Everyday a new article pops into my feed telling me what I should be feeling guilty about. Every. Single. Day. I get how this started. A mom needed to write out her feelings. I’ve been there, I get it. She put it out there so that other moms who were feeling that guilt could feel heard and it worked. A lot of Moms just needed to hear that they weren’t alone and that’s so important. Here’s the thing though, at what point did we stop “sharing” and start “telling” Mom’s what to feel guilty about? Do you sometimes come across one of these articles and just think “oh, was I supposed to feel bad about that?”.
I’ve felt pangs of Mom guilt before, don’t get me wrong. I can be pretty hard on myself sometimes, and usually about stupid things I can’t control anyway, like O being lactose intolerant and having to switch to full formula feeding, not being able to fully breastfeed and needing to supplement through the other kids infant years, having a miscarriage of all things, not getting O’s eyes checked earlier. There’s always going to be a few. That’s just part of being human. We aren’t perfect, but our need to be better/to be innovative sometimes goes hand in hand with that guilt.
So let’s talk about a few of the common things I see posted about that I don’t feel guilty about and you shouldn’t either! (and yes, I know, some of you will now feel guilty about feeling guilty. Don’t! Stand your ground!)
Homeschooling The Buttons
I don’t feel guilty about my decision to homeschool. The pros for my family far outweigh the cons. It’s not for everyone, and that’s okay. You do what’s best for yours, and I’ll do what’s best for mine! It’s that simple. The Buttons are happy, healthy, clever, and absolute social butterflies (which I am certainly not even though I “socialized” in public school like everyone thinks is the only damn way! Ugh!) We’re doing alright. Don’t even worry about it!
Being a Stay-At-Home-Mom
ZERO guilt. I always wanted to stay home with them while they were little. That’s not to say there aren’t other things I want to do in my life but this one was always at the top of my list. Why should I feel guilty about wanting to be with my own kids? If I went to work as a teacher (like I wanted to when I was a kid) I’d be at “work” with other peoples kids all day and no one would bat an eye. I choose to do that with my own kids, in my own home, with an unlimited supply of coffee. It works for me. It works for them. I don’t feel bad about it!
Having A Second Baby
I read an article recently about feeling guilty about adding a second child to your family because of how the first kid “might” feel. I’m sorry, what? I guess I just never ever in my entire life considered only having one. Even when I was very small, I knew I’d have more than one. In fact my eight year old dream was to have four. Two myself, two adopted. I don’t know how I came up with that plan and it certainly changed over the years (when I was pregnant with E I 100% thought that was it!). The thought that O would somehow be or feel less loved never even crossed my mind. There was always going to be enough love for all of them. The supply won’t run out! I’m all for people choosing what’s right for them. If you only WANT one or none, more power to you. NO GUILT! Why should there be?
Look, there are plenty of things to feel bummed out about. I’m far from perfect. There are lot’s of things I wish I was doing better, or I could afford, or I was good at. Here’s the thing though, I’m trying. I’m trying my dang best! I try to own my decisions the best I can. I don’t have the time or the patience to worry about other peoples opinions. I’m not afraid to scroll passed articles that don’t apply to me. The kind of people that would judge me aren’t the kind of people who’s opinions matter to me. Look around your life. Who’s making you feel guilty. If it’s other people, they don’t deserve a seat at your table. Who are the people in your life living that “zer fucks” lifestyle? Who do you admire? Surround yourself with those people. Be that person for others. If it’s only you who’s bringing the guilt, it’s time to dig deep and figure out why and how to tackle it best. Life’s too short to be constantly worried that you aren’t good enough.
TRY! Just try! Let yourself see you try! Let your kids SEE you try! Crank up some Lizzo, put your hair up, get a fresh cup of coffee, and try your damn best! That’s all anyone can or should be asking for. We keep telling our kids that practice makes perfect, that everyone makes mistakes, that they should just do their best, but are we giving ourselves that same grace?