Monday, September 5, 2016

The Struggle is Real

Mom guilt.  The struggle is real.  If you've ever worked full time or even part time while trying to balance life with kids and your husband or if you've ever been a stay at home mom who is no longer contributing monetarily to the household budget or if you've ever bottle fed or didn't baby wear or whatever, the mom shaming and the mom guilt is of control.  Like seriously out of control.
I have dealt with it and I know other moms who struggle with it.  Sometimes it feels like it's all in your head and then someone comes up to you and you say something and they just nod and you know they are judging you.  You just know.  Because they are.  With that little nod of the head they have given themselves away and you are left feeling guilty.
If you aren't a mom, you've probably heard the term "mom shaming" and thought it's just a made up thing.  But I can promise you, it's not.  There are countless articles about it, there are letters written about it, there are Dear Abby posts and blog posts and a million and other things that come up when you search the term in Google.  Mom shaming is a thing and mom guilt is a direct result of it.
The reason I am even mentioning mom guilt is because often I associate my mom guilt with money.  Funny how that works huh?  But I do.  My mom guilt is often tied, very much so, to my bank account or my credit card balance.  It is directly tied to how much money I am spending on myself.  It is directly tied to how much money I make on any given day and how much money I don't make on any given day.  It is tied to how much I spend, how much I make and how much I don't make.
I am sure that I am not the only person to ever experience this.
As a working mom I felt guilty for not spending enough time with my children.  Now I feel guilty for not being able to give them enough experiences or for spending too much money on them or for not spending enough money on them.  I feel guilty for not working out in the world and having them see me out in the workforce balancing home and career.
There are so many things that I worry about and feel guilty about but I want to assure you - mom guilt is not a good reason not to take care of ourselves.  It is not a good reason to go back to work.  It is not a good reason to try to do everything.  Mom guilt is the reason we need to take care of ourselves.  It is the reason we need to take time for ourselves and spend  a little bit of money on ourselves and need to forgive ourselves.  We are not perfect.  We will never be perfect.  Trying to live up to others standards is not going to help us to live a better life.  In fact, if anything it just adds on to the already large pile of guilt that's already accumulated.
So forgive yourself.  Move on and the next time someone says something like, "when are you going to go back to work full time?" simply nod your head because they just don't get it and think "when are you going to get that I love my life just as it is?" and redirect the conversation.

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