Sometimes I feel guilty.

I feel guilty for waking up too late and having to rush everyone. I feel guilty for not laying the frozen chicken out in the morning. I feel guilty for losing the paper I was supposed to fill out.

Sometimes I feel guilty.

I feel guilty for letting the kids watch another episode. I feel guilty for saying I’m tired. I feel guilty for wishing anything was different in my life.

Sometimes I find something I love to do for myself that makes me a better person, a better mom,

but then I feel guilty that I didn’t feel fully fulfilled in child rearing alone.

And then I feel guilty for wasting so much precious time feeling guilty.

There’s all these triggers that make me tap into my guilt, usually in the form of:

“Cherish every moment.”

“It won’t be like this for long.”

“Don’t blink”—

and so often I function with my eyes forced open out of fear of missing a single thing.

While these sentiments are true, I’m a mom you don’t have to remind to “soak it up.”

Instead, when I’ve reached my wit’s end, I convince myself I have to suck it up.

I think about how I’ll only have this day once.

I’m already trying, I promise.

And while we often need a gentle reminder, my overactive brain processes it as a slap in the face.

“Did I cherish every moment today?”

“Did I make today the best day ever?”

DID I BLINK?!”

And if I did . . . if I spent the day a little too focused on something else . . . bring on some more guilt.

I’m not a mom you have to remind about it going by too fast; it’s already a thought so firmly rooted in my head that there’s no getting away from it.

I’m not a mom you have to count down summers for.

I’ve got 11 left with my oldest, thanks for pointing that out.

Instead, I need to be reminded that it’s OK that I let my kids play by themselves today.

I need to know that my need to breathe is justified.

I need more “me too” and less “you need to . . . ”

I promise there’s enough self-induced pressure under this surface.

I promise there’s enough guilt right here that I don’t need a reason for more.

Sometimes I’m on a hamster wheel that I can’t seem to stop.

Sometimes I get so caught up.

Sometimes I feel guilty for no good reason.

And while I’m so thankful for the act of cherishing even when it’s exhausting, sometimes the thing I need most—

Is the permission to blink.

This post originally appeared on Trains and Tantrums by Whitney Ballard

 

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Whitney Ballard

Whitney Ballard is a writer and mom advocate from small town Alabama. She owns the Trains and Tantrums blog, where she writes about motherhood, marriage, mental health, and more. Whitney went from becoming a mom at sixteen to holing a Master’s degree; she writes about that journey, along with daily life, through a Christian lens. When she’s not writing while on her porch swing or cheering/yelling at the ballpark, you’ll find her in the backyard with her husband, two boys, and two dogs.