Mom Guilt. We all get it, and it comes in many varied forms. So here’s my journey in trying to tackle this beast.
I am a mom to 2, Beau and Ben, who definitely keep me busy. I also have a full time career as a Clinical Trials Analyst at the Med Center in Omaha NE. I basically work with physicians who are trying to develop and research new treatment plans. We’re trying to change and innovate our current place in healthcare. You know, I lead a double life!
Because of my career, I fell quickly into the pattern of burying myself in Mom Guilt without realizing it. One of the first examples is when I was breastfeeding with Beau (kid #1). I am very lucky-breastfeeding works for me and I know many others struggle with breastfeeding. But around the 8 month mark, I was so tired of pumping at work and feeling like a milk factory. Any time I thought to myself, “That’s it! I’m done! Can’t do it!” I would then think of how selfish I was being to my baby. He needs those nutrients from my breast milk, and who am I to keep them from him. This was just the start. I quickly kept heaping on more and more unnecessary guilt for all sorts of things while not even fully realizing it was happening.
Striking the balance between me, the individual, and me, the mom was more challenging than I thought it would be. Moving forward and having 2 boys, I found myself in more situations of guilt. I was struggling with the fact that the boys were at daycare more hours in the week then what they spent with me, while also knowing how much I valued my career.
What helped were a few things. My husband finally sat me down to discuss that taking some time for myself wasn’t going to be too difficult for the boys. An extra 30 mins at daycare meant more time with friends to socialize, more learning, and more playing. I also thought to myself, what kind of mom do I want to be to my boys? And I realized that what was important for our family was going to be quality of time vs. quantity of time.
I found that what was missing for me, personally, was consistent exercise. I have always been active and getting those endorphins helps to keep me regulated so I’m not a crabby, stressed out, mom. Granted, the balance can waver from time to time. I may sacrifice some time in the shower i.e. shaving my legs, for those extra minutes on the treadmill, but hey, I never said I had it down pat!
What my journey has taught me — our kids are amazing! Especially when they are young, they are so much more adaptable then we are! I often feel we stress out so much more about the tiniest changes or decisions, and kids can just go with the flow. Finding out what keeps me balanced has definitely helped me to be a much more focused mom when I’m home and present in the moment.
Plus, it’s a work in progress, and I need to remember I’m learning as I go — just like my boys!!
Katie – Guest Writer
Jessica Holz says
So true! Great piece! I agree aboutconsisyent exercise-even at the sacrifice of shaving my legs.
Kathryn A says
Love your perspective! I’m not a mother yet – but have several dear friends that struggle with mom guilt. I can admit that I allow their struggle to influence my delay in starting a family. Love the mention of quality of time vs. quantity of time. Something for me to think about!
Love this candid side of you Katie! Most Moms “pretend” they’ve got it all figured out, when really nobody knows what they are doing!
Thank you for sharing your story! You’re an amazing Mother and I am blessed to know you 🙂
Quality of time vs quantity of time” great thing to think about! Thank you!