Sometimes I think Moms have the market cornered on guilt.
When I was juggling being a mom with a demanding, around-the-clock job outside the home I felt guilty for not spending more time with my kids. And I felt guilty about all the things I just didn’t have the time or energy to do. Now that I’m a stay-at-home mom I feel guilty that I’m no longer bringing in money for the family. And I will never come close to my vision of a domestic goddess.
And some times all the little guilt voices in my head gang up and the weight of it all feels very heavy.
One morning during my working mom days, the kids were late for school and I was late for work. It was one of those mornings when things spiral out of control and get ugly. And it got ugly. I screamed at my kids so much that I cried all the way to work. And it took everything in me not to turn around and go back to school, pull them out of the class and hug them tight.
A few months later we took a huge leap of faith. I quit my job and we moved hundreds of miles away so I could devote more time to my kids, without so much screaming. I’m so happy with our lives and our incredible blessings. But guess what? That guilt still gets heavy at times.
I don’t feel like a good enough mother when…
I leave dirty dishes in the sink.
I leave clean laundry in the dryer.. or the basket.. for a week.
I don’t do laundry at all.
There’s still half a chicken nugget under the kitchen table.. from three days ago.
I have a to-do list a mile long, but instead of doing those things after the kids go to bed, I have a vodka tonic and watch a movie.
I miss a teacher conference because I just forgot about it.
I forget to move the Elf on the Shelf and try to convince my kids that he just REALLY liked that spot and wanted to come back to it for a second day.
I give my kids cereal instead of cooking a hot breakfast because I overslept.
I take the last Twix from their Halloween candy.
I buy them too many things they don’t need because it makes them smile.
I let them stay up past bedtime to finish a movie.. on a school night.. because I want to snuggle with them longer.
Let’s face it, I’m not a good enough mother. At least not as good as I would like to be.
But if I scream, I apologize and hug and hold them tighter.
If I buy them new toys, we donate old ones to charity.
If they’re up late on a school night, most of the time it’s because I let them read one more chapter in their favorite book.
I care and I worry and I cry and I get up each day and try again.
So I pray that some days that makes me a mom that’s not just good enough.. but great.