healthy and wonderful, but mothering nonstop really takes it out of me. I NEED my sitter time to recharge.

And watching this woman, even though I know she was having a lovely moment with her infant daughter and that all her moments aren't likely so beautiful, I felt guilty. Guilty because I would never, ever consider spawning more than two children. Guilty that I often have a hard time parenting the small number I have. Guilty that I hadn't lately pressed my cheek to my kids' cheeks and inhaled, appreciating all that I have.

So I will do that. I'll work harder to cherish their cuteness before it morphs into puberty before my very eyes. What good does all that mom guilt do anyway?

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