Dealing with Mom Guilt
Mom Guilt is the feeling of guilt, doubt, anxiousness or uncertainty experienced by mothers when they worry they’re failing or falling short of expectations in some way. For many moms–particularly new, working or single moms–the variables that contribute to this phenomenon are numerous and intense.
I recently went on what I would call a “couples retreat” with my fiance and a couple one of our couple friends. We had a blast. We went snowboarding, shared drinks, drove through the mountains singing carpool karaoke, stayed in and just hung out playing board and card games. Everything was so great! Except, every time I caught myself having fun, I felt guilty.. I felt guilty that my daughter wasn’t there with me to enjoy where we were. Every time I saw something cool or something fun for kids to do, I wished I would have brought her along. I kept feeling what I like to call “mom guilt”. I always catch myself feeling this way anytime I go and do something without her right by my side. I’m so used to doing everything with her. I would take her with me to sleepovers and everything. She is my shadow, my right hand so taking a trip without her seems so foreign to me. She was back home spending some much needed time with her nana and papa. They love having her and sometimes even my niece and nephew would come over also and they would all have such a great time together. I just feel bad and I can’t help it.
I always catch myself feeling this way with different aspects of my life:
- When I’m taking a trip with just my fiance
- Actually enjoying my job.
- When I feel impatient or anxious and I show it by raising my voice to her.
- Not being able to make it to every award ceremony, school event or soccer game.
- Forgetting to lay out her best outfit for school pictures
- Buying myself name-brand clothes..
Sure, some of these things I have no control over. I have to work in order to help provide for her and pay the bills. I can’t help it if my work days fall on school events, soccer games, or school picture day. And let’s face it, my fiance and mother aren’t really into doing hair so as long as the clothes are clean, there will be more school picture days. But I have such a good support system and so many people who are more than ready to step up and be there for her in any way possible. As far as raising my voice to her, especially when I see that little lower lip pucker out or heard the words “that wasn’t very nice mommy” I have INSTANT guilt. I know we are all human and we make mistakes and sometimes our tone of voices are not very controlled but I still feel like there isn’t enough ‘sorry’s” in the world to make up for my sharp tones. As far as spending money on myself.. I always feel so bad spending money on myself especially is the clothes are a little pricier but I know that I spend TWICE as much on her if not more.. So I try to take that into account. She is well taken care of and that’s all that really matters.
Back to taking the trips without her. I want more than anything to take her everywhere with me. I want her to experience the world and see so many different aspects of life but there are times where taking a trip without her is so much.. easier. .. Oh, I hate to even say that. Even down to packing and getting her in and out of the car. I felt like I could actually drink adult beverages without feeling the guilt from that too- it literally never ends.
I really feel like I just need to come to terms with it. I need to just realize that it’s okay to do stuff without her, one day she’ll do the same with me and do stuff without me without thinking twice about it. She doesn’t look at it as me being gone on a trip without her.. She looks at it as a little vacay at Nana’s.