2020 Update: My mommy guilt looks different these days (hello covid-19 and the ‘new normal’). The things we feel guilty about may change as our children get older, but I want you to remind you to be gentle with yourself. You are not alone in your guilty feelings and you are doing just fine.
My mommy guilt looks a bit like this:
- Guilt when I kiss Brielle goodbye before another workday she spent with her Nana or the daycare — and not with me or her dad.
- Guilt when there’s a meal with no real fruit or vegetable to be found within a 10 foot radius of her plate.
- Guilt when she can say the word ‘iPad’ but not her own name.
- Guilt when the screen time for the day is exponentially higher than the exploration time because the summer heat in Virginia makes it virtually unbearable venture outdoors.
- Guilt when her daddy puts her down for bedtime alone because I’m trying to finally find a few spare minutes actually do the dishes for a change instead of letting them pile up in the sink, again.
- Guilt that I HATE the pool and don’t take her, even though I know she’d probably love it if I did.
- Guilt when she catches me on my laptop writing an email or a blog post and comes up to me and says, “All duh (done) mama” and promptly closes the lid.
I used to think I experienced SUPER mommy guilt because of this business I run. When I read the How To Miss A Childhood post a few months ago (you know that one that went viral on Facebook), I felt even more guilty! Clearly I must be a bad mama since my mommy guilt is off the charts. I’m essentially working two full-time jobs that require me to be online, a lot. No one experiences the extreme guilt like I do — Right?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few years it’s that Mommy Guilt runs rampant EVERYWHERE and it looks different for each of us too.
Have you ever told yourself:
“if I could just __________ (quit my full time job/stop checking my FB every 5 minutes/start cooking healthier meals/pick up my camera more often/schedule more playdates), then this guilt will go away because I’d __________(have more time at home/be on the computer less/live a longer life/be documenting more memories/be providing entertainment for my child)
This is the self-talk I’ve been using with myself for years and I must say it’s exhausting! Today I just wanted to pause to let you know:
You are not alone in your guilty feelings. And you are doing just fine.
Mommy guilt means you have that little nagging voice in the back of your head encouraging you to grow and change and improve life for you and the ones you love. But life is not perfect, it never will be, and that’s ok.
Mamas, allow yourself guilt ridden days. Then wake up tomorrow resolved to make this day better than the one before.
Today Brielle and I AWESOMELY checked off not one by TWO items from our bucket list — a trip to the local farm + Rice Krispie treat making at home (more on that one next week…) And, I even got pictures of them both! Then we proceeded to come home, collapse on the couch, and spend an exorbitant amount of time with Yo Gabba cartoons and iPad Apps. Which made me feel incredible guilty. Go figure. Good thing tomorrow is a brand new day.