I wanted to talk about mom guilt and why I’m so over it. It’s something that has been consuming my life for the past three years, and I’m SO over it.
One of my favorite things about the community of women I’ve met through Instagram is the feeling that I’m not alone. When I talk about the phase Gray is in, or how guilty I feel about pretty much everything so many other moms comment that they can relate. I’ve been uplifted and inspired by so many of these women throughout my journey of motherhood. Although I had never even heard of the term “mom guilt” until I became a mom myself, it seems to be a common theme with all moms. I look at these women with so much admiration, and wonder how they accomplish so much while being amazing moms. I’ve noticed that no matter how beautiful, successful, talented or amazing these women are they all seem to struggle with mom guilt or feeling like they aren’t doing enough.
The thing that I find really interesting is that it seems to be exclusive to moms, I don’t think it’s something that dads really experience (at least to the same degree). I remember the day I realized this. Gray was a few months old and me, my husband and Gray were driving somewhere in the car. I had experienced mom guilt probably a million times by then, but I had never vocalized it to my husband. I randomly asked him, “Do you think we’re good parents?” and he responded “Yes, why?” without ANY HESITATION. I probably never would have been able to answer that quickly or that confidently because, the truth is that I doubt myself constantly. My husband asked me why I asked that question out of nowhere, but it wasn’t actually out of nowhere because it was something I wondered on a daily basis. Even though it doesn’t sound significant, it was then that I realized how differently men and women processed parenthood.
I was a SAHM mom who spent every waking moment with my son. We only left him with family once in his first year of life, and it was extremely rare that I would even go to the grocery store without him. I breastfed him for over two and a half years, and five months into our breastfeeding journey I noticed that he would have eczema flare-ups when I ate certain foods. I then basically eliminated dairy and nuts from my diet for two more years (we found out he was also allergic to eggs and seafood after he turned one, but that’s another story). I took monthly pictures of him, made sure to take him for walks everyday, made him homemade baby food and read to him. I’m sure from the outside it seemed like I was doing a great job, but I never felt that way.
When I went back to work when Gray was two, I had a whole new set of things to feel guilty about. Not spending enough time with Gray, being tired or irritable by the time I get home, not cooking enough, not cleaning enough. I felt guilty if I just wanted to relax on the weekend because I want Gray to do something fun, I felt guilty that I spent too much time on social media and that Gray used his iPad way too much. The list goes on and on.
As women, it’s insane the amount that we’re able to get done on a daily basis. Whether you’re a working mom, a SAHM or a mom who works from home, you probably cook meals, bathe kids, pack lunches, drop kids off at school or the sitter, go grocery shopping, go to work, fold laundry, clean the house, do the dishes, deal with tantrums, clean up constant messes all while trying to keep your composure and show your spouse some attention. We push our needs aside to make sure that our family’s needs are being met and sacrifice so much so that our children can have the best lives possible. Even though it’s taken me a long time to realize it, I’m finally started to see how detrimental it is to constantly feel like I’m not doing enough. As long as my family is happy and healthy, then I’m doing something right.
I’ve just gotten to a point in my life where I’m not going to worry about every little thing, or focus on the what I’m doing wrong. Constantly feeling guilty will never make me a better mom, so I’m going to try to change my way of thinking. Instead of dwelling on the things that are out of my control, I’m going to try to make the most of the time I have with Gray and my husband. I just wanted to remind all the moms who feel the same way that you don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to do it all and most importantly you’re not alone. I recently heard about a book (I haven’t had the chance to read it yet), but it’s called Grace not Perfection. The title alone really resonated with me, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I decided that this will be my mantra this year so I’ll be striving for Grace not perfection.
My hope is that as moms we’re able to celebrate the little victories, build each other up and focus on all of the good we do on a daily basis.
Thanks so much for reading and stopping by!