Jan 14, 2013

Keeping the Mom Guilt at Bay

Some times when I've had less than stellar days or weeks, I'm okay with it, and manage go easy on the MomGuilt. But other times, even with the excuse of a migraine one day, the MomGuilt brings me down. And last week, with a friend out of commission and an exhaustion that felt like it came from nowhere, was one of those weeks.

Today was better. In fact, I would even go so far as to say it was great. We enjoyed a quiet and quick morning together, and I even had enough time to drive through and get a coffee before taking the girls to school (preschool and ECFE class). That right there is a drop in my Bucket of Awesome!

The MomGuilt is hard because some days I can see it coming, like a car's headlights in the distance and I manage to turn down another road, swerve, or even speed on by. But other days that MomGuilt knocks me right out, with no warning, and I'm left with just the vibrations in the head of repeated ways I'm failing at this Mom-gig. And the self-doubt and questioning, why didn't they cover that at the birthing classes at the hospital? Babies: Guaranteed to make you question your ability to make the right decisions every step of the way.

Don't get me wrong, I think we're doing a pretty good job over here. But the fear. Oh the fear is amazing. Am I doing the right thing? Should I go to my baby or let her cry herself to sleep? And then three years later: Is my daughter's tough adjustment to preschool because I let her cry herself to sleep when she was nine-months-old? Is it because I coddled her too much by letting her sleep with me until she was three-years-old?

Either way you do it there will be questions, doubts, and fear. That's a guarantee with kids.

But, I guess, as with life, that's kind of how it goes. We're all doing this thing the best way that we can, each and every day. We do what we think is best, with whatever background, whatever research, whatever Instinct we have, and hope that it's enough. That if we give what we can (and sometimes what we can give is much less than on other days -- and that's okay!), that if we give what we can, if we love, if we share, if we support, we are doing enough.

Really, when I think about raising my girls, I just want to know that it all revolved around love. From love comes compassion, hope, joy, satisfaction, the need to do good.

So what does it matter how many hours of television they watched the week I felt exhausted. Or what kinds of snacks they got the day we ran out of fruits and I wasn't up for a two-child trip to the grocery store. I am doing the best that I can. And so are you.

Give yourself a pat on the back. Take a deep breath. Push away that MomGuilt. We are enough for our children. We are all they need.


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