Mom Guilt - On Letting Go
I recently posted a poll on my Instagram where I asked how many moms out there feel mom guilt on a DAILY basis, and 78% answered YES. 60% of poll-takers said that they feel guilty every time they do something for themselves. Every time! This made me so sad! These answers got me thinking about where this guilt comes from, and what we can do to lessen it. I think overall we are all trying our best as parents and mothers. If we're truly trying our best then why are we so hard on ourselves?
The reason I asked this question to begin with is because I have done some re-evaluating of my life as a mom lately, and I found that I needed some more time for myself. Ever since becoming a mom of two, that has been so hard to find. And when I do get an opportunity to do something, that likely means that my husband is home and I don't want to interrupt our precious family time to go to the gym or do something for me. But I have found that doing those things is better for me in the long run and I'm a better mom and wife because of it. The things I have found that I need are going to the gym at least once a week, getting up early some mornings and writing for as long as I want to before the babies wake up, and I recently decided to go back to work on a SUPER part time basis (literally like 3-4 hours a week).
Yesterday was the first day I was gone almost all day from both babies. When I came home and my husband was home shortly after, we were all sitting in the living room together and I felt like I was literally BURSTING with gratitude for this family of mine. Not that I'm not always grateful, because I am. But having almost a whole day away made me miss them all so much and I just couldn't stop squeezing them when I got home. I hate to admit that other days, if I don't get a chance to do anything for myself, I sometimes feel like I could run out the door when my husband gets home from work! What I'm trying to say is that when I do the things I need to do to take care of myself, I am a much better wife and mother for it. I am happier and therefore, bring more to the table in these roles. So why feel guilty for doing the things we need to do? I don't know why we do it but we all do.
So here's my list of reasons why to let go of mom guilt, regardless of why you are feeling it... working, not working, going out and taking some "me time" every day or not, etc etc.
1. A happy mom is a happy home. The happier you are the happier everyone will be, I guarantee it.
2. Kids feed off of negative energy. Ever notice when you're having a really hard time, they're even crazier than normal? Let that sh*t go.
3. I find when I take time for me (even at 4 or 5 am when I don't want to), I am so much more creative and happy with my kids. We do things out of our comfort zone, have dance parties in the morning, and the day just goes better overall.
4. It's actually bad for your health. We're all imperfect and no one is doing 100% perfect parenthood, all the time. We all lose our temper, say things we shouldn't, give french fries for dinner and have a messier house than we'd like. Would you forgive someone else for the things they do? Then why wouldn't you forgive yourself? Accept yourself as the imperfect person and parent you are to show your kids that you can accept and love their imperfections. Every beautiful one of them.
So, to conclude, I'd like to ask you to ask yourself - what will it take for me to feel like a better parent? A better person? A happier person? And start doing that! Even if its small. Buy yourself flowers, go to the gym for 20 minutes, take a bath with a glass of wine. Look in the mirror and remind yourself you're doing an amazing job.