Archive for January, 2009
I have a theory about mommy guilt. Maybe it’s something everyone else already knows and it’s just taken me this long to figure it out, but no one told me this, so it’s still my theory! It is that mommy guilt is a direct result of anticipating how other people will judge you.
Let me tell you how I came to this conclusion.
This morning, the mailman knocked on the door to give me a package. I answered the door in my pajamas…for the second day in a row! I instantly felt guilty and thought, “He must think I never get dressed and just lounge around in my pajamas all day every day!” See how the guilt came along with assuming he was judging me?
Then I realized I should not be feeling guilty! Even if he was judging me for still being in my pajamas, he had no idea that I’d been up 3 or 4 times the night before with an inconsolable baby who woke his sister up every time he woke up! He also didn’t know that I’d spent the morning changing diapers, making breakfast, washing diapers, and cooking a meal to bring to a family who’d just had a baby! And he didn’t know that when he knocked, I’d been in the middle of doing Ava’s alphabet flash cards (one of her very favorite things in the world!) with her! So even if he was judging me, who cares? I hadn’t done anything wrong! I’d just been so focused on my family that I hadn’t had time to get dressed yet (or even have a cup of coffee…yikes!).
That got me thinking how often I’ve judged other mothers without really knowing their situation (and I know I’m not the only one!). OK, some mothers deserve to be judged, but when it comes to a mom who’s really trying her best, we ought to cut her a little slack! We’re all in the trenches together!
Besides, I’ve found that a lot of the things I’ve judged other mothers for, I’ve ended up doing myself. For instance, I’d always judged moms who had their kids on “leashes”. Yup, you guessed it! After Kelvin was born, it became almost impossible to keep both kids under control in a store by myself, so I had to buy a cute little harness for her (which she loves, by the way…she’s always asking to put her puppy backpack on).
Anyway, I kind of went off on a tangent there, but I guess my point is that we need to not worry so much about what other people think and just concentrate on what we know is true and cut other mommies a little slack, too! After all, we don’t want to contribute to other people’s Mommy Guilt, do we?
If you’re a mom and you’ve ever felt like you’re in a rut, you need to read this post! It’s by a fellow mom and she talks about the things every mom feels, but might not want to admit. We love our kids, and we love being moms, and we wouldn’t change it for the world, so why do we sometimes, deep down, feel like running away for awhile?
Here’s a little excerpt from her post:
Sometimes being a stay at home mom is like eating ice cream that has a little frost bite on it. You really love the ice cream so you keep eating it, but those little pieces find their way onto your spoon every now and again. It doesn’t make you stop eating it, since you love it so, but it does put a sour taste in your mouth every now and again.
And if you don’t like ice cream (*gasp!*), let me explain. As stay at home moms, we love our children. We would do anything for them. But there are days, weeks, even months, that can really beat us down. The kids aren’t sleeping well, they’re sick, you’re sick, they test you to see what you’ll let them get away with. Everyday. Leaving us drained of energy, our minds in a mental fog.
You really need to go read the rest of the post, though!
I’m just going to warn you right now…there is no resolution at the end of this post. I know our
millions of one or two faithful readers have come to expect advice about the topics we write about, but I just don’t have it right now.
That said, I think I’m going through a pre-midlife crisis. I was thinking the other day that I identify myself as a mother…more specifically an attachment parenting mom…and even more specifically, a breastfeeding mom, a baby-wearing mom, a cloth-diapering mom, a co-sleeping mom, etc. But what happens when they get older? What happens when they’re potty trained and are too big for the Peanut Shell (yes, I still wear Ava in it occasionally) and don’t need to sleep in our bed anymore (Ava’s already past that point)? I honestly don’t know how I’m going to define myself then! I don’t even remember how I defined myself before I had kids. Funny how children come along and wrap your whole world around themselves and leave you not knowing who you were before and who you will be in the future. Or is this just me? All I know is I need to slow down the hands of time!
Today, I was reading The Thrifty Mama’s blog and found her post about focusing on the good things we are doing for our families rather than the things that make us feel inadequate. This is such good advice! Nine times out of ten when I take a step back and look at everything going on in my life, I focus on the things I haven’t done and wish I could find time to do.
So I’m going to borrow The Thrifty Mama’s idea and make a list of the good things I’m doing for my family! Feel free to join in, either in the comments section or on your own blog.
- I spend lots of time giving kisses, hugs, reading, and playing on the floor with the kids.
- I cloth diaper my kids.
- I cook homemade meals every day.
- I breastfeed Kelvin exclusively.
- I color with Ava on a regular basis.
Bonus: Ava knows almost all of the animal sounds.