If you are a mom, I’m willing to bet that at some point in time you have suffered from mom guilt.You know what I mean… that overwhelming feeling you are doing something wrong when you put yourself first for once. Mom guilt is pervasive and can strike at any time adn takes many different forms.Let’s discuss!
Working Moms vs Stay at Home Moms
Society has really created a double edge sword when it comes to mom guilt related to working or staying at home with your kids.If you work outside of the home then you aren’t taking care of your kids.If you are a stay at home mom then you aren’t contributing to the household.Worrying about each of these factors can induce some MAJOR MOM GUILT.
Working moms can stay connected to their professional world and intellectually stimulated and some couples say its easier to stay connected when they are both working. Stay at home moms get a front row seat to watch their children develop and they don’t have to deal with the daily separation anxiety.
Working moms have to hear things about their kids from the child care provider and swallow any guilt and tears that might come with that. Things often fall to the wayside at home like home cooked meals, perfectly folded laundry and hot sex! Some stay at home moms experience feeling trapped in the 24/7 job that never stops and doesn’t allow for any type of alone or social time let alone stimulating conversation with your partner.
Listen, I’m here to tell you that if you have/need/want to work outside of your home… GOOD FOR YOU! DO IT!If you want to be a stay at home mom…GOOD FOR YOU! DO IT!You have to do what is right for you and your family.Do not let the outside spectators of your life decide what is best for you and your family.Whatever works…then do it.
I have had the privilege of doing both. I was blessed by the opportunity to go part-time when I had my first child, then 18 months later I had the second one and two more years later I was pregnant with the third and my daycare costs would exceed my salary. So it didn’t make sense for me to work anymore.
I was home full time for 6 years,although at the end I was building my private practice and preparing for derek to begin Kindergarten. There were many days I was completely jealous of my working mom friends, they got to be around their peers, enjoy quiet lunches and go to the bathroom by themselves. And other days when I felt grateful to be home full time because I could grocery shop during the day, get laundry done, do crafts with my kids and go to playdates. Neither one is all that glamorous and both have pros and cons!
The Moms who Workout
There are a growing number of moms who want to stay in shape and go to the gym.They are not bad moms for taking an hour or so TO TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES.Cut them some slack people!
Moms spend their day doing all the things for everyone else, so if they don’t take care of themselves then they can’t take care of anyone else.They are NOT bad moms for doing something for themselves.Not to mention, working out is a GREAT way to deal with stress and anxiety.
I said from the very beginning of my momhood that working out regularly meaning most days of the week was part of my job. Staying active for the physical and mental health benefits is not selfish. Actually quite the opposite. And you are modeling for your children that one of your personal core vaules is health.
I found an awesome gym in our community that offered child care for a certain amount of time depending on their age. My kid all grew up there. They had the opportunity to play with other kids and to be cared for by different adults and I could exercise and socialize! It was good for everyone.
If you can’t afford a gym or there isn’t one near you with childcare then you can workout at home. Set up a designated area in your home or garage and get your sweat on with some YouTube yoga or P90X! Whatever you choose there is so much available these days and a lot of it is free!
You may have to do what we do now and get up and be at the gym by 5 am in order to fit it in before school carpools and work. There are even mom workout groups like Stroller Strides if you want to exercise with your child. Just be intentional and organized about this time. Find a time and put it in the calendar just like you would anything else and then show up!
Career Chasing Moms
There are a growing number of moms who want to pursue careers or school or some sort of a passion. And the number of women who are reaching executive levels in the workplace is increasing. Ladies, we need to applaud them for doing it all. If they want to have a career and be a mom then good for them! This could also apply to women who are entrepreneurs. If it works for them, then we should support that and not mom shame it because they spend time working on their business or longer hours at the office.
Now… that being said there is something else that we have to discuss. Before we were moms, we were wives, girlfriends, whatever. Nurturing our relationship with our significant other is important. Let me say that one more time in a way that is kind of direct! DATE NIGHT IS IMPORTANT!But, for a lot of women, date night brings on MAJOR anxiety.
We have to find the sitter for the kids. We have to arrange everything for said sitter before they arrive.Then you have the actual anxiety of leaving the kids with the sitter. Not to mention the guilt for leaving them with a sitter. You can see how this adds up. BUT… YOU HAVE TO NURTURE YOUR RELATIONSHIP! Or else eventually…there won’t be a relationship.Ladies… GO OUT ON DATE NIGHT!
It is my belief that self care isn’t selfish and it is important to take care of yourself in order to be a good mom and wife.You can’t pour from an empty cup.When it comes to self care, find what works for you.
We sometimes have to take things in seasons. It’s ok to pursue dreams and work on your marriage and have lots of kids and be the PTA president and become a bodybuilder…but you can’t always do ALL OF THOSE THINGS at once. Sometimes we have to push one thing to the side in order to handle one season and then go back.
Now that we have talked about different forms of mom guilt and the importance of taking care of YOU, I want to discuss one more thing with you.Ladies… CAN WE PLEASE STOP MOM SHAMING OTHER MOMS BECAUSE THEIR CHOICES ARE DIFFERENT THAN YOURS? We need to be kind and tolerant and accepting of each other as parents in the way we do things or what we want for our families. Stop judging and start supporting.We’re all in this mom thing together.