I am my own worst enemy—I forget to let myself off, give myself time, free myself of guilt.
I am a stay-at-home mom, but I am not a superhero.
For the most part, I absolutely love, treasure, and soak up every happy, special, tough, gritty moment of motherhood. I am forever grateful for this journey. But I also feel extremely guilty any time the load builds a little too high. I forget that I too am allowed emotions, time off, and forgiveness.
As a rule, I don’t snap. I am a patient parent. I discuss and I cuddle and I reason with my children. But it happens, sometimes it gets to be too much—the noise too loud, the touching too much, the lack of personal space is unbearable, and the no days off suffocating. It’s an all-consuming sensory overload. And I raise my voice, and instantly the guilt and regret wash over me.
I, like many mothers, don’t get much me time at all.
We forget that me time for moms shouldn’t be, working, cleaning, self-care, or daily tasks. Me time should consist of an activity that doesn’t include any of the above and time to truly be alone and enjoy our own company. Remember who we are.
It’s easy to forget ourselves. We forget that we too have needs that must be met, especially if we want to be the best parents we can be for our children.
Sometimes we may voice these feelings or opinions, and they’re met with the usual replies or phrases: We’ve all been there. Oh, I remember those days. Didn’t you have a night off last month? You don’t get annual leave or sick days when you’re a parent.
None of that matters. None of that helps.
We can’t control when these feelings overcome us.
It happens to me rarely, but it makes it no easier when it does happen. It happens to all of us as well, whether you are the sort of person to be open about it or not, we all have those days. And we are allowed to have them too.
We love our little humans so much that it does some big things to the way we think. All of a sudden, I am tough on myself when I mistake, when I act on impulse, or when I didn’t do something the way I’d like to. But we all make mistakes.
I always speak to my children after, explaining my feelings and why I acted the way I did. I then apologize to them. It is important for them to see we all make these mistakes. And it is even more important for them to know that I, too, will always forgive them when they make mistakes.
I do not welcome these moments that happen every once in a blue moon, but I do realize it is important for my children to learn these things. No one is perfect, and that’s OK.
We are not perfect, but we are the best we can be.
That includes owning up to our mistakes and being wrong and saying we’re sorry.
And I think it’s safe to say, most of us parents will never really get a grip on the many different kinds and ways you feel guilt. I imagine it lasts a lifetime—it’s something that never gets easier despite how old or grown your children may be. But at least we try and forgive ourselves and remember that it’s OK to not be 100% every day.
After all, we’re only human. We aren’t superheroes.
Side note: I wrote this in my car. I needed five for myself. I drove and parked. I had a cold can of Coke Zero, and besides messaging my best friend to let it all out, I wrote this.
And guess what? I felt refreshed . . . sometimes all we need is half an hour.