Friday, March 23, 2012

Mom Guilt

There was nothing special about this morning.  Nothing was extraordinary.  I had a bed to make, breakfast dishes to clean, a floor to sweep, and diapers to change.  The kids were being precious, which is par for the course.

I left the messes, forgot about the bed, changed the diapers and went to Burl's room for play.  All the "it goes by fast" and "enjoy it now" and "they're only little once" comments have made me so antsy.  I'm constantly planning, plotting, and worrying:

am I doing enough?
am I living in the moment?
what does being in the moment mean?
am I savoring enough?
do I clean too much and ignore my kids too much?
do I not clean enough and they live in dirt?

and the mom guilt gets so loud in my head.  I worry that I'm not doing this stage well.

Then there are bigger questions that cross my mind and I try to ignore because they make me so sad:

when is the last time that I'll hold them?  I'm not close, but it's coming.
when will they not want me to get in the bed and snuggle them?
when is the last time that I will hold them while they sleep?
how many days will I have them?
what is it going to feel like to not have them eat breakfast with me, pull at my legs, laugh at my bri'ish accent?
when is the last time that I will get down on my knees to talk to Burl when he's misbehaving?
when is the last time that Fern will smile with her whole body just because I touched her sweet little face?

I love being a mom.  I love snuggling, kissing, and holding them.  I love playing with them, laughing, tickling, and being goofy with them.  I love training them and teaching them and figuring out the mysterious world of discipline.  I really love it all.  Is it enough? No.  It's not.  I'm not going to get this perfect.  

I'm doing it as good as I think I'm suppose to do, but what I need to work on is that mom-guilt that speaks so loudly in my head.  It makes me antsy and worrisome and keeps me from living in the moment.  This morning's wonderful decision to not clean up breakfast and play instead felt so good and the whole time that mom guilt was whispering, "now isn't this great?  why don't you do this more?  Ignore the dishes every morning and enjoy those kids.  Never wash another dish."  Then, mom guilt 2 says, "you really don't need to neglect the dishes in real life because that would just make things worse..."  And then my head spins around in 43823 circles and pops off and shoots through the ceiling and that really keeps me from enjoying things.  

I don't have a solution, really.  I just want to stop trying so hard.  I want to just be.  And sometimes, I want to let myself believe that I'm a good mom.  


  1. Ah mom guilt...that lovely thing that takes the blame for every single thing that goes off plan with your children. A healthy dose means you are a good mom. One who loves her kids more than herself and who cares about the quality of their little lives. But it can get out of control and make you INSANE! Kids need love, structure and a safe place to live. AND a mom that is not too obsessive. When you figure out how to balance that, give me a call. I have been trying for almost 13 years! You are a great mom. Keep it up!

  2. Mum guilt! I suffer with this daily! x