Below is a list of the things I feel guilty about as a mom:
Seriously, who knew?! There were a lot of things I was expecting and anticipating about becoming a mom, and the huge amount of guilt, worry, and doubt were not chief amongst them.
Now I know better.
I’ve been racked with guilt since the day he was born about a variety of things. The one that’s gotten me most as of late is being a working mom.
I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating: I know that working motherhood is what’s best for me, Caleb, and my family. I know I need to do it so that I can provide for my family. For the most part, I even LIKE doing it. I don’t think I’m one of those moms who is meant to stay at home – I think I’d get a little stir crazy, honestly.
All that said, I still feel guilty about it sometimes.
On my average work day, I get to spend about four hours with Caleb: an hour in the morning before work, and three hours in the evening after work between when I get home and when he goes to bed. On these days, he spends just as much – if not more – time with Jerry and my mom than he does with me. He’s with Jerry in the mornings, then my mom in the afternoons. I’m really glad that he’s with people who love him and that I know he’s always in good hands.
But that doesn’t alleviate the mama guilt.
The guilt of whether I see him enough, of whether our short time together is quality time, of whether he’ll know that I’m his mom when I only see him four hours a day some days.
I feel guilty that maybe I’ll miss his first steps, his first time clapping, his first time dancing. I feel guilty when I get frustrated over his cries, as if I should be 100% my best all the time when I’m with him. I feel guilty that he won’t know how much I love him, and that he’ll think work is more important to me than he is.
When I am with him, I feel guilty when I’m doing something else like cleaning, blogging, watching TV. I know that I need to still be me and maintain my own identity, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel guilty about it sometimes.
I guess as a mother, you tend to feel guilty because no matter what you do, you feel like it’s never going to be good enough for your child. You want the absolute best for them, and you feel not good enough. You wonder how YOU could possibly be the best when you can hardly keep your house clean on a good day. I want everything in the world for this boy, and I guess that’s where the guilt comes in: I wonder how I could possibly do enough, be enough, give enough to this child who I love more than anything. No matter how good you are, it could never feel sufficient enough when it comes to your child who deserves the world and then some.
I know that ultimately, I’m doing exactly what I need to do for my child. Some days, it’s just harder than others to accept.
At the end of every single day though, I kiss his little cheek and tell him I love him. At the end of the day, that’s all we have and all that really matters.