Thursday, February 5, 2015

Mommy Thoughts: Guilt

I've had a lot of mommy thoughts chasing each other around my head for a while without an easy way to adequately or organizedly express them, but I want to get at least some of them written down before they morph into whatever is next.

Morphing: isn't that what we do a lot as mothers? Always adapting, changing to the next set of needs for our children. Being who they need when they need it - friend, coach, encourager, disciplinarian, hugging post, reader, nurse, chef, chauffeur. None of those titles seem to do our job justice though...I think MOM describes it best. 

ON GUILT

Does it ever go away? I've felt guilt in all stages of motherhood so far: pre-pregnancy (am I putting off having children for selfish reasons?), pregnancy (wow I really shouldn't be eating so much junk, my baby needs better nutrients), nursing (putting off using formula/bottles because I felt guilty not solely providing the "best" nutrition), exhaustion (I LOVE YOU SO MUCH BUT GOSH DANG IT I NEED TO SLEEP, then wow I'm a terrible mom for not wanting to get up at all hours of the night with my adorable baby), and now lots of new challenges as my children get older, such as...
+comparing my 2-year-old's language/alphabet/motor skills/stupid things like her hair to other toddlers
+wondering if I am neglecting my 1-year-old since he is so low-maintenance and allows me to focus on other things
+enjoying nights out with friends or even taking an extra shift at work so I get a break from home - makes me feel bad for wanting to get out, even though I know we all need breaks
+babysitting: guilt for inconveniencing friends if I ask them to babysit, guilt for always asking family, guilt for being away from my children, guilt for not always paying babysitters even if they don't expect payment
+pregnancy: feeling guilty that I don't think about this new baby as often as my current babes, guilt that I get more cranky when my sleep is disrupted now that I'm not sleeping as well and I need more, guilt that I am getting less mobile and more uncomfortable and less energetic
+feeding my children a rotation of spaghetti, mac and cheese, and PB&Js for lunch. When it is lunchtime and they turn into hungry fiends, I usually resort to one of these easy options since they are fast and the children reliably eat their fill. I get more creative for dinner but I still feel guilty that they eat a lot of the same things during the week. (Luckily they aren't very picky, at least not yet.)

GUILT GUILT GUILT. 

I still feel like a good mom......no, a great mom. I feel like I'm trying my best and my children are well-taken care of and growing and developing, and I know that I love them to pieces. But, there's always that lingering guilt. Will it go away if I lose weight? Will it go away when I'm done having babies? Will it get worse as my children turn into teenagers? Do other moms feel guilt too? Do I need to read scriptures/pray/ponder more? (that answer is probably always yes, I guess.) 

I don't feel like my guilt is debilitating or distracting to me or even evident to most people, but it is almost always there in some small part of my emotions. I feel vulnerable writing this, but I've been thinking about it for a long time and want to at least have some part of it recorded. At least I won't have guilt over not posting it, right? 

2 comments:

  1. YES! You hit the nail on the head today with this. I'm putting my check mark "yes" next to pretty much all of those. It's like this innate part of motherhood of always thinking if your kids and not thinking of them that makes us good mothers. I'm amazed when I talk to Casey that he practically doesn't even think about the kids while he's out an about doing stuff. When I'm gone from even one of them for a little bit all I'm doing thinking is "are they ok? Are they giving that person a hard time" blah blah blah. Of course i want to get away from them but I feel this huge need to BE with them at all times. Oh man Heavenly Father...

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  2. This is so honest. I love it. Guilt as healthy self-awareness is okay. It moves us and yes, we can always do better. Guilt that turns to shame and paralysis is not okay. Usually, just enough actually is enough. If your kids truly know that you love them because you hug and kiss them and give them them an abundance of easily prepared carbs and cheesy sauces, and you and the hubs are showing love for each other, everything actually is fine. You seem to be walking that balance beam with a lot of grace, as usual. I love you and wish so much sometimes that I was still in your near orbit. I am sending a giant hug and kiss through the air to Lincoln. Let me know when it lands.

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