Sunday, October 14, 2012

Slaying the Guilt Snake

My foot hurts.

The pain started several weeks ago and was exacerbated by my unexpected performance in the Staten Island Half Marathon last weekend.

I tried to get an acupuncture appointment that worked with my (and Henry's) schedule, but Deborah, my very excellent acupuncturist, is always booked. I've tried bringing Henry with me for appointments, but he's too big and busy to sit in the stroller for an hour. Those days are o-v-e-r.

Deborah had one appointment Thursday at 12:30, right smack in the middle of our baby swim class.

Anyone following this blog will know how I feel about baby swim class, but I think this post sums it up pretty well. In short, it's a lot of effort for a half hour of splashy splashy. Henry loves going, though, and it makes me happy to see him all soggy and smiley.

I couldn't very well skip baby swim class for an acupuncture appointment just for my foot. Or could I?

We moms are so "liberated" these days, criticizing the notion of self-sacrificial motherhood as unrealistic, passé and masochistic. There are a half million self-important articles on parenting sites and mom blogs about making time for yourself, ensuring that you are healthy and happy enough to take care of your kids.

But for all our grandstanding, the guilt still slithers in. Even for something as small as swim class for a 10-month-old baby. The question lingers: Do I have the right to do something for myself instead of doing something for him? Not just while he's napping or when I organize for a babysitter?

I went to acupuncture. To practice what I preach: that I'm still a woman whose needs sometimes supersede those of my baby. Sue me.