Mom guilt, mom guilt, go away, don't come back another day. This here mama is A-OK, mom guilt, mom guilt, go away.
What can I say? That is my song these days; my little ditty to pacify the creeping guilt that so easily invades my thoughts each hour.
It's hard, you know? Not to feel the pressure. The tireless urge to do more. To be more. Hold it all together and manage life with a big smile. Many days I wake up feeling like I need to plan more educational adventures, prepare healthier food, minimize screen time. Basically, be all the things to all the people. Those same days, no matter how hard I try, end up being #survivalmode and I fall asleep with an overwhelming feeling of mom guilt.
Some days I start off strong. We head to the library and actually make it to the kid's story time—on time. Miracle! Or, I whip up scrambled eggs and fresh fruit slices for breakfast. Look at me go, I'm practically a chef! I don't feel guilty then. I feel good. I feel like I have it together and I can strive for more.
But after those successes, things tend to fall apart. I snap at my son for throwing another tantrum at the grocery store or I forget to return a friend's phone call yet again. The balance of perfection can't last for long. And more often than not, it never even starts. That's when the guilt moves in. That's when it consumes and leaves me feeling like a hot mess mama.
Call me hormonal or just plain crazy, but I'm sick and tired of letting the ebb and flow of motherhood drive me to guilt. All of these things are expected. We can't ALWAYS cook perfect meals, sometimes a baggie of dry cereal and an applesauce pouch on the morning commute is enough. We definitely can't control our children's emotions, and sometimes we'll have a normal human reaction and respond to our wild ones with a harsh tone.
I wouldn't feel guilty about all these little things if I wasn't giving life my best effort! I'm trying. I really, really am and that counts for something.
I know I'm doing my best. I know I love my kids to the moon and back. I wouldn't feel guilty about all these little things if I wasn't giving life my best effort! I'm trying. I really, really am and that counts for something. That counts for a lot, actually. And so, this week, and next if I can remember, I'm saying goodbye to mom guilt. Here's the starter list of exactly what I'm not letting get to me …
1. I don't remember when I last washed my kid's hair
It may have been last week, or frankly, the week before, but it doesn't smell and that's good enough for me.
2. My son will not eat vegetables
Not only are veggies not on his approved list of foods, neither are most fruits. We're working on it, but it's not like I can pry his mouth open and force him to eat green beans, OK?
3. I use my iPhone as a bribe
See me at Target and you'll most likely hear me saying something like this, "If you hop in the cart and stay sitting on your bottom you can play any game or watch any movie on my phone! Deal?"
4. I "forget" their coats almost every day
No, preschool teacher and glaring grandmas, I didn't truly forget, I purposefully chose not to bring their coat because they're not supposed to wear it in their car seats anyway and the idea of struggling to get coats on three children to walk to the car just to take them off to then put them back on for the walk into school is just preposterous. They can be cold for 20 seconds, they'll survive.
I look tired because I am tired. No need to point out this obvious fact. Rather, send your sympathy in the form of coffee.
6. My car is a mess
Unloading the kids and perishable groceries is enough work in and of itself, so gathering trash and random toys is probably out of the question. My car will be a mess until I hire a babysitter to watch my kids while I clean it. Which will be never.
7. I'm always running late
Everywhere I go I start the conversation with "So sorry we're late …", but, no more, I have three kids and go most places solo with all three in tow, so I'm just going to assume that you know I'll be a little late and love me anyways.