In today's Huffington Post, former ABC News anchor/blogger Heather Cabot is feeling guilty because she confused some kid's nanny with his actual mother. In short: Heather and a blond caretaker bonded at the local gymborama or whatever. They made a playdate. Then Heather spotted the same child with a tall brunette wearing dark sunglasses indoors, and since the kid was blond, she assumed the brunette was the nanny. Then she projects all of her guilt about having a nanny onto this sunglasses-clad woman. When someone confused Heather's nanny for her child's mother, she felt "a swell of emotions - guilt for being lucky enough to be able to pay someone to help me care for the kids...and guilt for wanting time away...I can really empathize with what this woman must have felt when I just assumed she wasn't the boy's mother." Oh Jesus Christ. The best part? This woman is the founder of a site she calls "a guilt-free zone."
First off, the other woman didn't seem insulted at all when Heather assumed she was the nanny. But more importantly, women have got to stop feeling so fucking guilty about every decision they make. The highly publicized upper middle class "opt-out revolution", wherein highly educated women were dropping out of their prestigious careers to be stay-at-home moms, took its toll on vulnerable nanny employers across the nation. Moms like Cabot saw their peers dropping out of the partner track at their law firms and thought "Holy shit, am I a bad mommy for my ambition?" The answer is: NO...
matter what you do your kids are going to blame you for something. My working mother was the only parent who did not come to my second grade luncheon honoring the 50 states. I still have yet to forgive her, but she's totally over it. What can I do? The woman gave me life. And paid for college! I feel guilty just thinking about what a crap mom I'll be in comparison. But do I go and have a massive guilt-induced breakdown about it online? No.
Is it possible, Heather, you're just feeling guilty about not taking your own advice? For rampant hypocrisy? Or maybe you're feeling guilty about profiting off the female obsession with guilt? Or are you feeling guilty for feeling secretly triumphant you were confused with a nanny???
You know what? Don't answer that.