Obviously I am not entirely a mom guilt-free zone, but I think I’m close!
I was inspired by an Instagram account I follow, Real Mom of Insta (who also happens to be married to the brother of a friend of mine, small world!), to write about mom guilt today.
Mom Guilt, if you’re unfamiliar, can be described as follows:
Mom Guilt is the feeling of guilt, doubt, anxiousness or uncertainty experienced by mothers when they worry they’re failing or falling short of expectations in some way. [ACTIVEkids]
The above definition is accurate, but the definition from Urban Dictionary also resonated with me:
[Mom guilt is] guilt a mother feels anytime she takes time to do something for herself, outside of work, that does not involve her children.
The only thing with the Urban Dictionary definition that I felt was misrepresented was “outside of work.” Anyone that is a parent, not just a mom, knows how hard it can be to drop your kid off at day care and leave for work while they are kicking and screaming bloody murder.
That shit is stressful.
Now, when I saw the Instagram post mentioned above, I commented and said that I chose very early on not to have mom guilt.
Which isn’t entirely accurate (am I the only one that gets anxiety when posting publicly, especially comments on other people’s posts?) because I was just naturally a mom guilt-free zone.
The day after we became parents for the first time (June 4, 2014)
Parenting is hard. Anyone that tells you otherwise is lying. Or not a parent. - Unknown
I was me long before my kids came along.
And I will be for (hopefully) long after they grow up.
It doesn’t mean that I love them less. Or that I don’t provide fully for them.
They just don’t come first all of the time.
Sure, they did when they were teeny tiny blobs, but even then, Brad and I made sure that we were parenting together, as much as possible.
When I felt alone, he was there. So were my friends.
We didn’t sacrifice the things that we love to do because we had kids.
And let me tell you, it gets expensive when the only help you have is a babysitter that you pay to watch your kids.
But we make it work!
Our first picture together (only us) after Maverick was born - September 15, 2018 (9 months)
The most recent picture of us together, going crazy on our flights home from Punta Cana (March 12, 2019)
We need to work on our picture game, just the two of us.
Now, I say all of this with a disclaimer. This is what works for us. It will not work for everyone. And that’s okay! I just hope that our society keeps moving in the direction that supports everyone in what they want to do and need to do for themselves, and stops the judgment. All around.
Because it’s okay to have mom guilt, too. I sure do sometimes ... I'm only human! I just hope that if it ever overcomes you, whether you’re a mom or dad, that you step back and realize that it’s more than okay to take time for yourself. In any quantity or quality that you need.
It will make you a better person, and a better parent. We’re all just doing our best. Do what you can to make your life a mom guilt-free zone, too.
We should all come first sometimes,