“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.” -Mandy Hale
There are times when I crave for those late night hours when I’m laying in bed, those early mornings when I’m working before the kids are up just for some time to myself or those silent moments in the car when both toddlers have fallen asleep.
Just for some time where my thoughts aren’t circulating at 100 mph because I’m trying to balance work, giving each toddler the attention they need, making sure the sink is clear of dishes, fixing a toy that broke or opening the 100th snack of the morning.
So as I sit here in the car, sipping my coffee as my toddlers sleep and trying to hold on what ounce of sanity I have left for the day, the mom guilt begins to sink in and I question everything that I thought I knew about myself- as a mama and a person.
The Mom Guilt
Mom guilt hits you differently when you’re a work-from-home mama and you feel like you’re not living up to the expectations you had set for yourself or you’re asked for the millionth time by a family member or friend what it is you do all day or they catch you on your phone that one time during the day and snap at you.
“What are you doing?! Don’t you just stay home with the kids?!”
Yes, I am home with my kids everyday. No, that’s not all I do. I actually work. Cue all the blank stares and the judgments from those who think that I don’t do anything but sit on my phone all day so I shouldn’t have any excuse for why the laundry isn’t done, the sink is full of dishes, the house isn’t cleaned or there’s toys all over the place.
There’s this great expectation of moms created by society that makes us feel like the worst mothers in the world if we don’t meet them. For the longest time, I let these thoughts and opinions effect me so greatly that I was constantly questioning my worth, not only as a mom but as a person.
👜 Working moms:
Society: “It’s a shame that they’re letting someone else raise their children just so they could build a career.”
The mom: “What am I missing out on at home while I’m away?”
💻 Work-from-home moms:
Society: “She’s constantly on her phone all day and doesn’t even pay attention to the kids or get the housework done.”
The mom: “How can I get the most out of my work hours before the kids are up?”
🤱🏻 Stay-at-home moms:
Society: “All she does is stay home with the kids all day.”
The mom: “Am I doing enough to help provide for our family?”
I Give Up!
I have at one point or another been in every single one of these roles. To be quite honest, I’m exhausted…
I’m so tired of having to validate my actions or what I have done each day to make myself feel like I’m actually a good mama. What I thought was a big accomplishment- apparently isn’t.
Raising two kids, building my own business from home and finishing grad school all at the same time doesn’t really amount to much if the kids are acting up in public or the house isn’t cleaned…
It’s gotten to the point where I just give up trying to explain myself and I just give up on caring what others think!
I’m so tired of being talked down to by others because they don’t see what happens on a daily basis, rather they see the few times I’m sitting on the couch on my phone and think that’s all I do every day.
I’m not just sitting on the couch mindlessly scrolling through social media while my toddler (sometimes both of them) is throwing yet another fit for the 10th time today about something I don’t quite understand.
So here it is… to all those who feel they have the right to judge me as a mother…
While you only catch a glimpse into what our daily lives are each day, know that my children are healthy, they’re happy, they live in a safe home and I’m doing all that I can to provide for them.
While you may think all I do is sit around the house all day, I’m doing the best I can to run my business, keep this house clean and raise my children to be decent human beings. Yes, I may have an off day or two, but what human doesn’t?
Who are you to judge me for having an off day? Why is it acceptable for dads and everyone else in this world to have a bad day but a mom isn’t allowed to? WHY DO WE ALWAYS HAVE TO BE ON? How is that fair?
We need to normalize moms being able to take breaks, and that doesn’t mean going to the store by herself or getting to take a shower without any interruptions. Taking care of our basic needs like everyone else isn’t a break!
What does it mean for a mom to give herself some time for self-care? It means being able to leave the house on her own to go grab a coffee without any interruptions. It means going out to lunch with her friends without being called home because the children aren’t cooperating. It means being able to say she’s exhausted and needs a break WITHOUT JUDGMENT!
(Now, I’m not saying dads don’t deserve a break too. But they shouldn’t be congratulated or rewarded for taking care of the kids when it’s also their responsibility just as much as it is for moms.)
You Got this Mama!
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mama, work-from-home mama or a working mama, I know we’ve all been there at one point or another when we feel that mom guilt all too much and begin to question our worth as mamas and the work that we do.
Mama, I’m here to remind you that no matter what you’re doing, working or not, you’re doing the best you can for those babies and if the way you do things isn’t living up to the expectations of others, then that’s their problem and not ours! It is more than okay to need a break every now and then.