The other night I was in bed with a pair of hands around mine and a sweet little nose touching my nose. I watched my son go in and out of sleep for hours. He was sick and the only thing I knew to make him better was to snuggle and tell him everything was going to be okay. But, in the back of my mind, I was thinking about everything I had to do the next day for work and how him being out sick was just going to be so incredibly hard.
Cue the mom guilt.
Luckily, I work at a wonderful place that has a lot of flexibility, but this got me thinking about the many times I have felt overwhelming mom guilt and the reasons why.
I feel guilty for working.
I feel guilty every time I don’t make a healthy dinner.
I feel guilty whenever I lose my patience.
I feel guilty every time I am distracted by something else.
I feel guilty that he watches TV.
This list could literally go on forever. I never experienced a feeling quite like mom guilt.
Why do we, as mothers, have this feeling like someone is ALWAYS watching over our shoulder and questioning the decisions that we make? You know why? Because they are. Every day I am seeing someone on social media (or even at the grocery store) berate other mothers. It’s kind of sickening and it needs to stop.
I remember Kim Kardashian posting a photo of her son, around 14 months old, in a car seat that was forward facing. You would have thought that she put the kid on the roof of her car. Reading all the comments made me feel awful. I put my child forward facing at 15 months. Does that really make me a bad mom? Some of you may think so.
I had such mom guilt because of what other people thought. But, again, why? This is my child. I am his mother. We make the choices that are best for our family. Why should I have to worry about what every one else thinks?
Society keeps pushing crazy standards on mothers. The newest example being Kate Middleton stepping out hours after giving birth. I can 100% guarantee that she didn’t feel up to getting dolled up to introduce her son to the public (I don’t think I had even showered at that point). But, society demanded it of her and shame on us and them.
This is one of the biggest reasons that we started this blog. We need more open and honest mothers. Although we’ve only done a few interviews, I can already see how much us mothers are alike (regardless of our children’s ages). We have the same concerns and the same goals. We just need to make sure that we have each other’s backs a little more. Just because they are not doing things the way you did or want to does not make them a bad mother.
What I have learned, in my two and a half years being a mom and 33 years being alive, is that you have to be an example. All mothers want their children to grow up kind. Show them what that means. Ben is constantly watching my reactions and listening to my words. You have a chance to raise a beautiful human.
You see a mother struggling with her two year old in the Target line? Smile. A sincere smile goes a long way.
See a mom traveling alone? Give her a hand.
Co-worker have to stay at home cause of a sick kid again? Ask if they are okay. Don’t roll eyes.
Be helpful. Not harmful. We are all doing our best.
We are a tribe and that tribe is called motherhood.