To: Sibling in town for the holidays
From: Your stressed-out sister
Re: Our lack of any quality time together other than over pre-Thanksgiving dinner cocktails and post-dinner mumblings between pie and coffee
Relationships are a two-way street. While you are the out-of-towner, remember it is your vacation time and not mine. You happened to visit during a time of absolute chaos. Not only did I face a huge project deadline, but also a major holiday, two family get-togethers for which I had to cook food, and ongoing volunteer commitments. I know this is hard for you to understand, that you accuse me of having “excuses.” I don’t think of work, a home and a family as “excuses.” But, seeing as you choose to keep your life as commitment-free as possible, at least allow for the possibility that the world does not revolve around you. Perhaps some advance notice of your visit would have allowed me to carve out time, schedule a babysitter or at least warn you of my crazybusy life right now. So, stop with the damned guilt trip. It’s so ’70s.
To: My dear, sweet daughters
From: Your well-meaning mother
Re: My lack of attention
There is nothing more cutting to the bone than mommy guilt. It was my painful awareness of your various needs that drove me to take on work that now keeps me from paying the attention to which you have grown accustomed. I’ve slacked on nightly bedtime reading sessions, have left you unattended with scissors (Spunky’s whiskers will grow back), forgotten to pick you up from school, and let the Halloween pumpkins blacken and implode on the front porch. In my effort to be everything to everyone I ended up being nothing to anyone. In the future, when you are speaking of me to your therapist, please refrain from using too much profanity.
To: My adoring husband of almost 10 years who somehow still loves me
From: Ice machine with frayed cord
Re: Our poor, neglected relationship
When a stay-at-home mom feels guilty for not contributing to the household bottom line, when she feels it is partly her fault for the bottom line’s disintegration due to the fact that she outright quit a job that most certainly would have dumped her butt on the unemployment line within a year anyway, but then at least she would have collected unemployment rather than be told repeatedly that “quitting a job does not qualify you for any sort of sympathy or assistance” and could feel less guilty about not helping out. (I don’t think that was a sentence.) When she decided to try to restore that contribution she realized the only job she knew how to do was housed in a shack built on stilts over quicksand and –hello! it’s gone forever. So she came up with a different way that maybe helps out a little but now she’s the one needing help because she gets no sleep and is an irrational witch half the time and deliriously distracted the other half.
To: My two faithful readers
From: Determined-but-frustrated blogger
Re: Lack of posts
Thank you for sticking around, stopping by once in a while and commenting. It is greatly appreciated. I wish I could be the wind beneath your wings, the fire in your furnace, the hot knife to slice your butter. As much as it would seem the logical thing to do, I won’t quit this blog. I maintain it now for the same reasons I started it. I’m stubborn like that.