Mom guilt comes in all different shapes & sizes these days. Whether it be about how you gave birth, how long you breastfed or whether you are a working or stay at home mom, the comparison game is strong & it leaves us constantly wondering if we are doing the right thing for our kids.
It seems like every other day I read an article about motherhood, and so many of them are pounding it into our heads this idea of being present and enjoying every minute. Which yes, for the most part, I totally agree with. But truth be told, it is starting to feel like just another form of mom guilt, in that if you aren’t constantly playing with your children, and loving every moment with them, then you are failing.
Every morning I spend the first few waking hours with my three girls, hanging out together, playing in the play room, eating breakfast together, reading & dancing. We have play dates & park dates at least 3 days a week, and the older girls have their own activities that we take them to one on one, like dance, and soccer, and mommy & me gymnastics. It’s full of fun and love and laughter and heart bursting happiness. But it’s also full of meltdowns and tantrums and getting kicked in the neck while trying to change a diaper or put your kids shoes on. And to be honest, it’s exhausting.
Sometimes, my kids drive me absolutely insane, sometimes I pile them into the car for a drive-thru coffee run, I turn on some music so they can chill out & jam out, so I can mentally check out and not have to be present. When one toddler is yelling at me that she doesn’t want to brush her hair, the other is physically pulling me to the pantry to get them another snack & the baby is screaming she is teething, I am not enjoying the moment. And while I cook dinner, and pick up the house, and run my business, I am not playing with my kids. But thing is, they are doing just fine. They are learning to be independent. To use their imaginations, to follow the rules without me having to tell them & to figure out their own limitations. They are singing or dancing or talking toddler jibberish to each other.
We are moms, we love our babies hard & there is nothing more precious than the time we spend with them. But sometimes, we need to take a minute to fill up our own cup, the cup that should “runneth over” but maybe sometimes feels like it “runneth on empty.” It’s okay to do things for ourselves, and take a moment to think and breathe, and not always be present. Because at the end of the day, you may just peek into the playroom & see this. Your kids playing by themselves, making a mess, building a boat & dancing to the beat of their own little drum.
So let’s all take a second to send our mom guilt right out to sail on that boat that our kids built. Don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t doing enough, being present enough or enjoying it enough. Motherhood is hard, and if you are doing your best, then you are not failing. You are winning, and you are the best kind of mom there is.12