Joneses – 13.3 Mommy Guilt

It was a rough day. Eliza had forgotten how rowdy drunken geeks could be. She issued so many citations, she needed a new pad. It was so tiring. When she got home, all she wanted was food and a hot bath. But, when she stepped in the door, she was met with chaos. The toddlers’ high chairs were covered in food, and piles of more food were scattered throughout the dining room. Lily and Lexi were running around in their pajamas and poopy diapers, and the nanny was just standing there watching.

“What do we pay you for? Clean up this mess and go home!”

“Yes, Mrs. Pancakes. I’m sorry–”

“Just get out!”

Bob and Eliza thought hiring a nanny would make things easier for them. They had one for Breanne when she started school because she would be at home by herself for three hours. But, this guy was a waste of money. They could have hired some teenager to babysit and got the same results and saved some money.

“Breanne,” she yelled up the stairs. “Can you help me, please?”

“I have company!”

Eliza growled and stormed into the kitchen to find food.

 

“Ugh,” Breanne said. “Why does she always want me to help with those babies? They don’t belong to me! Isn’t that what we have a nanny for?”

This wasn’t the first time Kaiden had heard this rant and attempted to ignore her.

“How do you deal with having so many siblings? Does your mom make you help?”

“It’s not so bad. I help my parents because I want to.”

“Why?”

“Because…they’re my parents…and they like it when we help. It makes it easier for them with their crazy schedules.” He shrugged. “It feels good when they appreciate us.”

 

Meanwhile, downstairs, Eliza had made grilled cheese sandwiches. She usually didn’t need to make anything as Bob kept the refrigerator stocked full of nutritious meals, but for whatever reason, the fridge was empty that day. Eliza didn’t have a culinary bone in her body. Bob’s passion for cooking was one of the things that drew her to him in their early years. She didn’t want to be a typical house wife who spent her free time cooking, cleaning, and rearing children. Being a neat freak, she didn’t mind the cleaning part, but the cooking was not on the table. She got really lucky with Bob. But, that day, luck was not on her side.

Grilled cheese was probably the most unhealthy thing she could have given her children, but it was quick and easy. She couldn’t bear to put them back in those grimy high chairs again and let them eat with her in the living room. She hoped with all her might they wouldn’t make a mess in there and didn’t remember Breanne being so high maintenance.

Eliza felt like she was becoming unglued. Things at work weren’t going well, it was hard to keep up with the chores, she wasn’t connecting with her oldest like she wanted to, and the babies were like a plague that constantly loomed over the house and covered everything with ick.

Once she and the girls were fed, she promptly got them in the tub. They were quite fussy. That’s when she learned they missed their nap time, and she got frustrated all over again.

Thankfully, the girls did not fight her on the nap time. They went to sleep quite quickly without a fuss. On a day where everything went wrong, she was happy for something to go right.

It was days like those that brought on the mommy guilt and the “if onlys” pretty bad. If only she could stay home with them. If only she could work an earlier shift. If only, if only. But, her children were healthy and pretty smart. Their life may not be how she wanted it, but it sure as heck could get worse.

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