Mom Guilt: A sense of guilt as a mother revolves around the fear of not doing enough or not being “present” (both literally and figuratively) at all times.
I woke up this morning feeling melancholy. At first, I didn’t know why but then I remembered our day yesterday. I had a meeting with a potential client that I thought would not choose to work with me. Especially after the way the meeting went.
Mason goes everywhere with me. I even take him to very important meetings and stick him in the corner with a phone or tablet to entertain him as I try to pretend that he’s invisible because what else am I supposed to do? After a close friend made a comment about how her child will know how to act in public places without using electronics as a pacifier, I’ve kinda been carrying a tinge of guilt since then so I’ve started to reduce the usage of the tablet because I too want to be the mom who lays down the law that her child will obey.
Most often mom guilt visits when I’ve had a long day and Mason’s behavior got the best of me. I feel as if I’ve failed because he decides to do what three year olds do. At the meeting, I was very distracted trying to keep him in place and when I was focused on the client, I didn’t realize that he was off somewhere “visiting” some one at their table. I felt embarrassed and down because I let thoughts like, “Oh if I wasn’t a single parent then his behavior would be better” or “I should punish him more so he’ll act right at all times” or “everyone else does a good job at controlling their kids” or “I need to stop working so much and pay attention to him more” or “I should get up off the couch and interact with him.”
I work 40 hours a week at my job and most times 20 more at home freelancing. I try to do work after he goes to bed but sometimes I can’t wait that long so I stick him in front of the TV. When I’m not working on the weekend, I’m on the couch not wanting to be bothered. I try my best to fight through the depression but by the weekend, I’m exhausted and just want to lay there not doing anything, not talking to anyone.
Comparing your parenting style is a trap too. I have a friend that does not allow her child to use electronics during the week. When I heard that, I worried that TV and a tablet will ruin Mason. I don’t think about the fact that those people don’t work as much as I do and they don’t deal with depression and have a set of helping hands (as I know of) so I shouldn’t compare my parenting to theirs.
I work so much because one day I want to work for myself so that I can free up time to be a more present mom. I work so that he won’t feel the lack of not having two parents who contribute income and so that I won’t be stressed which causes me to yell over something as simple as spilled milk.
My mom guilt derives from:
- Not being able to give Mason my full attention at all times because I’m working extra or dealing with a depressive episode
- Living away from family so he doesn’t get to see them often
- Using electronics to pacify him
- Not eating very healthy meals each day
- being a lenient disciplinarian
- dealing with depression and bipolar tendencies which causes me to isolate or have vicious mood swings
Some of that I can control but some I cannot.
If my story resonates with you, let me tell you something. Mom, you are enough. You are doing enough. Your children think the world of you and wouldn’t chose anyone else to be their mother. Don’t worry about the future of you children because it isn’t here yet and you won’t mess up your children if you have one bad day. Just because your child acts out doesn’t discredit all of the good that you do as their mother. Hold your head up, keep going knowing that you have their best interest at heart. YOU ARE AMAZING and that’s a true statement.