If you have kids, chances are you’re familiar with that pesky intruder know as: mom guilt. I’ve read about some mothers who reject the notion completely, claiming it’s a pointless waste of energy and they simply refuse to allow it into their lives. I have to say, I like the sound of that and I applaud the women who can pull it off. After all, does mom guilt really serve a purpose?
So, you didn’t get the Pizza Day Form into the teacher on time and now your kid can’t have pizza with “everyone” else for the entire term. It sucks, yes. But, they’ll live.
You were late to pick them up from school and they were the very last one standing with the teacher (who looked annoyed when you pulled up). Ok, it was embarrassing but you got there in the end, right?
And, that birthday party you thought was on Sunday but was actually on Saturday so your kid missed it? It’s disappointing, truly, but… you made a mistake. It happens.
You forgot to wash the one shirt they wanted to wear to school and then you fed them fast food for dinner. After that, the nice kiss you planted on their head at bedtime was later replaced with couch-hollered threats so they would actually Go. To. Sleep! *Sigh* Your patience ran out. It happens. SH*T happens. And, sh*t will continue to happen because You. Are. Not. A. Robot.
But, man these things are tiny in the grand scheme of life. I know this, but I still feel little pangs of guilt when they happen.
I am not a robot and due to this fact, alone, I’m aware that my mom guilt is here to stay. I know I will make mistakes and I will feel all the feels that come along with that. I know my kids will be disappointed sometimes and I will feel all the feels that come with that, too. I’m a feeler, after all. Many of us are. We are moms, that’s what we do and there’s no point wishing away any of our emotions.
So, I don’t bother wishing away the guilt. Instead, I embrace that little nagging, pesky emotion as it niggles and twists from the inside. It’s a relentless force, at times. Though, I do tell it to simmer-the-heck- down if I find it’s getting worked up about something small and insignificant. And I also tell it to move aside if it gets in the way of my own self-care.
I think the truth is, most of the time mom guilt really doesn’t serve a productive purpose. But, there are times when it acts as a reminder of who we want to be. Which is why, when the “bigger” stuff happens, I embrace the guilt. I sit with it (as it looms) knowing it’s there to remind me and redirect me back to where I’d like to be. It pushes me to redefine goals for myself, or for the kids, and it steers me toward the path I want to be on, as a mom.
However, as much as I accept the presence of mom guilt, and the reasons that lead me to feeling it, I don’t wallow in it all alone. Instead, I share my non-robotic acts of human motherhood with my friends, sometimes even a mom I barely know. Because, most often, they too have something to share.
Confessing our blunders and “failures” to other moms helps remind us that we’re not alone in this motherhood journey.