Let’s get uncomfortable and start the conversation. Shall we? Let’s talk about mom guilt.
I’ll go first….
When I had my beautiful daughter Faith, I was self-employed, which meant that if I didn’t work then I didn’t get paid. I had to make the gut-wrenching decision to return to work three weeks after she was born. Fortunately, I was able to work from home and arrange for someone to come into my home and help me. Still every moment that Faith cried or needed to nurse, I hurt. I was doing what I needed to do but that didn’t take away the mom guilt. I still feel the guilt today. Faith just turned 11 and the idea of anything taking my attention away from her hurts deep down inside. Then there is reality…. I am a working mom, I work during the day and then own a small business, which I work in the evenings. I am a wife and I have responsibilities to my family, to my home, to my husband, to my job and to myself.
Is There Balance?
How do I balance it all? The simple truth is I don’t. My house is a mess. The laundry is backed up. The sink is full of dishes. We have a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, love in our hearts and laughter in our home. I used to be embarrassed when someone came into my home but I got over that really quick. I had a party for my daughter and an adult sat down and dragged his fingers across my coffee table to check for dust, no joke. Guess what – there was dust and he made sure to let me know. However, I was happy when he found dust because while he was so busy checking for dust, my house was full of laughter. So, if I can be okay with declaring my dust to others why is it that I feel guilty for taking care of myself?
We give love freely to our children and to the dishes; we run here, there and everywhere, but we forget that WE MATTER, too. We need to give love freely to ourselves, just as we would to our loved ones.
The Guilt of Losing Yourself
One day while wearing my mom hat (AKA day three dirty hair in a messy bun) it occurred to me, that while I absolutely love every bit of being a Mama, I lost me. Somewhere between ‘I-Do’ and cleaning melted crayon off the car seat, I forgot who I was. I forgot myself while I was taking care of others or balancing soccer, gymnastics, cheerleading and dance. I can’t recall the last conversation between my husband and I that didn’t involve children, errands, home repairs or silence (because we exhausted all of those other topics).
I cannot ignore that the most important relationship I will ever have is the relationship I have with myself, and along the way I broke up with myself.
Letting Go of Mom Guilt
Mom guilt is real. Mom guilt is hard. It feeds negative energy and is draining. You can only pour from an empty cup for so long. We must let go of the mom guilt and find ways to know we are enough.
This Mama needs a break? Can anyone relate? Share this with any mama’s that need to know…it’s okay to take a break. It is ok to let that mom guilt go!