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By Richie Ann Ashcraft
My horoscope today says I’m a provocateur and it would be wise for me to be more sensitive to others. It says I should be a kinder, gentler version of myself. So, here it goes: I’m not going to bring up any debatable arguments or current mother-news issues. Today, I’m going to talk about guilt. I’m riddled with guilt and always have been. But my latest episode of this mental defect came when I had to call in “sick? with my baby. It seriously is the first time I•ve stayed home from work when I wasn’t physically anguished. The guilt set in as soon as the sun came up. Soren was crying for no apparent reason, as he had been the day before. His perpetual screaming had exhausted my sitter. I knew she couldn’t handle an encore and we’d all be better off if I just stayed home and tried to comfort him. I called the boss and felt like a schmuck. Ran the day’s agenda over in my head and made a few more calls to make sure my story reached its final destination. Then I carried a crying baby around on my shoulder all day. He cried and cried. I tried Orajel, I tried blowing bubbles, I tried singing, I tried dancing, I tried music, I tried the jumpy chair, I tried rocking, I tried outside, I tried inside, I tried warm clothes, I tried nakedness (his not mine), and the screeching just went on and on. Finally we tuckered out and took a nap. When I woke up I felt really bad. I knew my coworkers were at the Sentinel slaving away while I was at home napping. I switched on Oprah and watched her give a guy $100,000 for reporting the whereabouts of a convicted child-molester. GO OPRAH! I was enjoying the show so much that the guilt really set in. I had to call my coworker Tammy and profusely apologize for making her day extra busy. She told me not to feel bad that I was “right where you should be.? But, still•& The point is: being a working mom is hard even when you aren’t at work.