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‘Mom Guilt’…it’s something I battle every day.
My most frequently asked questions are: Am I doing enough for them? Am I doing too much for them? Am I doing what’s best for them…or what’s best for me? Am I permanently scarring my children by making the wrong decisions? Will they grow up to need therapy if I don’t do what all the other moms are doing?
But one of the main purposes for starting this blog was to free myself from the expectation of perfection. To learn from the feedback of my readers that maybe I’m NOT the only one who feels this way.
So here goes…These are 10 Things I Refuse to feel ‘Mom Guilt’ about:
10.) Not throwing big birthday parties for my kids.
This isn’t to say we don’t acknowledge birthdays here. We do streamers, cake, singing, and always a fun family activity. (This year we surprised our 8 year old with tickets to the monster truck rally!)
I just despise the politics involved in ‘friend party’ planning. (who to invite/not invite, contacting parents who are complete strangers, and do my kids really need 20 more presents to leave laying around the house open?) And lets not even THINK about how much $$$ big parties can cost!
For everyone freaking out that I’m turning my kids into social outcasts…I promise to re-think my position as they get older. But that’s a whole other blog post for another day.
9.) Not volunteering for every opportunity for their classrooms.
I make a concerted effort to spend SOME time volunteering in each of my children’s classrooms. (And I enjoy it!) But I’ve seen moms get roped into helping out with every single activity day that exists. Teacher’s are sneaky like that. I know…for I used to do the same thing when I was a teacher.
8.) Throwing away their artwork and schoolwork.
I know how hard they work on all those masterpieces. But the amount of papers and projects that come through these doors during any given week is mind boggling. So (of course) the most meaningful pieces get filed away into memory boxes. Fun artwork gets displayed their bedroom door. Old pieces come down as new pieces go up.
Then after the kids are asleep I quietly sneak downstairs and rid my counter tops of 48,392 school papers by joyfully solemnly tossing them in the trash. If they happen to find them there the next day I’ll say, “Now how did THAT get in there?” and take it out…that is, until they’re out the door and on the bus.
7.) Admitting that I need a break.
Ok, so I still do feel guilty about this one. Admitting that I need a break can feel like admitting weakness. But I’ve learned that not admitting that I need a break can lead to a nervous breakdown. And I’ve also learned that if I feel like I need a break from my family….chances are my family needs a break from me too.
6.) Some weekends we stay in our pajamas till noon.
Lazy? Yes. Fun and rejuvenating too? Yes. So what if your neighbor comes to the door at 10:30 in the morning and you’re still sporting bed head and pajama pants? (*true story) What I learned from that experience was that she wished she was at home doing the same thing. She told me so! We get so few lazy weekends where we don’t have to run around…why not embrace them?
5.) Letting my daughter play princess.
So “they” tell me I’m not supposed to encourage the princess mentality in my daughter. To “them” I say, “I had to wait patiently through 2 boys to get my girl! And haven’t you seen how cute she looks playing dress up???”
Apparently Cinderella is teaching my daughter that being pretty is the only thing that matters in life. But I bet Cinderella didn’t have 2 big brothers at home to teach her how to wrestle and rough house.
My little girl is quite capable of putting a dude in his place…I’ve witnessed it.
This is also another blog post for another day.
4.) Letting my husband do the cooking on the weekends.
Hey! If he offers… (Wouldn’t you?)
3.) Not having a dog!
My husband has this magical childhood Christmas memory of opening a big box under the tree…and what was inside? An adorable St. Bernard puppy, of course!
I love that, I really do. And I know he can’t wait to have a moment like that with our own kids. But let’s be real here. We all know who ends up doing the work whenever a family gets a dog.
We’ll either have to wait until the kids are old enough to do the job, or the husband travels less for work so he can do it all. I just finished potty training 3 kids…I’m not in any hurry to start again with a peeing and pooping pooch.
2.) Using TV as a babysitter now and then.
I won’t feel guilty about this because EVERY parent does it. Don’t try and deny it…you know you do. And it’s not like I set them down in front of Jersey Shore…so cut me some slack!
1.) Taking a vacation away from my kids/husband just for fun.
Funny thing…that’s just what I’m getting ready to do this Friday! Well, kind of. I’m going on a girls only vacation to sunny Palm Springs, California.
OK, yes I will have my 3 year old with me. But I’ll also be spending quality time with my Mom, Sister-in-law, Niece, and Cousins! What’s the occasion, you ask? Just for fun! It will involve sleeping late, pools, cabanas, sunscreen, board games, most likely some wine, and LOTS of laughter.
One thing I’m absolutely certain it won’t involve: MOM GUILT! (Bring on the cocktails and cabana boys!)