Mom guilt is something most moms face at some point in their lives and could be for a multitude of reasons. These are a few of the feelings I have…and I have them often…
Am I teaching them enough.
Am I loving them enough.
Did I breastfeed long enough.
Are they eating as healthy as they should.
Am I spending enough time with my kids.
Am I instilling important values in them.
Am I teaching them how to be a kind and decent human being.
Am I doing the right thing for my kids future.
Etc. Etc. Etc.
Now, Do I let these feelings consume my life? No, absolutely not. However, they are on my mind quite a bit. Do I think other moms have the same worries and feelings of guilt? Yes, absolutely. I think its totally normal to want the absolute best for your children and to wonder if it’s all “enough”. Even though everyone’s definition of enough is different. For me, the quilt really sinks in when I make plans without my children. Whether for a few hours, or a few nights, and no matter how much I am looking forward to the plans, the guilt creeps in and is present until I put myself in check.
Ever since becoming a mommy I’ve wanted to spend time with my kids as much as possible. We all know, they are only little for a while and the time is already flying by at a rapid pace. Wishing my time away and not enjoying these moments to the fullest is something I would regret terribly down the road–I am sure of it.
But if I’m being honest, also since becoming a mommy I have valued my “me” time, and my “girl” time, and my “husband” time even more. As much as I love my kids, being away from them on occasion is healthy and definitely needed to keep me at my best. And even more so now since becoming a stay at home mom. Staying home with them is already the best decision I’ve ever made, but that said, it’s also a tough job and being with them 24/7 can be exhausting at times.
Bottom line is, I work hard everyday to give my kids all of me. All of my time, all of my patience, all of my love. And they deserve every ounce of all that, but mommy also deserves a break. Insert <me> time.
My me time might sound pretty lame to some, but for me, it’s amazing what the simple things can do. A hot bath, trip to Target, a workout, or even just going to the grocery store by myself. Being alone for just that hour can do wonders for a mama’s well being. And my husband would agree that I jump on these opportunities often when he is home.
Speaking of my husband, an understanding we made with each other early on is how we both enjoy spending time with our friends separately. Now, not that we don’t like spending time together with friends, because we try to take advantage of that as often as possible too. But I’m referring to his guy time and my girl time. We’ve just always been on the same page with this. The time with my girl friends is precious as we are all so busy with kids, work, and life these days. Planning a get together sometimes takes months to coordinate, but the wait is always worth it. Talking about life, kids, motherhood, etc. over a glass of wine is therapeutic for me. I also enjoying NOT talking about my kids. Our kids consume a lot of our mind and a lot of our time, so if I want to talk about the last episode of the Bachelor or some BS celebrity drama instead, my friends are always down.
One thing I’m working on is spending more quality time with my husband. His work schedule is a little crazy, so we really don’t have a ton of time together as it is and when we do, we like to spend it as a family. But we know we need to be better about making plans alone. We’ve talked about doing some sort of a regular “date”. Whether its at night, or smack dab in the middle of the day. Time for us to reconnect, talk about whatever, and just spend time together. For now, I’ll just enjoy our date nights in consisting of the latest episode of This is Us and a box of tissues. 😉 But if you have tips on how you make this happen with your spouse, I’d love to hear them!
Speaking of reconnecting, we have a vacation coming up with some friends (kid-free!) that we are definitely looking forward to! Though, as the day gets closer, that mom-guilt is sinking in hard and with the quickness. This is a doozy for me because it will be the longest time I’ve ever been away from my babies–5 whole days! While I know they will be in good hands, I am going to miss them something fierce, but I have to keep reminding myself that we NEED this time away. Especially if we want to grow our family even more in the future. 😉 We haven’t been on a trip longer than a night (or maybe two-once!) since having kids, so we are definitely looking forward to this!
While mom guilt and feelings of worry are totally normal to feel, just try and not let them consume you. Take that trip to Target alone. Schedule a wine day with your girlfriends. Line up a sitter and plan that trip or date night with your hubby. Your kids will not be loved any less because of it, I promise. And if anything, you’ll come home being a better, happy you, which in return makes you a happier mommy to them.
Photo credits to Sarah E. Fortney Photography. Isla was in my belly during these photos. 😉