Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Getting Over Mom Guilt

There's this thing that happens when you have a kid. I've heard about it from friends, family, and the internet (and since it's on the internet, we all know it must be true). It's called mom guilt, and it sucks.

Symptoms of mom guilt include blaming yourself for things that aren't your fault (like the common cold choosing your kid as an incubator), crying because your child is mad at you and so you're obviously the WORST MOM EVER IN THE HISTORY OF MOMS, and feeling terrible for ever being frustrated with your children, ever.

At this point, I'm two kids deep into the mom guilt game (both under two, by the way -- what is this thing you call sleep?), and I have to say I'm pretty much a pro. Guilt for not having a job? Check. Guilt for having a job when the oldest was less than a year old? Check. Guilt for working from home and not cherishing every slimy, poop-smelling moment? Check. Guilt for not working from home more so I can afford the latest educational toys and nicer clothes? Check.

Recently though, I've had an epiphany.

Being a parent doesn't make you perfect -- and that's a good thing.

Everyone makes mistakes as a parent, and as a person in general. Everyone wonders if they're doing it right. Everyone thinks that there's another parent out there somewhere who has all their ducks in a row and is doing the whole parenting thing perfectly, but there isn't.

So I'm working on letting go of my mom guilt. My kids are alive. My toddler has a regular sleep schedule, loves hugs and kisses, and he's the smartest kid I know. My youngest is gaining weight and learning about the world around him. They eat enough, even if it's not kale and cauliflower rice. And the fact that I'm not perfect makes me a better mom than I could be otherwise, because I know what it's like to make a mess of things and I don't hold my kids to a standard I can't uphold myself.

So next time the house is a mess, we're having junk for dinner (again), and the toddler is running around in a diaper because clothes were just too much to bother with, I won't beat myself up about it. I'll let it go, and pour a glass of wine to wash down my mac and cheese.

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