I’ve had the thoughts for a post like this on my mind for some time now, but I’ve yet to really give myself the time to truly think it all out and make it sound like I might sort of make sense.
In case you can’t tell by that first sentence, I still haven’t really done that. And I can’t promise that everything in this post will make sense. But that’s not what this blog is about anyway. I don’t have the perfectly curated blog posts or the beautifully staged photos, and that’s never what I’ve strived to be. Instead, I like it to just be me, in real life, speaking whatever might be on my mind at the time.
And today (and well, for quite some time now) it’s been mommy guilt.
To my fellow moms out there, I’m 100% sure you can relate to me on some level today, even though I’m also 100% sure we’ll all have completely different factors on what is driving that guilt. I know this from reading your comments and your emails. I know it from chatting with friends, and I’m also reminded of it daily as I scroll through my Facebook feed and see post after post shared by fellow mamas about the same things.
Being a mom is tough.
Mom guilt is real.
It’s the hardest job, but it’s also the most amazing and rewarding thing we’ve ever experienced.
They’re all true, and I think that’s why so many of us are drawn to those types of posts. We eat them up because it reminds us all that we’re NOT alone and that we’re all somehow trying to figure out how to manage it all (or at least, what we can) in this incredibly difficult yet amazing stage of life.
I often wonder if this is how our moms felt. Did they get all too consumed by the struggles of motherhood and trying to figure out just how to make it all work? Are we all just being whiney and needy moms, searching for the answers to it all while striving for something almost unattainable at times?
Certainly, I don’t think we’re all whiney and needy, but I do think that so much of our guilt is self-inflicted and most definitely a result of what we see on social media. You know…the stuff we’re all too engrossed in each and every single day? Yep, that’s me…and I’m sure it’s likely many of you, too.
But that’s not to say that all of the mom guilt is a result of what I see on social media. Take the other day, for example…
The mom guilt started as I dropped Lucas off at daycare. There was a mix of me feeling terrible for having to drop him off at daycare and not spending all day with him, combined with the guilt of actually being okay (most days) with being a working mom.
———Truthfully, as much as I have days where I would LOVE to be a SAHM, I’m just not sure I could do it…and be good at it. I enjoy my time outside of the home and most of the time, I do believe that my quality time with Lucas trumps quantity. But even still, it’s hard. Especially when I see all of the fun activities SAHM’s are doing during the day with their kiddos. No matter which side of the fence you’re on (working mom or stay at home) you’ve got your challenges and nobody’s should be seen as worse/harder/easier. We’re all in it together.
There was the mom guilt of seeing a beautifully photographed bento lunch box for toddlers on Instagram, filled with organic this and that and full of fresh produce. Then I got to thinking about how Lucas’s lunchbox (even though it’s also a super cute bento box!) was filled with nothing organic, not a vegetable in sight (because he barely ever eats them at daycare), and a PB&J sandwich for the third day in a row.
———-Then I got to thinking about how chatting with friends and coworkers off of social media remind me that this is totally normal and there is nothing wrong with feeding my child a freakin peanut butter and jelly sandwich. No, we can’t afford to buy all organic, but we do our best with what we can.
Then there was the guilt of cleaning up and doing the dishes after dinner, along with wiping down the counters, instead of sitting and playing. As I listened to Lucas call to me from the living room to “come sit and do puzzles, Mommy!” after a dinner full or arguments to get him to eat, I really just wanted to take the extra 5-10 minutes to attempt make some sense of the disaster in the kitchen. In peace and quiet.
———–Thankfully, even though Lucas has always been a mama’s boy through and through, I still have an incredible husband who will step in and at least attempt to keep everyone happy – even if all Lucas wants is mommy. I need to remind myself that I can’t always be by his side and that independent play is also a good thing.
Honestly, I could go on and on about the many times during any given day where the mommy guilt sets in. And don’t even get me started on the second child guilt (although, I will say, it’s been a LOT better lately than it was a few weeks ago). But I think we all know the feeling.
I guess all of this is just to say…mom guilt is real. And it can be easy to feel like you’re failing. But just remember, you’re not failing. And you’re not alone. We’re all in this together.
So whatever the source of your guilt is today, just know that someone else is probably struggling in the exact same way. As long as our kiddos know we’re doing the best that we can, that’s all that matters. <3