I’m gonna be honest with you, this post started off as a rant. After a couple of really tough weeks and feeling like I’m pouring from a completely empty cup, I’m fed up with the way society expects us moms to mother as if we don’t have full time careers and work as if we don’t have children. There’s a constant push and pull, a never ending inner conflict. I feel like I’m always failing at one or the other on my best days and on my worst days, I’m failing at both. Miserably. But I’m learning, slowly but surely, to change my inner dialogue.
This is Eowyn, my oldest daughter, at picture day for her dance recital. She is so f***ing beautiful sometimes I can’t believe she came out of me. But when I saw these pictures at first, I wanted to cry. This was a big day for her. A big day that I was missing. I was teaching a yoga event that I had committed to long before Eowyn ever started dance… yet here I was in my living room feeling a big ole knot of mom guilt starting to form in my stomach as I looked at a camera screen to relay the big moment that I had missed.
I want to talk about mom guilt, but first let’s just talk guilt. I come from the school of thought that guilt that leads to self pity and wallowing is not a positive thing. Guilt that leads to positive transformation or changing our behavior to be better, is good. So this working mom guilt that we all struggle with from time to time, does it lead to positive change? For me, it rarely does. Instead it leaves me to feel depressed, angry with societies unrealistic expectations, angry that other people don’t understand why I can’t be at everything, a desperation for people to see that I’m trying my best yet still f***ing failing. It’s a downward spiral and it doesn’t lead me to parent better.
So I’m working on shifting the way I deal with this mom guilt. No, I can’t be at every dance practice, I can’t be the one to kiss every single scraped knee or to cook every single meal my kids eat. I work. A lot. But what I can do is change the way I think about things so I can be the best parent I know how to be and that starts with letting go of the guilt. Yes I will make mistakes as a mom, I make them all the time. But you know what? I apologize to my kids when I mess up to remind them that mom isn’t perfect. I use those moments to remind them that God is the only one who can love us unconditionally. All human love is flawed and full of disappointment. Yes I will miss dance practices and drop offs for sleepovers and park playdates. But I’m also modeling the importance of going after your dreams, working hard for them and following what you were made to do– no matter how outrageous it might seem to other people. Stay in your lane and keep at it. Yes there will be times that I fall into self pity and wallowing in complete guilt. But I will pick myself back up again and remember I am not alone in this struggle. We have to be willing to ask ourselves the really hard questions: Is my mom guilt really about my kids? Or is it really about me and my own insecurities as a mom and the way I want others to perceive me?
Ouch. I know it stings a little. But as mothers, we have to be committed to doing the inner work. So piece by piece, day by day, I’m learning to let that sh*t go. It doesn’t happen over night. Oh boy is it a process. But it’s a process we can commit to. As you can see, Eowyn was well loved and fully enjoyed herself at her picture day and even got to go on a donut date afterwards. I’m incredibly thankful for a partner that supports not just me, but also my kids and takes them to do special things like this. It really does take a village and while I feel like my village is pretty much non existent/extremely tiny, I’m so thankful for the helpers and thankful for the people who love my kids as if they were their own.
Now to finish off this post with a couple of random thoughts, isn’t Eowyn so beautiful in her costume?! She has been doing Tap and Ballet at The DREAM Center and we have loved it so much. If you’re looking for a fabulous dance studio in the Tucker/Clarkston/Stone Mountain area I would highly recommend checking them out. Lastly, if you enjoyed this post, let me know by liking, sharing and or commenting! I’m trying to grow this little online space and all of these interactions are super helpful.
Thanks for stopping by the blog today and I hope you have a fabulous week! Let that mom guilt go my friends.