My friends and I joke about mom guilt all the time. There is always something we haven’t done enough of, someone we haven’t satisfied, or some arbitrary goal we haven’t reached. I joke about it so often that I underestimate the effect it’s having on my sanity, my health, and my ability to enjoy life. Today should be a sigh of relief for me, as my kids will be going to childcare PART TIME for two weeks. However, I have spent at least two hours sitting in one spot. I feel like a horrible mother because my daughter had a hard time going to her new class today, and my son saw me dropping off his car seat after the fact and cried to leave with me. How dare I drop them off and leave them crying while I gallivant around doing…what exactly am I supposed to do today?
Oh, I was supposed to get the oil changed on my car first thing in the morning, but had to bring the car seat back to childcare for my son because they’re going on a field trip today…so by the time I got to the car place there was a two-hour wait…by then I had also missed my class at the gym…so I came home and now I’m sitting here feeling miserable. My resolve to enjoy my alone time has faded away, sucked up by the guilt of knowing my kids aren’t happy. I am so used to this cycle that I am comfortable in it. I am not comfortable being happy without them. THAT IS A PROBLEM.
I don’t know how to “fix” this problem, but I did bring myself to type this up. I’ll do my best to keep moving, do those mundane things that take an extra half an hour with kids in tow, and catch the evening class at the gym (or just hit the treadmill). I was feeling too sad and irritated to blog, but then I talked to my sister. She advised me to get my thoughts out, because after all, isn’t this what’s real? This is a huge part of motherhood, struggling with your identity; figuring out how to feed your own needs when they usually come last; understanding that your life will never ever be the same because your heart is literally outside of your body- crawling, walking, running, or driving around (mine are still just running:)). There’s no need for reminders about how much we love and must cherish our children- it’s a given.
Mothers are human as well. We are allowed to have feelings, needs, desires, and ambition- without the unsolicited remarks tinted with criticism.
As much as I love posting about my kids’ activities, milestones, birthdays, and holiday fun, I also enjoy connecting with other moms who understand the weight and reality of it all. Motherhood is hard, and there’s nothing wrong with saying that. It’s not all roses and pretty pictures and cute quotes. Blogging is certainly fun, but for me, it is also my (free) therapy.
I am thankful for my husband, who suggested I take a break for a couple of weeks. I took awhile to agree; but when my 4-year-old and 2-year-old wear my patience thin, it is helpful for everyone to have a change of scenery and routine. Support in any form is vital; I am learning to accept it and treasure it, despite the feelings of regret and guilt that creep in when I do take advantage of a “break.”
Well, it’s now noon- I still have at least four hours to myself. Come along, Guilt, let’s have a better afternoon!
Thanks for “listening.” I know I’m not alone- let me know below how your day/week is going.