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Monday, October 27, 2008

Mom Guilt

For the longest time, I thought I was the only Mom that had "Mom guilt". I just don't remember hearing friends, family members or anyone talking about the guilt that you feel when you become a Mom. You want to do a million things for your kids, like take them to great places, cook gourmet meals every day and have it on the dinner table at five, read tons of books every day, and just be the best possible Mom you can be. Although, I strive every day to put my son first, there are days where I don't feel that I did enough for him or slack in another part of my life. When you become a parent for the first time, you hear its going to be hard, but you can never anticipate what it will actually be like. Its not hard doting, loving on and just snuggling with your child, but having enough energy and enough hours in the day is a whole different matter to do everything you want to do in life.

My biggest confession of guilt is that I work full time. I know a shocker, but still I feel guilty for having to work. I do my best in working early hours so I can spend the rest of the afternoon with my son, but its still hours missed that I am not with my son. Financially, I have to work so we can put a roof over our heads and food on the table. I just feel badly that I am missing out on most of my son's days five days a week. This stems from my other guilt. When I get home from work, I try to be the most upbeat Mom with lots of energy, but the truth is I am tired. I push it though. I push having the energy to be upbeat, sing songs, read books, make snack and all those other great things I can do before dinner time and bed time. I just sometimes don't have the energy to do everything, like read that extra book, do a craft, or make a healthy dinner (chicken nuggets are just too easy to pop in the microwave).

My realization is this, something has to give. Rather it be my friends, other family members, work, household or sometimes my son, something has to give. If my son is sick, I have to call in for work. If my work needs me that day because a big project is due and my son is sick, I have to find someone to watch him. I feel guilt about that and too often I have had to do both of those scenarios. I have had to cancel on girls nights, parties, etc., because either I could not find a sitter or my son wasn't himself and thus I decided to stay at home. All too often I have wanted to just go out shopping with my Mom and sister, but that would mean leaving my son at home because he would last all of five seconds. So, I had to bail out on that. And forget about my house. Its a wreck and its dirty. I used to clean my bathrooms every week like clockwork, but with activities and other things going on, its lucky if I get to them every two weeks. My house is by no means nasty or unhygienic, but it certainly can stand for a good clean. I would like for once to have all the laundry folded, put away and off my bedroom floor before the weekend is over with. That usually doesn't happen until around Tuesday.

The bottom line is my son is always first and foremost, but there is Mom guilt associated with doing everything I can for him, because I can't do everything. He's only a baby for a little while, only a kid for a little while and I have this window for a little while where I can do certain activities with him per his age group. I do my best in everything I can do for him, I just wish I could do better.

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