Being a mom is a job that comes with a lot of expectations and earned credentials. You don’t need a degree to be one, but sometimes I feel like they should offer a course called “You All Survived, You’re Already Winning” or “How to NOT feel like the worst parent EVER. Trust us, it’s normal“. I might Google that later just to make sure it’s not available somewhere..
So I recently read a Blog on something called “Mom Guilt”. This is a term that most moms deal with on a daily basis. You lie to your kid and tell them you are out of cookies because you want them for yourself. You tell them it’s raining at the playground because you are too lazy to get dressed. I’ve heard of it, I know it, I am it. However, when I read this particular Blog I expected to become completely inspired by it and to learn to let go of all the guilt and feel like an amazing mom. This Blogger decided to “embrace mom guilt” and feel good about the fibs you tell your children. I totally respect the fact that she can do this. I for one cannot. And I don’t really think I want to either.
This weekend my husband and I are heading to beautiful Prince Edward Island. Every year we plan this trip with a ton of other people to hit up the “70 Mile Yard Sale”. The trick is that this weekend is KID FREE. Sounds glorious right? 3 nights away, drink in hand, good company, lots of food, shopping and no temper tantrums! So why I am feeling so damn guilty?
I do this to myself every time I even so much as THINK about going away for a night without my daughter. My husband thinks I am a lunatic and is constantly rhyming off the reasons why it is acceptable to leave our almost 3 year old daughter for 3 nights in a row:
“We only do this once a year!”
“She is staying with our FAMILY who she absolutely adores!”
“We rarely get time to spend together with just the two of us!”
“It’s good to get her used to being away from us encase someday we have to leave for a weekend.”
As much as all of this makes total sense, I still can’t seem to shake the guilt! I literally feel sick to my stomach as the weekend approaches. My husband is counting down the days until our fun getaway and I am cringing more and more as the day gets closer! WHY MUST I TORTURE MYSELF! And I know I am not alone here!
My point to all of this, is that I actually feel like guilt is part of being a good mom! As much as it sucks, it comes with the territory. We have a natural instinct to protect our babies no matter how old they get. We want to be there to comfort every boo boo. And I refuse to embrace mom guilt and feel good about fibbing to my daughter even though we all do it. I admit, it does feel good knowing that I am not the only one out there who tells white lies in order to make the day go smoother. It happens, it’s reality! However, in my opinion, feeling guilty is just one of the many supporting factors of the love I have for my daughter.
Am I really saying that feeling guilty also feels good? Maybe. And maybe it doesn’t make sense. But I think a mom (or any parent) would understand. The reality is, parenting is messy and complicated. We act on impulse and go with our guts and our hearts. But the reality also is, my husband is right. I can’t spend every single day & night with my daughter; because an important part of being a good mom, is also being a good wife and having a life of my own outside of parenting. We need to “let loose” and enjoy time apart. It’s life. And that I will embrace!
I will end by waving the white flag and accepting the fact that I will probably be feeling mom guilt until the day I die. But I will also take comfort in the fact that I am not alone and that it is part of having a positive, loving relationship with my daughter. I care about her and although I will be talking about her the entire weekend and wishing I could give her another hug & kiss, I will feel good about feeling guilty.