I feel bad about everything. I feel bad for the things I do or the things I don’t do.
When I first became a mom, I didn't realize that mom guilt would haunt me for the rest of my life. I didn't realize it would follow me around whispering in my ear all of the things I could have possibly done to somehow damage my children by feeding them chicken nuggets, by skipping story time, or by driving on the freeway. I didn’t know it was possible to feel bad for what seems like no reason at all.
This guilt and worry that each decision I make will somehow screw up my kids for the rest of their lives isn't something I would wish on my worst enemy. As a mom, I love my children more than anything so the thought of somehow doing them wrong bothers me immensely. I would never intentionally do something to hurt or damage my children, yet there's that inner voice taunting me, guilting me into feeling like a failure of a mom.
I'm torn between worrying that I'm yelling too much and then feeling as if my children are going to run wild, forever undisciplined. Should I fight the battle to make my daughter eat something that isn't mac n cheese or chalk it up as a win that my tiny peanut of a child is actually eating something?
How many activities should my kids be signed up for? Are they getting enough social engagement or do I have them over-scheduled? When my son had trouble adjusting the first couple of weeks of swimming lessons, I was plagued by this guilt that it was my fault for keeping him home with me as if I had set him up for failure.
When I just need to run to the grocery store super quick and my son pleads with those big, brown puppy dog eyes of his to come along, I find myself torn between getting the alone time I so desperately need to recharge my batteries after spending all day with my two kids or bringing him along because we don't get enough time just the two of us. I feel selfish for wanting the time by myself, but I also know that I'm a better mom when I get a chance to just breathe.
I know I can’t be the only mom who lets her children watch television while she makes breakfast, but mom guilt tells me I am. How dare I let them use screens so much? Does that make me a lazy parent?
No matter how many activities we do or how many books we read, I find myself questioning if we did enough today. Did I teach them enough? Did we get enough quality time together? Do those things balance out the episode(s) of Doc McStuffins they watched?
By bedtime, I find myself exhausted. I’m short on time and temper as I tuck one kiddo in with a prayer and rock one to sleep afterwards. Am I coddling them too much or should I be laying with each one until they fall asleep?
Mom guilt can apparently come up with a reason for me to feel bad about any little thing. Any well intentioned decision can be turned around on me with that little voice telling me I'm being selfish or I'm failing my kids.
I want to be a good mom. I am a good mom. I love being a mom, and I won’t let mom guilt ruin that for me. I am tired of feeling bad for trying to be the best possible mom for my children.