It doesn’t matter if you are a stay at home mom, working mom, a student, a combination of those or something else. We all have it: mom guilt.
If you happen to have a day free of this guilt, it’s likely you have wife guilt, disorganized house guilt, or any number of other types of guilt us moms can feel bad about.
There are many things I didn’t know before I became a mom. Of those, one was how having kids would mean that my head was constantly spinning with things I could be doing better. Just today, I was putting the laundry away after work and then had the thought of how I could be spending that time with my kids. But if I played with the kids, the laundry would be spilling out. Never. Ending. Cycle.
I had a paid holiday the day before the Fourth of July since the actual holiday fell on a Saturday. When I found out that daycare was still open on that day, I did a secret little dance. A paid holiday that I could spend to myself? Yes, please! However, as the day approached, yes- you know it, the mom guilt crept in. It’s amazing how “it” always finds a way in! I thought how selfish it was for me to have a day off and put my kids in daycare. My husband urged me not to see it that way and for me to enjoy a day, or at least a few hours, to myself. I should have listened to him.
The day came and I just couldn’t do it. I compromised by bringing them to the gym childcare in the morning so I could at least get a workout in. We then enjoyed the hot summer day at the beach playing and picnicking. It was a really fun day.
I thought to myself how the next day of party prepping for our annual 4th of July gathering would be guilt free because I was getting quality time in with them at the beach on this day. But who was I kidding? Did I really think that I could somehow ward off the mom guilt that was sure to still be looming around?
Sure enough, the 4th arrived and, yes- you know it, the mom guilt crept in! Again! Wait a second, I thought I had battled it out and defeated this guilt for at least a day? Wasn’t that the whole point of me not taking a perhaps much needed day off to myself?
I learned something that day. It truly made no difference. I could have had the beach day with the kids or a spa afternoon to myself and the mom guilt would still be there!
I am going to try to remember this lesson the next time any of the mom/wife/messy house guilt creeps in. The next time I am playing with my kids or stuck late at work or cleaning out the fridge while the kids independently play or getting a sitter for a date night, I will remember this: There is always something else I could be doing that I am not. And that is ok!
Moms, you are only one person. Your kids do not expect you to actually be more than that, though it definitely feels like it most days. They want you to be you. You are allowed to take time for yourself, to encourage them to watch another show so you can fold the laundry and to miss a soccer game here or there. You are also allowed to say no to a ladies night out because you’d rather hang at home with your family. There are no right answers. Mom guilt will creep up regardless of what we do. But if you know of a secret way to ward it off for good, please share it with me!