I find myself constantly worrying too much. Worrying about what my kids are eating. Are they getting too much screen time? Am I reading enough bedtime stories? Worrying about the messy playroom. Worrying about potty training before the age of two. Worrying about all the guilt I will feel at the end of the day after I’ve put them to bed. I can’t help but entertain all these thoughts every day—it’s exhausting, to say the least.
Mom guilt is something that comes with the package when they hand you your baby for the first time, yet no one prepares you for it.
I feel guilty when my kids have only cereal for breakfast without any fruit or protein.
I feel guilty for letting them watch more than one movie a day.
I feel guilty when my boys ask me to play with them and all I want to do is have a nap or scroll endlessly on my phone.
I feel guilty when I don’t let them help fold laundry because I’m a perfectionist and don’t have the patience.
But most of all I feel guilty when I yell, when I get angry, when I’m frustrated.
I’d say this one is the worst. It’s the mom guilt not many talk about although I’m sure every mom goes through it.
We feel shameful because to talk about it is isolating, because it’s not normal, because a mother shouldn’t have an emotional reaction to spilled milk. It’s just spilled milk.
Two simple words, so easy to say, but in the heat of the moment, a hurricane would sound less intrusive. It’s like my world is collapsing, the walls are caving in around me, and all I can think about is the mess I’m forced to clean up right now. Something so small is just causing chaos in my head. Firecrackers going off in every direction.
What makes it worse is that I never knew I was capable of being so angry until I became a mother.
Ding-dong, there’s the guilt again. Am I letting the guilt get to me for even wanting to become a mother? Do other moms experience this much anger over something so silly? It’s just spilled milk for crying out loud.
While all of this is true, I remind myself I’m trying. With every bone in my body, I’m trying so very hard.
I remind myself I’m a strong mother. I will go to the ends of the earth for these little humans. So, I tell myself it’s OK if they watch another movie today or if I’m out of patience for the day because these children were made for me and I was made for them. Together, we will grow—hand in hand we will flourish. They have taught and will continue to teach me so much.
I will pray to get a hold of my anger, and I will apologize to them at the end of the day like I do every day and I will hold them so close to my heart until our heartbeats sync. I will cherish those moments. I will wipe their tears when they need me to. I will vow to never break their spirits for they have a whole world ahead of them, and I refuse to be anything other than a safe haven for them. I will always be there. I will always be present.
I’ve come to this conclusion: mom guilt will never go away, so take a breather. Take a step back.
It’s normal to yell, it’s normal to break down, it’s normal to feel defeated. Leave the milk—it’s not going anywhere, and the mess is already made.
We’re only human and we will get angry, let’s just try not to let it consume us.