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Mommy Guilt

>> Monday, November 28, 2011

I am not a perfect mom.  No matter how hard I try on the outside to make it appear that I "have it all together", I'm a real person and that means I do make mistakes.  One of the biggest lessons I've been learning since becoming a parent is about Mommy Guilt.  I haven't talked to any mom who hasn't experienced this at some point.  Some men probably experience something similar (or "Daddy Guilt") but from my experience it's not nearly as strong as what a mom feels.  It can really drag you down.

I experience it most when I am working too much on my side business.  After all, I quit my job so I can stay at home with my kids.  What good is "staying home" when you are working on work and not spending time with the kids?  Or when I have stuff that I NEED to get done, so I let the kids watch too much tv.  And I realize that it's almost dinner time and I haven't even actually played with my kids that day.  Or, when it's dinner time and I realize I have absolutely nothing planned for dinner.  Or when my child doesn't behave as we have taught them and I get embarrassed about it.  Or, or, or...the list could go on and on.

Why is this such a big deal?  Why should it matter if my child messes up or my house is dirty or if we have ramen noodles for dinner?  I'm not sure if it is society or my own personal pressure on myself that wants me to have a perfect life with perfect kids, always eat healthy, have a perfect balance between work and play.  It's probably a lot of both.  I'm an oldest child, so I want to make things perfect.  I'm a leader and when the kids don't follow, I get frustrated and lose my temper.  I yell too much.  I send to the kids to their room too much.  I don't get as much of a break (or me time) and I want.  I don't get as much sleep as I need.  I have so many things on my to do list that I don't feel like I'll ever get it done.  I have 3 kids who just need, need, need.

Don't get me wrong, I love my kids and my family.  I just don't know why I put so much pressure on myself.  Why do I have to feel like it's always my fault?  Who cares if the house is spotless?  Who cares if it takes my child a little extra time to learn an important life lesson like sharing or playing nice?  Who cares if I don't serve a balanced meal all the time.  I love my husband and my kids, with their flaws and all.  I'm not perfect and neither are they.  

This holiday season, I want to take time to enjoy my family, imperfections and all.  I want to slow down and take the extra time to be patient with them, to teach my children the way I would want to be taught.  To  not focus so much on the material things of the season, but spending quality time with them.  To tell them and show them that I love them no matter what.  To apologize to each of them for not being the type of mom/wife I want to be, and then let all the guilt go. It will be a continual process, and one I will never fully master, but I have a feeling that it's one of those important life lessons that I need to learn.

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