Some moms do guilt better than others, but most feel like they have not done all they can at some times. Before you beat yourself up much, remember, you are not SuperMom, we’re all just humans, and, as humans, we make mistakes, errors in judgment, and do some silly things sometimes. Be kind to yourself.
Where to Start?
There is so much to feel guilty about for most Moms so picking five is hard, but here goes.
- Realizing you don’t have it all together. You see other moms who seem to be skipping through life with not a care in the world. Her house is immaculate, her baby happy and precocious, dinner on the table at 6 sharp, and she still has time to attend to her husband’s marital needs. Either you are hallucinating, she is very good at keeping up appearances, or you are delusional. During stressful times, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking everyone else’s life is perfect, but it’s not. We all are out there trying to do things the best we know how and, many times, flying by the seat of our pants. If the house is a wreck, if you never get dressed, if dinner comes from the freezer section don’t sweat it. The fact is, even if it feels like this time lasts forever, it doesn’t. Some day your house will be restored to order, but enjoy this time as much as you can. You’ll never get it back.
- Not volunteering for the PTA or other school functions like field trips. I know you want to volunteer, but to be honest, sometimes you just don’t feel like heading a committee, corralling 20 students around the zoo, or hanging 5,000 streamers. You just don’t. Once in awhile it’s good to give another parent a chance to step up and help.
- Scheduling birthday parties outside of your home, meaning Chuckie Cheese, McDonalds, roller rink, whatever. If you have no desire to clean your house top to bottom, plan, decorate, schedule, invite, hire entertainment, and buy a ton of food, don’t feel bad. You and your counterparts are keeping various establishments in business, helping the economy, and creating jobs for teenagers. It’s practically philanthropic!
- Allocating dinner time to your sitter. Every mom wants to make healthy homemade food for her family, but some just don’t have the time. Once kids are older there is school and homework and bedtime, etc. In the interest of eating before midnight, getting homework done and keeping your sanity, speak with your sitter to see if she would be amenable to making dinner in exchange for a few more dollars in her pocket. If you don’t have a sitter at home, check into meal services in your area. A popular service is similar to catering, but involves someone coming into your home once a week, preparing family meals to be frozen with directions on how long to cook, etc. so you can pop it in as soon as you get home. Or try some Crockpot dinners for a ready meal.
- Being too tired for story time every night. Sometimes everything seems to get crazy all at one time. The kids are in a play at school, they are involved in sports, you have to work overtime, and your husband is out of town, phew! That’s a lot going on. At the end of these kinds of days, it’s no shame for you to want an early bedtime for the kids and a glass of wine for you.
Things will happen, or not. It doesn’t mean you are a bad mother because things get mucked up here and there. Millions of children around the work are being raised by fallible humans, and turning out just fine. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Kids will remember the good times and forget the rest.