I went to New York this past weekend for a girls’ trip and from the minute I booked the flight the guilt crept in. I shouldn’t be going I should be home with the boys, I’m missing their baseball games, I’m missing the science fair, I’m missing them. But then I have to stop myself and say, look – outside of being their mom, I’m ME too, and sometimes we need that time just to be us, right? WE didn’t disappear because we became mom. And I think we have to remember that.
Because the guilt will come at you from all angles, not just when you’re taking a trip.
It’ll come at you in different waves.
In different aspects of your daily life.
If you’re a working mom outside of the home you have that daycare drop-off hustle routine. Or the after-school daycare routine.
The guilty thoughts creep in.
I’m missing moments.
I’m missing milestones.
I’m not there to change the diapers. I’m not there to put them down for their nap.
I’m not making homemade babyhood in the middle of the afternoon like Jane does. I’m not able to nurse them every 2 hours like Jill does.
I’m not there to tuck them in at night.
I’m not there when they wake up in the morning.
I’m not there for their soccer game.
I’m not there for the school play.
If you’re a work from home mom it’s the having your face plugged into your computer/laptop punching away at an e-mail or message. It’s the ignoring of the little tug on your shirt to come play. It’s the snapping at them to just SHHH for one second because mommy is on the phone.
The guilty thoughts take over.
I’m here, but I’m not here.
I should be more present.
Is this e-mail really that important?
Did I really just snap at him because he asked for a snack?
I should be baking cookies.
I should be making a Pinterest-esque craft.
Should I be working in front of them?
Am I making them feel unimportant?
And you’ve got the stay at home mom. Whose entire life has been essentially dedicated to taking care of their children but comes with it’s own unique set of guilt. The house needs to be picked up. Dinner needs to get started. You want to watch just one episode of your favorite show that doesn’t consist of Disney Junior or YouTube Kids.
Should I be sitting down right now?
I’m so tired. Should I be tired?
I need to do the laundry, I can’t play right now.
I need to grocery shop, there’s no time for the park today.
I’m tired of playing superhero.
I don’t want to run around at the park.
It can be as simple as you wanting to sit on the couch with your cup of coffee scrolling through your Facebook feed without being bothered.
But then the guilty thoughts creep in.
I shouldn’t be sitting here on my phone.
I should be playing with the kids.
Reading books with them.
Pushing them on swings at the park.
Practicing flash cards.
Playing Hide & Go Seek.
Some of those guilty feelings are going to overlap on all types of mothers. Regardless of your “title”. Because at the end of the day, despite our circumstance we all tend to feel the same feels, at different times. Motherhood can be freaking hard, right?
But here’s the thing. Let’s stop for a second.
Let’s stop beating ourselves up for what we’re NOT doing and focus on what we ARE doing.
Are we providing a loving home for our children?
Do they have a roof over their head?
Clean clothes and shoes?
A hot shower or bath?
Food on the table to fill their bellies?
Hugs, snuggles and kisses?
Yes, mamas. Yes.
That 20 minute mindless Facebook scroll session while you sip your hot coffee.
That “SHHH let mommy finish her phone call”.
That missed soccer game.
That one missed bed time tuck-in.
The frozen chicken nuggets and cake pop for dessert because you were too tired to make a “real dinner.”
NONE of those things matter.
None of them detract from how awesome of a mom you are.
In fact, it makes you even better.
Because it makes you human.
There is no perfect mom (despite Pinterest trying desperately to make you believe there are).
We’re all a hot mess, mamas.
Some days are just better than others, right?
There are the days we feel like we’re rockin’ the mom game with the clean house, happy kiddos and a crockpot meal that makes the house smell amazing.
The days you bake the brownies or the chocolate chip cookies or the cupcakes with rainbow sprinkles and your kids lick the spoon clean.
The days you take them to the park and climb on the monkey bars and ran around playing tag.
The rainy days where you grab the coziest of blankets and you all snuggle on the couch with fuzzy socks and a bowl of popcorn to watch a movie.
The days you built the pillow fort and listened to their laughs and giggles for hours.
And then… Mamas there are the “other” days…
The days where your kids got into the baby powder and their entire bedroom looks like a not so awesome version of a winter wonderland.
The days where you forgot about the chicken roasting in the oven until smoke swirled the kitchen and the fire alarm was blaring.
The days your baby figured out how to take off his diaper and smeared poop all over the crib.
The days where your kids fight, cry and bicker and they’ve essentially lived in the time-out spot.
Where you screamed more than you snuggled.
Where you cried more than you laughed.
We all have those days.
But the thing we need to remember is that it’s ok..
It’s ok we make mistakes.
It’s ok we take a mom time out.
It’s ok we do something just for us, because we want to.
It’s ok if we don’t have all the answers.
It’s ok if things don’t turn out exactly how we planned.
It’s freaking ok we want to eat the candy bar without sharing!
And it’s ok to have that big glass of wine (or two) at the end of the day!
Mamas, we have to stop feeling guilty because we’re human.
We have to stop feeling guilty because we aren’t perfect.
We have to stop feeling guilty that we want things outside of tending to our kids 24/7.
We have to stop feeling guilty we have goals, passions, and interests.
We have to stop feeling like because we had kids that “we” as in the person we were BB (before baby) has to disappear.
Ya feel me?
When I became a mom I thought everything had to change. I thought that from this point forward I had to live my life for them. To make sure that their every need was catered to and their every desire was fulfilled. How exhausting, right? I thought I needed to “give up” on my dreams because my kids needed to come first. I fell into this role of “wife” and “mommy” and completely lost myself in the process. And then I re-found myself. I started working from home. And yes, I went through the stages of mom guilt. But 7 years into this mom-gig thing and I’m at a good place now. Acceptance. We CAN have it all mamas. We can have our interests, our passions, our hobbies. We can have our career. We can be a mom and be US too. Ya know? We just have to give ourselves the grace that it won’t be perfect. That it’ll be a little messy sometimes. That we’ll have the good and bad days.
So mamas, raise that hot mug of coffee or that glass of wine and give yourself a salute – a cheers! To being amazing. To being an awesome mom. Because you are, and you deserve it.