What is the one thing all moms have in common (other than kids)? Mom guilt! I believe Mom guilt is one of the hardest things we face as moms. Mainly because it’s all in our own head. “I shouldn’t be sitting down watching TV while the sink is full of dishes.” “I can’t believe I just let my four year old play his tablet for 2 hours while I Facebooked” “I can’t have lunch with my five year old at school because my toddlers will drive me nuts”.
Just today, the guilt of leaving my son at preschool. Tears in his eyes, clawing his way through his teachers legs…but what good can come of me giving in and taking him home? I know he needs this, I know I need this! None the less, my heart still strains watching his limbs stick out the door as he tries to crawl back in the womb…I mean van.
Grocery shopping used to be my escape. The one hour a week I was child free. Running out the door, kids screaming “take me with you”, coupons in hand, bags under my arm and list in my…shit! I forgot the list! No turning back now, there goes any meal plans for the week. How did this become my idea of “me” time?
Four years into being a mom I found the cure to Mom guilt. Permission. You have to give yourself permission to take the Mom hat off once in a while and just be you. It started with a few nights out with my friends, and then lead to things like an all day conference with fellow military spouses. I became less stressed, my husband became a more independent father and my kids didn’t annoy me as much(yup, I said it).
Along with giving yourself permission, I think owning the guilt helps. I tend to give myself “mom of the year awards” a lot. Instead of dwelling on the guilt, I own up to it and recognize it publicly. You would be surprised how many moms have done the same thing or lived through a similar experience. In sharing this not only do I feel better because my friends can empathize, I probably helped another mom realize she’s not alone. Believe me, we have all been there!
So, can you give yourself permission to take off the mom hat once in a while and just be you? Yes you can!