Confessions of a Mom: Mom Guilt
Mom guilt! Let’s talk about that.
I am a working mom. I have a 3-year old and a 5-month old. I went through almost the exact same thing leading up to the birth of both my children… at home, I was nesting – terribly! I wanted to organize everything to make room for baby. At work, I was putting in extra hours to get ready for maternity leave. I barely slept in anticipation for my little one’s arrival. Finally, the big day was here! All of the things that kept me up at night on the matters of the home and work had taken a back seat, because now, I have a new focus. My precious little bundle of joy has entered the world. And just like that, I knew my only job was to take care of this helpless tiny human that I loved so dearly.
I took an average of 7 ½ weeks of maternity leave with both pregnancies. Those weeks flew by so quickly. Before I knew it, it was time to return to work. I secretly wished I could stay home with baby for as long as I can. I was overwhelmed with a mixture of emotions – from a feeling of joy, that I am now a mom to a feeling of worry, that I am now responsible for another life. Oh, and another one, guilt. Mom guilt is real! Here’s a mom wishing she could stay home and feeling that guilt of returning to work.
What about stay-at-home moms? It certainly isn’t my place to talk about how stay-at-home moms feel. I can only imagine how hard it can get when you’re the sole adult at home taking care of baby, the home, your partner, and if you have time, yourself. That’s a lot of work! There is no price tag for raising your children and raising them well. Yet, in spite of all of that, I still hear it… mom guilt also exists for stay-at-home moms.
Why do I bring this up? Because I want us to talk about it, so we can find a way to get through it together. There should be no need to defend your position of why you chose to stay at home or work, yet societal pressures and sometimes, even our own families leave moms on guard. Whether you’re a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, each day is a balancing act. With the best intentions and to the best of our abilities, we are constantly making decisions for our families and our little ones. The choice to breastfeed or formula feed, on what to feed the family, on how to raise our children so that they may grow up into kind and responsible adults, and the list goes on. It’s a lot of work and a lot to think about.
If you’re feeling the “mom guilt”, the journey to coming to peace with it is so personal. I am fortunate to have a great support system – I have the wisdom and help of my loving mother, a caring husband and beyond that, a slew of moms whom I can seek out advice from with no judgment. We need to support and build up each other. As the saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child.” We’re all on the same mission. Let’s not forget to be kind to one another.