Tuesday, March 12, 2013

mom guilt.

Mom guilt. Yuck.

Every single one of us Mothers have felt it. Guilty. Over something.

Are we teaching them enough? Are we hugging them enough? Do I laugh with her enough? Do I sing to her enough?

Honestly, it freaking sucks. But I have a feeling it's not going anywhere.

Working Mom guilt is the pits. Some of us work and love it, some of us work because we have too. Doesn't matter the circumstance, there is going to come a time when work makes you feel the "Mom guilt".

You miss a pre-school play or you can't bake cookies for the class party. Or you're on a work trip and you miss Valentine's Day (yep, still not over it).

Stay at home Moms aren't immune either. There's the ever present "am I teaching them enough? Are they being socialized enough? Am I enough?!" questions that plague them.

I've been both. The guilt is everywhere.

Then you get posts like this and rebuttals like this that fly like wildfire all over the world wide web. One week we're all gung ho over the first one and vowing to focus all of our attention on our kiddos, then in a few weeks, that gets old and the second one comes out. Just in time too, because we need something else to get fired up about.

I have to say, I agreed with both of those posts. They both had extremely valid points.

I like the first one because I have been that Mom. I've searched my Instagram while my kid begged for my attention because it was a habit or because I felt out of the loop or because, well, just because. I've been know to tell her to "shhh" and "go watch her show" while I look at Facebook and catch up on my Reader.

That first post didn't make me feel guilty though. That writer can't do that. That post did make me more aware of my time though. And for that I give the lady props.

I really liked the second post too. It makes sense. In a world as technology driven as this one, our whole entire world is on our phone.

Yesterday I watched BG play in the backyard for 30 minutes while I dabbled on my phone. To the passerby, I would be the Mom ignoring her kid for the phone.

In reality, I was watching her. And cheering her on. But I was also answering a few work emails. I was filling out the paperwork for her specialist appointment coming up, I was scheduling in doctor's appointments and I was paying a bill.

When I was done, I was tempted to hop on Instagram and just look a bit. But she wanted to play soccer, so I set my phone down and we played soccer.

There has to be a balance. I think people expect us as Moms to be on all the time. And if that's the case, well, I know I fail every single day.

I adore my kid. But I also know my limits and I know that if I don't take a break for some me time every now and then, then I can't parent her to the best of my ability. I tend to snap more, lose patience faster, and shut her out more if I'm drained. I tend to be more drained when I don't take care of me.

I think it's okay to occasionally sit your kid down with a puzzle or something while you flip through your Facebook feed. I think it's okay to let your kid play in their room alone for a few moments while you decompress on the couch. I think it's okay to occasionally let them watch one extra cartoon while you finish an email to an old friend or wrap up a phone call.

I sometimes think we're doing things the wrong way. When I read posts that say that when a kid is awake, they should have your undivided attention, I'm like "say what?!". I remember when I was growing up, I heard "kids should be seen and not heard" and now it's the total opposite. Since when did the children take over?

All this to say that I get it. To both posts. And I think they're both right. And wrong. I think it's okay to occasionally let other things grab your focus but I also think it's really important to focus on what really matters. I think it's really important to manage your time well. To manage your homes well. To manage your family well. I also think that figuring out how to get all that done, is different for every single Mama. Only each of us can figure out if we're doing all of the above to the best we can.


Katie @ Loves of Life said...

Mom guilt sucks and I'm pretty sure it can't be avoided...I had a huge mom-guilt day today, actually. Sigh.

Jen Watts said...

Hey momma, I'm too busy to blog a lot lately so I'm just going to cut and paste yours to mine, ok? Seriously, you always read my mind.. Give Ella a hug from Carsyn, ok?

SEL said...

Beautifully written post. Just perfect.

Elizabeth said...

What a great post! When you said " I tend to be more drained when I don't take care of me," tears welled up in my eyes. That's exactly what's been going on over here. I feel horribly guilty for losing my patience with my 19 month old yesterday. I had just read a work email on my phone, was trying to figure out what to cook for dinner and she was whining for something. Frustration ensued on both parts because she still can't communicate everything she wants. I raised my voice and the tears came for both of us. I keep putting off my goal to exercise because I feel like the household needs to come first. But you put that so well. If I don't make some time for me, everything is going to suffer. Thank you for putting that into perspective for me.

Katie @ Modern-Day Family said...

oh my gosh YES!!! THIS! I read both of them and I was somewhere in the middle. I could relate to both... agreed and disagreed with both. You couldn't have said it better. In a world that is so black and white, I find myself SO GRAY on so many things and it's frustrating to feel like I have to pick a side and/or don't fit in on a side. Nice to find someone else that is gray like me :)

Karen said...

Spot on, my friend. I think we've talked before about the working Mom guilt. It's hard to push through the guilt, but you're a great Mom. I have to keep reminding myself of the same. Doing the best we can :)


Samma said...

Eh, I get what the first post last was trying to say, but geez. Passive aggressive much? I gave a hearty AMEN to the second post, because who are we to judge? Yeah, some lady might be looking at Facebook, but she might also be doing a million other things. Lord a mercy!

Samma said...

Eh, I get what the first post last was trying to say, but geez. Passive aggressive much? I gave a hearty AMEN to the second post, because who are we to judge? Yeah, some lady might be looking at Facebook, but she might also be doing a million other things. Lord a mercy!

[dianegatorfan] said...

Amen, mama! I read those articles, and I too think they each had valid points. I come away with knowing that most things are okay - in moderation. Don't let the TV babysit the kids, but don't be a helicopter mom who won't give them room to breathe and explore. We get it and we all have days where things don't go well and we can't be perfect. It's those days that we need to help each other out, lift each other up - not lay on the guilt. xo

Amber said...

You said it so well! It's a tough job being a mom and I think you have to do what's best for you and your family. Being a working mom is tough and so glad to know I am not the line ranger :) makes me feel a little more human to read someone else that I agree with-thanks for sharing!

lg2006 said...

PREACH! I agree with everything you said! Totally!


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