I’ve been dealing with some mom guilt over the past few weeks. You know, “mom guilt”… when we, as mothers, beat ourselves up for various reasons beyond our control. Things like not keeping your home clean enough to eat an egg from the kitchen floor, or not cooking enough healthy meals with 27 food groups in it, or not spending enough time finger painting and making skeletons out of popsicle sticks with your children. Things like that. My recent (very serious) case of mom guilt was brought on by the fact that I did not want my toddler to be around me every second, of every minute, of the day. Ever crave some time away from your children? Well, I was there. I needed a BREAK with a capital B-R-E-A-K! What type of mom thinks that about their kid?!
It started about 2 weeks ago after I picked up a particularly nasty head cold. I literally felt as if my brain was about to explode. Growing bump and back ache aside, I felt terrible. My two year old, however, was oblivious to her mamas aches and pains. She still needed love and attention. She still wanted “only Mama” to give her a bath. She wanted her cuddles and to play “I a frog” on the bed (which involves her hopping around, while I lay and watch, nursing my headache and trying not to be a grump). She wanted me to carry her and play with her and watch Barbie with her, even though I could barely keep my eyes open.
No matter how much Hubstopher tried to lure her away, the kid wanted her Mama. I felt like the worst mother in the world for wanting her to just GO AWAY. And the funny thing is (it’s not really funny, yo) even though my body felt completely run down and unable to function properly, I LET her wear me down even more. I just could not bring myself to take a break.
After being ill for more than a week, I realized that in order to get better, I needed to rest! I mean, more than a ‘present mom’, my daughter needed a ‘healthy mom’. And that meant allowing my body to heal.
It made me think about how much unnecessary stress and burden we put on ourselves. In many ways we all strive to be as perfect of a mom as we can be. And I guess that is something to be proud of. But sometimes being the best mom means giving yourself a gosh darn break! It’s okay to want to chill. In fact, it’s okay to NEED to chill. Not having your children around you, all the time, doesn’t mean you’ve stopped being their mom. It does not make you selfish or inadequate. In fact, if anything, allowing yourself a time out can help you to be the best mom you can be!
So whether it be reading a book, or starting a new hobby, or simply allowing yourself time to catch up on your favorite series at the end of the day, I encourage you to ENJOY your “time off”. The dishes can wait. I want my children to grow up remembering me as a HAPPY mommy. Not a burnt out mommy. And that’s my life lesson learnt this week.
Have you ever suffered from mom guilt?
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