December 26, 2017

Mom Guilt

Thanksgiving and Christmas have passed and the New Year is on the horizon. I always feel excitement and dread when I think of the new year approaching.  I’m excited to have a fresh start, but I dread setting resolutions and failing them.

The holiday season always makes me anxious.  The expectations, the demand that everything be perfect, the hurried days of errands and meal planning and gift buying; it’s all so exhausting.

And the guilt.  The guilt over unmet expectations or perceived failures. Life is hectic and we moms really put too much pressure on ourselves. The kids are fine.  They will live if they didn’t get the Samsung 7 they asked for this Christmas.

The most difficult part of motherhood, for me, is feeling like I’m just not that good of a mom.  I try so hard to be everything to every one of my children, on top of trying to be a good wife and an even better working woman.  The myth that you can have it all really ticks me off.  Yes, you can have it all, just not all at once.  And so I often feel like I’m setting myself up for failure.  I promise that I will be patient and loving, all the time, and then my boys decide they’re just not that into listening, and I’m quick to anger after repeating myself many times.  I yell.  I threaten.  I swear.  And then I cry and feel like a total jackass because my kids are terrified of Mean Mom.  And then I feel guilty.  And depressed.  And the cycle continues because I cannot emotionally deal with it all.

I realized this weekend that Mom Guilt steals and destroys the love and joy from my life.  I am no good to my children when I’m not feeling joyful or even content with my life.  I have to fight those nagging feelings that I’m just not good enough as a mother.  I cannot waste any more time and energy feeling guilty.  I can’t go back and “un-yell” but I can apologize to my kids for having a tantrum, and I can focus on how to be loving.

So this New Year’s my number one resolution is to quit the guilt. It ends here.  Here’s my plan:

Instead of replaying the bad parts of a day, I will focus on the good.  Instead of stressing about the laundry that didn’t get done, or the chores the kids didn’t do, I will make an effort to connect with my kids.  Talking, laughing, playing…that’s what is more important.

I will expect that some days will be off track.  I often feel like if I don’t do something, it won’t get done at all.  Enlisting my kids to help doesn’t always go as planned.  I get derailed.  And that’s okay.  The world won’t end because there are dishes in the sink.

I will accept that I’m not perfect and I am only one person.  I will not compare myself to other moms.  I will be the best mom I can be, and she is just enough.


Posted by Dana @ 9:23 AM • Being a Mom,The Dana Files   

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Dana began her Mom career in 2004 with the birth of her first child. A mother of three boys, she spends her days putting out fires, climbing mountains and chasing monsters.
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