The hardest and best part about being a Mom
I bet if you’re a mother you’ve experienced Mommy Guilt. No? Well lucky you. And I’m only getting upset at you for never experiencing it because I feel guilty that I have.
Let me back up a bit. I am a stay at home mom, but when my oldest was a baby I worked. When she was 5 months old I accepted a job as a school counselor, replacing someone while she was on maternity leave. The minute I took the job and hung up the phone, I started to cry because I’d be leaving my baby.
That job only lasted a short time, but I worked two other jobs between then and the time my second child was born and therefore my oldest went to daycare. After my second was born, my first continued going to daycare a few days per week over that first summer – and that’s when the Mommy Guilt officially started – I’m a stay at home mom but my child goes to daycare.
Just to get all the justifications out of the way – my oldest only stayed in daycare for that summer when my second was a newborn. Then she started preschool at age 3 – she went three days a week and my baby was at home with me. Next, my second started preschool at age 2 – he went 2 days a week. I was pregnant with my third and therefore had those few hours to myself. Guilty. Finally, my third child went to preschool last year one day a week (January-May) and this year two days a week. I am by myself for 3.5 hours twice a week and I love it. Majorly guilty.
For me, the hardest part of being a mom is feeling guilty when I have a few hours a week to myself when all my kids are all at school. When I get to be in the house in silence, with no one on top of me or asking me for things. When I can go to the store and shop without having to distract someone else. When I only need to take care of myself.
Have you ever noticed that people get offended if you accuse them of something that is true? That’s probably because they feel guilty about it. If I lose those few hours I kind of freak out. I have become a little dependent on having them. And so, when there are a bunch of snow days in a row and a few days of sick kids at home and I don’t get my few hours off, I get stressed. And then if you say to me “Why are you upset? Enjoy this time with your kids!” that makes me feel worse, because I realize I don’t enjoy them when they are home when they aren’t supposed to be. And then I feel guilty. And get upset at you. When I’m really upset at me.
The hardest part of being a mom are the moments when I realize that I need time to myself to be a better mom and feel guilty about that. But the best part of being a mom is when my kids get home from school and I realize how much I missed them when they weren’t with me. Time apart from my kids makes me feel guilty when I enjoy it, but also helps me to realize how much I truly love being a mom and love being with my kids. Isn’t it funny how the hardest thing has helped me find the best thing?
Guest post from Dara, stay at home mom to three and writer at the blog http://www.notinjersey.com. Not In Jersey is a blog about Dara’s family and their adventures after a move from New Jersey to Kansas.