I'm a middle aged chick and I still fall into the giant guilt trap that is my mother. Please share your parental nightmare guilt stories and how you handle them.
I live 3 hours from my family -half are in New York, half in D.C. I schlep up or down for one family event or another pretty much every single month. Today, I drove seven hours RT to go to my niece's first birthday.
Now my mother COULD have thought- Indigo has an enormous amount of crazy going on between moving cross country (alone) and packing up her house (alone) and starting a new job (ditto) - how awesome that she loves her family so much!
But No no, I got a massive guilt trip about why I didn't sleep over at her house and drive home tomorrow in the clusterfuck that is traffic coming back from the Delaware/Jersey shore on a four-day July 4th weekend.
The guilt trip expanded. My mother complained that I was at a Bat Mitzvah for just a "little bit" even though I got there at 10 and left at 3 and it was three hours away- and I left because I had a massive migraine and threw up all over myself.
I was told that I almost never sleep over anymore. I was just there for Mother's Day and stayed four days for Passover - while my sister and brother who live an hour away, came once.
"But I miss you!" says my mother. It doesn't feel like I'm missed. It feels like I have a giant checklist to prove my love and no matter how much I do, it is never enough.
The really sad thing about all this - THIS is a large part of why I did not want children. I was terrified that I would do the same thing to my kids, that everything they did would be out of obligation and guilt and that they would spend their lives knowing they were never good enough. I see my sister doing it and it's awful.
tl;dr: I am too old for this guilt crap.