When I decided to stop working to stay at home with my children, I actually thought that I would, ahem, stay at home and the house would be clean and I'd craft all the time and read.
Turns out that "stay at home" doesn't actually translate into "tons of free time to read the books in your book stack while blogging and creating inventive dates and craft ideas." In fact, "stay at home" is actually defined as: madness created by cleaning, gardening, errand running, nose wiping, diaper changing, oatmeal cleaning up, laundry folding, freezer meal making, play group planning, life group leading, should kids get vaccines or not? agonizing, and "I think that mom just judged me" musings.
I'm not saying women who work outside of the home aren't working hard. What I'm saying is that I work twice as hard as a stay-at-home-mom than I did when I was teaching (I blame my Type-A personality). I mean this job is 24 hours a day. It's exhausting. And I swear that dust bunnies and smudged stainless steel appliances never bothered me when I worked outside the home but if I have to look at it all day, there's gonna be problems. But what's more overwhelming than trying to keep the house tidy after chasing a tornado two-year old through the house is the guilt I feel when I don't want to chase said two year old. Or push him in the swing. Or share the last cookie.
- Sometimes, I just want a break from my kids. And I feel guilty for it.
- Sometimes, I just want to read a book (alone) and not play. And I feel guilty for it.
- Sometimes, I just want to get my chores done during the day so I'm not folding laundry until 11:00 pm. And I feel guilty for it.
Mom guilt: the scourge of moms everywhere.
Do you ever have moments like this? Guests are coming for dinner. You are busy juggling the flight of the bumble bee clean up while tossing a Caesar Salad, baking homemade rolls, and trying to explain to your mother-in-love (again) that it is possible to type into the address bar of the internet browser. Suddenly your five year old appears and pleads with big brown eyes, "read to me, mommy."
My dilemma--Guests are coming. I committed to entertaining. I want to help my mother-in-love. I value education and that little girl is only little for so long so .... what do you do? What do you do? Well I get off the phone, finish dinner, and promise to read at bed time. But the guilt. Ohhhh the guilt!
Is it necessary, this guilt? Once I was sharing this with my friend and she told me that guilt is of Satan; conviction is from the Lord. Why would I feel guilty? My child is fed. She is healthy and happy. Having to post-pone play time or reading time for an hour surely won't cause her the sort of psychological harm that will have her naming lint balls. Why then, do I feel guilty?
I don't know why. I just know that I do. And this mom guilt, it sucks such joy out of life. I hate feeling compelled to do things or worse, feeling ashamed when I don't do them. When I feel like someone would do it better.
I know there is no answer for this but what I think about mom guilt is it SUCKS!
How do you handle mom guilt? Anyone? Anyone? Buellar?
Thanks to Shell at Things I Can't Say for hosting my random Wednesday rants!