Mommy Guilt? Anyone else have it? Believe me I have enough to go around. I remember when it started... Ok maybe not exactly when it started full force but I can track it back to about 7 1/2 months before Sydney was born. You know that moment when you realize "Oh wow I'm pregnant" and then start thinking... "OMG I had a small glass of wine 2 weeks ago, I ate tuna fish for lunch yesterday, I sat in a hot tub for more than 10 min last night..." and geez thats just the start of it.
Our society has sold us a bill of goods that is just down right deceitful and untrue. I remember as a child watching TV with the lady in a suit singing " I can bring home the bacon ... fry up in a pan?" remember that one? Women were AWESOME and we could do EVERYTHING... We could have a career, keep a perfect house, have gorgeous over achieving children, and look FANTASTIC while doing it. I totally bought into it ... hook line and sinker. Even convinced others I could do it too. People at work thought I was the BEST MOM in the world. I took off work for conferences, arranged my schedule to volunteer at the kid's daycare, baked things for daycare/school. I had manicures/pedicures weekly and stopped by the gym 3-4 days a week during lunch or on my way home from work. Sounds great right? I was miserable... I hated my job, hated not seeing my kids until 6:30-7:00 every night, and I hated that the only time I spent with my husband was on vacation. I remember praying every day and night for years for me to find some way to stay home with my kids. Finally my husband and I took a leap of faith and I gave up my career. At that point I just knew I was going to be extra super mom. I mean if I was THAT AWESOME working 40-50 hours a week world just watch out when I'm home!
Almost 4 years later I still very happy that I chose to be a SAHM (stay at home mom) but I feel anything but super! It's 9:15 I'm still in my jammies, Bella has on a shirt she wore yesterday (It's her favorite), Riley is running around in underwear with a smily face in Sharpie on his tummy (thank you honey for giving that to him as you were walking out the door :) ) My dining room looks like a princess truck dumped pink stuff everywhere (Bella's B-day party is sat) and my hair and nails haven't been touch by a professional in months! It's rainy so the dog has made tracks all over my hardwood floors and I really need to do a load of dishes and laundry! Park and Zoo are out so I get to watch my house slowly but surely be demolished bit by bit today while we play house, bayblades, yuigioh, puzzles, coloring and try to do some therapy... That's all before lunch :) Riley is being too loud and Bella is being too quiet ( I don't even want to know what she's up to right now) . I work long and hard every day (OK most days there are times I veg out and do very little those are few and far between). I have finally loosened up a bit and I only do one carpool a day instead of three ( hate my kids riding the bus but 3 or 4 carpools was just too crazy). I manage to do in home therapy with Riley continually and my kids are safe, healthy, fed, and mostly clean everyday ( see above about yesterdays T and sharpie!) Why then do I feel so defeated so often?
We guilt ourselves and then in turn do it to other moms. Don't believe me? Go to anyplace where moms gather... you will hear diatribes on everything from the pro/cons of co-sleeping, attachment parenting, school placements, using meds, proper seat belt use, nutrition, extra circular activities, TV usage, Video game usage, home schooling, private schooling, discipline, religious training, potty training.... the list is endless. I can handle all of that because after 4 children you realize all children are different and each family situation is different. Things I said "I'll never do" with Sydney( # 1) I have done with Bella (# 4). I'm not saying conversation about all this stuff is necessarily bad. I've had great conversations with other moms and have taken their advice which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. I think it is important for moms to connect and impart wisdom but I also think that we all need to remember that we usually don't voice our fears. In other words I'll tell you "oh we don't let our children sleep with us" what I won't tell you is "maybe I missed some bonding time?" what I really don't even want to think is "uggghhhh I need my sleep and a foot in my face every night makes me not a good mother tomorrow". Because we have to make it about the kids and not about us. It's OK to say "I want my children to learn to self sooth and not be dependent" but it's not OK to say " If I don't sleep well, I'm evil to EVERYONE". I read somewhere once that parents who vehemently have all the answers are usually the most insecure. In my own life I've found that to be true. I find it funny that I thought I was super mom with my first two even though most days I spent 2-3 hours with them versus the 12-13 hour days I put in now. ( Ok actually 24 for the littles but I don't count when they sleep cause I'm usually doing the same and yes I don't allow children in the bed often because I selfishly need lots of sleep). When I worked I felt guilty that someone else was raising my kids for me and now I feel guilty because my kids aren't socialized. You just can't win! And my poor husband I know he is soooo sick of coming home to find me in his sweats and t-shirts. I'm trying to work on dressing up a bit more and going out on actual dates where I fix my hair and make-up. Hard to be motivated when you are at home all day!
What's my point? Not really sure, just something that seemed I needed to work on in my own heart and mind today. I'm not super mom but I'm not a bad mom. I'm somewhere in the middle and the pendulum shifts day to day. I've been reading the book of James recently and James 3:17 says "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace- loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere". I'm going to try to have heavenly wisdom and be full of mercy for myself and others today and every day. Hope some of you get some peace or joy out of this. Have a great day.... I have to go fix a door handle that mysteriously came off while I was typing. The fun never ends!!!!