Friday, April 22, 2016

Mommy Guilt 101

First off, let me preface by saying that I am going to be totally candid with you in this post...in hopes that maybe I am not alone or just weird. (Well, we all know I am at least a little weird, but you know what I mean!)  

Marriage and Motherhood are two of the best and biggest life choices I have ever made (next to my faith in Jesus Christ)!  And they are also the most challenging and most rewarding of anything I have ever done!  I wouldn't take my life, my husband, my marriage, my kids, or my stay-at-home mom life for ANYTHING!!  But did I mention that it is hard?!  Here's to living life and learning how to LOVE life while living, even when it's tough. Join in -- this blog needs your interaction so we can learn from and be encouraged by one another. I know I can't be the only mom who struggles with Mommy Guilt!  So, here goes nothing...

Am I the only mom who feels like she battles daily?  Not just over what shoes my almost two-year-old will wear, or with the older kids over who's turn it was to feed the pets.  But what I like to call "Me" battles -- battles I face against myself and my guilt!


Here's an example:

Me {thoughts each morning}: My husband works hard all day long to provide for our family, giving me the ability to stay home with the kids.  I long to welcome my husband home with a clean {or at least a non-tornado zone} house, a big smile and "welcome home" kiss, and an empty recliner to relax in as I complete dinner, as a small, but oh-so deserved "Thank you" to him!  And, I can't forget the kids in this -- I am so blessed with my kids!  I really want to surprise them with homemade muffins for breakfast tomorrow, so they don't have to eat pop-tarts {cringe} every day...

Me {thoughts each evening}:  I have worked all day...I haven't sat down for even 10 minutes alone. Baking?!  {HA!} The house is still a wreck because of the F-3 tornadoes (kids) that follow me everywhere I go, destroying triple what I clean.  "MOM!!"  Dinner is burning.  Homework needs completed, all {needing} my help.  "Momma?!"  How long ago did the dryer stop?!  "Mommy!!!"  I still have 3 more loads to go. I can't believe he just came in and disappeared -- 30 minute bathroom breaks alone?! -- I'm doing good to sneak away and get 30 seconds. "So, how's your day been today?" -- He's really wondering what I've done all day since it is worse now than when he left...I just know it!  "MOMMMM!" Is it bedtime yet???

Okay, so maybe that's a little exaggerated, but the truth is there...I have such good intentions on being the best wife and mom I can be each day, only to fail each evening with a battle to balance my mom/wife roles with taking care of myself.  I can't ever seem to get "enough" done...ever.  But I feel guilty sitting down when so many things are undone.  And don't even get me started about how guilty I feel when my sweet husband sees that I somehow didn't manage to get the dishes done, so he comes home and starts washing for me.  He's supposed to relax after a long day's work.  But then, wait!  When he does sit down (even on the toilet) to relax (haha, if that's what you consider it), why do I then feel jealous and frustrated because I'm still fussing at the kids to get their homework finished?!

Over the last year, I've slowly learned that I am a better wife and mom when I carve out "me" time.  I fight with the guilty feeling every time I ask for my husband to watch the kids so I can go out for a bit...guilt because he deserves a break, too....guilt because he's worked all day...guilt because "if I were the mom/wife I should be, I wouldn't be asking to go away, but would want all the time I could get with them!"...guilt that In leaving him with cranky kids and a long list of un-dones (my new name for my to-do list)...guilt guilt guilt.  But, after I go, each time I come back feeling thankful and happy to have had some adult interaction or maybe even a little quiet thinking time, neither of which are norms for my stay-at-home-mom life....I feel renewed and ready to face another week with the attitude that I've been trying so hard to have and keep.

So, I know it helps...and I know I don't ask too often...so, why is it such a daily battle?  Why do I feel guilty for taking off my Mommy hat to take care of me?  Why do I let my failures of each day build up until I can't handle anymore, which leads to an ugly cry on my husband's shoulder after the kids go to bed, which immediately tells him that I need a little me time?  Why do we hold to so many unnatural, unattainable goals we are "supposed" to have/do as moms/wives?

I'm still learning -- I've finally pin-pointed at least part of the problem for me...Mommy guilt, which directly leads to my lack of care for the "me" as Mommy/Wife.  Now, to work through the solutions.

Now for the interactive part of the post...
How do YOU balance the life/motherhood/marriage with your own you time?  Do you have Mommy Guilt?  How do you get past it?   {Please don't tell me it's just me!}  What secrets have you found to help {you know, besides going to sleep in hopes that it'll be different tomorrow}?  My husband is so sweet and supportive and wants to help, but, other than suggesting that he tell me to go out for a bit, I don't know how to tell him to help. What does your husband do to help?