When I stayed at home with my kids all day long, every day I worried about whether I was doing enough. Was I exposing them to enough? Were they learning and growing and socializing? Could they see my love for them in the things I was doing for them? Was I holding them back or hindering them in any way? I hoped that I was making the right decisions and raising them to be good humans and creating a home and life that they’d feel safe and held inside. But worrying my way through the days with them only exhausted me. Most days ended with me drowning in mom guilt. Guilt that I was so freaking tired that I was afraid they could feel it too. Guilt that some days I didn’t feel fulfilled. Guilt that I longed for something else or something more. What was wrong with me that I could be “living the dream” and still feel like I needed more.
Now I’m working and they’re in school and I’m still worrying about whether I’m doing enough. My brain is being split with thoughts of work and home. I’m juggling all the schedules and needs and clients and projects. My brain is everywhere at once and nowhere fully. Kids ask for a snack and being mid task I forget to grab it until they ask again. Guilt. A client was expecting a response to their text but my kid is sick and my attention is here. Guilt. Some days I long for the work and the quiet and the creativity. Guilt. I love my kids and I love my job and yet I don’t feel like I’m doing anything well enough. Guilt. I am dripping in guilt.
When did motherhood and guilt become synonymous? Why is it that no matter where I am or what I’m doing it is never enough?
Somewhere along the way I learned that to be a mom I had to put myself aside. My needs, my wants, my rest, my routines, my preferences…they all became second tier. They could matter if they aligned with what was best for everyone else, but only then. But because I am in fact human every now and then these things surface and when they do they trigger the guilt.
We joke that moms are superhuman but in reality we aren’t allowed to be human at all. And when we crack and our humanity shows we’re expected to shove it down. Here I am attempting to raise tiny humans when I’m not allowed to be human at all. Make it make sense.
I’m working hard on rewiring these connections that have me feeling like the things I want and need don’t matter. I’m trying to convince myself that I am worthy of both raising good humans and working a job that I absolutely love. I’m aiming to decrease the mom guilt bit by bit until I feel like I’m allowed to exist in my most human form. But shit, it is so hard.
Thanks for reading, friend. As always, the conversation continues over on my Instagram. Hope to see you there.
With so much love and gratitude,