I throw around the term “Jewish guilt” at least once a day. It describes what I feel daily, or as Wikipedia puts it: “Jewish guilt is a term used to identify the supposed guilt felt by Jews”. On Ask.com, someone describes Jewish guilt as “the guilt a Jewish person may feel or be made to feel by a parent or family member. Not calling your mother enough can cause Jewish guilt to be inflicted upon you by said mother”.
It’s a thing, and obviously so is mom guilt. And I feel both of them daily. If I’m a few minutes late to fetch you from school, they’re there. When I spend more time with my laptop and deadlines and less with you, I feel them. If you fall, I feel them. After all, maybe I could have done something to prevent the fall, right? (wrong, but try telling a Jewish mom that).
So when a few days ago your teacher suggested that we take you for an assessment to check your muscle tone (she thinks it’s low), my first thought was that it was my fault, that I’d done something to cause this, or rather, that I hadn’t done enough to build up a strong muscle tone (and I’m not talking about stomach crunches at the gym). And then I felt guilty x2.
It reminded me of how last year, we were told to seek out speech and hearing therapy for you last year because you were battling to pronounce a few letters. And the first thing I told Nikki, the speech and hearing therapist, was that I felt terrible and guilty, and that it was my fault you couldn’t say the letter “l”. Nikki got what I was saying, and spoke me off the guilt ledge.
But as a mom, I feel like I’m back there a lot. Especially when there’s a “problem’ or something “wrong” or a thing I could have prevented.
So there. Feeling a bit crapola because you can’t grip a pen to perfection or manage a scissors well. While my own mother dishes her own dose of Jewish guilt to me because I don’t visit “enough”. Pass the blintzes. I think I’m off to comfort eat.
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