Let’s take a minute and just take that term in: mom guilt.
The Bad Moms talk about it a lot. The media talks about it a lot. But I can tell you, as a person with the tendency to be self-deprecating, mom guilt for me is the worst. I actually don’t think many other things about parenting plague me more. I’m not good at being like “oh hey, I’m awesome and doing awesome at this momming thing.” I’m cool with things not being perfect, but mom guilt sucks. It eats at my self-confidence like nothing ever has and makes me question every little decision I make around momming.
I know that part of it comes from an idealistic view of what motherhood is supposed to be. I always envisioned meeting a solid dude, having a couple kids, and la-di-da, there’s life in all its glory. I intended to have a fulfilling career, but first and foremost would be my family. I would be smiley and perky and there for my kids no matter what.
Fast forward and yes, all of those things are true: I love my kids and do everything humanly possible for them. But there is a but. I have a fulfilling career that has been a decade in the making but it is also a demanding one. When I wake up the kids are up and I’m already on my email and have been since 7:30 – so I am often burnt out by 11am. Which means come 5pm and I’m with my babies again and BOOM – mama has no patience and things get hairy. And then 9pm rolls around and BOOM again: mom guilt because a lot of the time the day just didn’t go as planned and sometimes my kids pay for my crappy mood that day (snappy Sara!) Lots of mom guilt to weigh on my brain. Guilt because sometimes I don’t WANT to get up in the morning with the kids, I would rather enjoy some sleep in. Guilt because I had to go back to work like one minute after each kid was born. Guilt that I tried to make the homemade purees, but hey, food making for the little ones just isn’t my bag (thank you squishy packs!)
More guilt because a lot of my time with my kids is spent distracted by everything on the planet and guilt because on some days when I’d like to just chill with my guys, I end up having to discipline and that means enforcing rules rather than 100% play time.
Guilt because sometimes I leave them for a night, or maybe a weekend, to recuperate and then more guilt because the last encounter I had with either of them wasn’t perfect.
So there it is: there is lots of mom guilt to go around, we all feel it, and we all know it sucks. I wish I could say there was a way of diminishing it, but I think our best bet as mamas is to just keep on keepin’ on, and do our best every day.
And for me, that means I need to not let mom guilt get in the way of just good old fashioned loving being a mom. Because I do, simply, love being a mom.