Mom Guilt Sucks. It does. So bad.
It’s August, so naturally it’s the time of year when I question everything about being a working mom.
Usually the mom guilt seeps in nice and slow when I’m drowning in my back to school to do list as a fifth grade teacher. I can feel it coming on late into the evening when many of my co-workers have left and my vehicle is one of the only ones left in the parking lot. Or when I finally make it home for the evening with grading coming out my ears and barely enough energy to carry myself inside let alone do dinner, dishes, laundry, and bedtime. When it finally finds its way into my inner core, it manifests in a full blown breakdown. You know the kind where you sound like a dying cat and can hardly manage to get out a full sentence to explain to your husband why you’ve just started bawling like a baby while standing at the sink doing dishes?
Yeah, that kind.
Only, he already knows because…..I….do….this….every….year.
I want to be enough for everyone. My home kids, my school kids.
The thoughts that race through my mind due to mom guilt are not pretty. I pretty much decide that I’m the worst mom ever. And probably pretty sucky at teaching too since it takes me so dang long to get anything done.
I decide my kids will have a complex about their mom working too much and never being home during the month of August and maybe even September. And lets not talk about the house chores. All things considered, I am a perfectionist, and my dear friends do make fun of me for having *gasp* only one or two junk drawers. Sorry, not sorry. So my version of a “messy” or “unkept” house is probably vastly different than that of the average working mom but I’m not keeping my house clean to impress any of you all, no offense. It’s actually something that centers me and brings me peace. So it is a necessity for me to live in order. When there is a sink full of dirty dishes waiting to be loaded into a dishwasher full of clean ones that need to be put away…I’m a horrible housewife, I can’t rest or relax, and it flat out stresses me out!
I was so thankful for my husband who made dinner the other night after picking up the kids from school and daycare. It was fantastic, I got home around 5 which is early for this time of year, but later then I want to get home ever from work. And today, when I spent the day lesson planning, catching up on emails, and crossing stuff off my never ending to-do list. He was a rockstar dad, meal prepping and mowing the yard and taking care of our babies. And it was such a relief to not have to worry about doing those things too. But you know what mom guilt did to me? Convinced me I wasn’t good enough because I didn’t make it home to make dinner for my family, told me I’m a failure because he got all of that done and I’m just trying to keep my head above water. I literally had to throat punch mom guilt to shut it up. Do you even realize how insanely insane (yes, I said that) it is to think that?
I’m beginning to realize that my mom guilt is a pretty loud voice inside my head. Its bogus though, you guys. It’s all a bunch of lies. The fact is, the fact that I even have a smidgen of mom guilt over the amount of work I do during these first months of the school year or during conferences or ever…means I’m a good mom because I care about being a good mom. And when I go home after a long day, the only thing that brings me enough love to make up for the things that may have drained me that day, is the love I get to give to my kids that begins to spill over and full my cup back up.
For me, this is a season. It’s a typical time of year when we’re all adjusting to the pace of life again and its hard. But I’m strong, and I’m gonna push through and I’m NOT going to keep believing the lies that mom guilt has been feeding me.
To all the mamas feeling any kind of mom guilt tonight or this week…know this, you’re enough. You’re more than enough. Don’t believe the lies that mom guilt will feed you. You were made for this. Your babies think you’re super woman, and you most likely are. You got this. We got this.