Mom guilt, we all have it. So much so that it is actually a term… so, that sucks! We are really just doing the best we can and sometimes our best is a drive thru burger, sometimes it is a carefully planned week of meals. Sometimes we let the kids watch TV all morning, because we would rather sip coffee and scroll Instagram, I have a secret… It’s OK!
It is time to take a deep breath and say buy-bye to Mom Guilt.
For real, one person can only do so much. Some days we get SO much accomplished that we feel like supermom, some days… not so much. The truth is, even when we don’t meet the high standard we set for ourselves, our kids still love us and that is all that really counts, right? I really started thinking about this a couple weekends ago during “Operation Robin Rescue”. (Yes, this happened in my real life!)
Here’s how it went…
I woke up on Sunday morning at about 3am (to pee, again, literally every day at 3am… I’m preggo so we’ll go with that even though I have a theory on why it’s 3 am every. day.) Anyway, the robins were going crazy which I thought was odd because it was dark, but what do I know? I’m a human who is supposed to be asleep at that time! I didn’t think much of it and went back to sleep. When I got up at 7:30, the robins were still going crazy and I realized the babies that we had been watching for the last couple of weeks were starting to come out of the nest (or so I thought) So I got excited thinking we were going to watch the babies learn to fly and woke up the kids so they wouldn’t miss it!
I made a bad choice.
The babies were tangled in some plastic thread that the mama bird used when making the nest. (most likely the plastic netting that is used near construction areas when they plant grass seed) They were hanging out the side of the nest and the mama was beside herself. I called every number I could think of for someone to come fix these babies for me, but on a Sunday I didn’t have much luck. I found an animal rehab place that helps wounded animals and they were able to put me in contact with the sweetest lady, not too far from our house! She takes in wounded or orphaned animals and was able to talk me through what to do. I got them out of the tree and untangled as best I could and realized one already was gone and the other two weren’t able to move the legs that they were tangled by. (we started with 4 babies, so one was able to get out and fly away, thank goodness) I put them back in the nest and let the mama do her thing (feed them, because what does a mom do when her babies are sick or hurt?!)
Because the babies weren’t using the leg that had been tangled up all morning, we put them into a shoe box and brought them to the sweet animal rescue lady. This wonderful woman came and gave my over-emotional, pregnant self a big hug and let me know they wouldn’t survive and thanked me for trying to help them. She told me I taught my kids a very powerful lesson that morning about caring for others. Trying to hide it from my kids, we both cried. What an amazing experience that I will forever be grateful for. And this woman will forever be in my heart and the memories of my kids. She then showed them how to feed the babies and then let each of them give them some meal worms. It was one of the sweetest moments I can remember, ever. There is not many things more special than watching the pure love and compassion that your children hold in their hearts come pouring out in a completely selfless way. (excuse me while I grab a new box of tissues)
We are all just doing our best
This experience taught me so much more than I was expecting for a lazy Sunday morning. Being a mom is no easy job, in fact I can’t think of anything that is harder – or more important. Just like the mama robin, we try to give our kids the best we can, a safe home, meals to eat and as much love as we can muster. And sometimes, things just don’t work out the way we expect. We yell, we say things we regret, we do things that we wish our kids would never see us do, we judge other people – out loud before we think about who is listening, we don’t clean up after ourselves and then get mad when our kids do the same, we get mad when there is no reason and over react when we are tired and stressed.
We make mistakes. We are human. We are moms who are just trying to do the best we can with what we’ve got.
There have been many changes and goings-on in our home lately, and I haven’t been able to see all of this clearly. I am stressed, busy, overwhelmed, etc… you know, mom guilt! But in an effort to create the future I want, not relive the past, I try to put those things aside and do things that create memories that we all want to have: fun beach days, trips to Target (fun for me at least!) random stops at the splash pad, having friends over and going to their house… doing the things summer is supposed to be about. These are the things that make life fun, and without the fun, what is the point in the rest of it? When I was journaling and came up with this post, I discovered we are ALL just trying to do our best with whatever we have at the time.
It’s easy to let the negative thoughts, self doubt and mom guilt seep in. But, we are stronger than that. You tell yourself you can’t wear a swimsuit because you aren’t a size 2 – f that! Your kids don’t care what size you are, they care that mom wants to play in the water with them. You tell yourself you can’t stop at the splash pad because you have SO much to do at home – an hour isn’t going to kill you or your housework! If you change your thoughts from negative, self-hate and guilt to fun, self love and “YOLO” you will start to enjoy your life, your kids will have amazing memories and when you do slip up, it won’t feel quite so awful because you know you are doing the best you can.
Love, Support and Understanding
PS Do you self sabotage and tell yourself you aren’t good enough or that you “should” do this or that, just because other moms are? Do you feel like a bad mom and think you are the only one who makes mistakes? You aren’t! You are just doing the best you can with what you’ve got and I promise you there are other moms going through the same things. If you want to be a part of a group of moms who lift each other up, not tear each other (and themselves) down, join us in Healthy. Happy. Mamas. on Facebook, we’d love to have you! And leave a comment below and let me know if this resonates with you, mama!