I’m a mom who feels guilty all the time. Can you relate? If so, keep reading. If not, I envy you.
It seems almost every decision I make is wracked in guilt somehow. And I never, ever make a decision without thinking of my kids or husband first.
Is that right? Some may argue, hell no. Is that wrong? I don’t know. I know the whole speech about putting yourself first. The whole if you were on an airplane analogy and putting your mask on first. I do realize it’s total and utter importance – I really, really do. When I don’t put myself first, everyone suffers. Believe me. Ask my husband or my kids.
But when I put myself first (on the rare occasion that I actually do put myself first), I suffer. So who wins? I suffer the guilt that I worked all day, put my kids in daycare, rushed to get them some take out food, so I can go to the gym, where again they may be in another daycare. To go home at 7 pm and put them to bed at 8 pm. Is there something wrong with that picture? I say, hell yes!!!! But that’s my opinion.
That’s why I quit working full time. I was on a fast track, working for the city I live in and really kicking ass working my way up the ladder. My husband, however, was also kicking ass at his job, either working out of town or a steady 12 hour day shift. My kids were young then, only 4 and 8. They grew up knowing daycare and that lifestyle – when both of my kids were 10 months old, they were in daycare full time, or school all day and then daycare until 5pm at night. Yeah I rocked it at work, but inside I was dying because my kids weren’t being raised be me, really. My kids did NOT see the best of me ever.
Work got that portion – the best of me – the one that excelled, was energetic, pushed limits and gave my all. Work got that side. My kids saw the screaming, frazzled mother as she tried rushing to get them off to school / daycare so she wouldn’t be late for work. The one that forgot to eat breakfast, made it through the day with a constant supply of caffeine, which I thought at the time was a benefit to being on-point all the time. There wasn’t a day that I didn’t yell at them in the morning for something……
No, my kids saw the mother, in her fancy clothes and high heels, the one that yelled and picked them up at 5 pm, exhausted and utterly depleted. Dinner, baths, homework, bed time…….. at 5 pm, I didn’t know how I would make it through some days.
There was NEVER time for me, to workout, to reflect, to bake, to clean ….. every damn day seemed like a chore. Wake up, start laundry, get ready, kids up, off to school/daycare, work all day, pick up kids, homework, dinner, bath, bedtime. Done. Repeat. It sounds awful right? But women LOVE working. Admit it.
Work was a blessing to me…… I was able to look good, feel really good about myself, dress nice, afford nice things, hang out with adults, have a life and feel confident every single day because I was good at my job and I thought I was “important”. But behind the scenes, I suffered.
I had a mother that worked constantly and was never home and there “when I needed her.” I always compared her to the stay at home “rich” moms that could come and go as they pleased, had nice houses, and went to every single one of their kids events. In my mind, this is still the “perfect mother” – Mrs. Cleaver, that is.
Every single day while I kicked ass at work and felt amazing and sooooooo confident in my abilities in the working world, I also felt ashamed and guilty that my kids were suffering. (Or so I thought because I had felt I suffered as a kid with a mother that was always working or too tired to do anything). And I also questioned my abilities as a mother. I wasn’t a good mom, I wasn’t enough for them, I wasn’t doing enough…… the list goes. on.
So I quit the corporate world. I thought there was no way I could ever just be a “stay at a home” mother … I needed something to validate my existence and make me feel “important”. So I became a holistic nutritionist and most recently, life coach – trying to make an income from home so I could have calm, peaceful mornings with my kids and watch them get off the bus after school and just “be there for them”. Have completely unrushed, devoted time for my kids each and every single day, to play, have fun, be silly, bake and cook healthy meals, all the while making an income from a home based business and, let’s not forget, also be a loving, attentive and supportive wife.
NOT the way it happened. AT ALL.
My business wasn’t making money, even after the third year I was still struggling, making less than $10,000 annually. It was draining my self confidence. The whole “if you build it they will come” thing was a punch in the gut!!
No one told me how I would question myself every single day. No one told me how hard it was to market, get paying clients, find a niche, get into social media, get yourself “out there” …. while I type, you may think these sound like very simple things, but for the entrepreneur who has been there and struggled, you know much more sorrow than the little detail I am giving here.
Plain and simple: IT SUCKS the life out of you. But if you have enough passion, drive, tenacity and desire, eventually you may (or may not) see the gold pot at the end of the rainbow.
Point is: I now also feel guilty being home. I don’t bake every day and wear the Mrs. Cleaver hat well. I have my own issues and battles every single day to deal with. I may have more time to “put myself first”, and on good days, I do – and it feels damn amazing! But on bad days, I lack focus, I lack routine and I’ll sit and binge netflix and drink wine. And, maybe I needed the break or needed to “netflix and chill” because of the chaos in my world, and yet, I still feel guilty – that I wasn’t the superhero mom, that I may have lost my patience, that some nights I didn’t cook or homework got done in the morning, or I didn’t work out, or I didn’t even shower, let alone put on my makeup.
The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
So no matter if you are a stay at home mom or work full time, I think guilt will always, ALWAYS plague us mothers. Especially, those moms like me who are type A perfectionist where nothing is ever good enough. If this is you, I want to tell you: You are an AMAZING mother simply because of the fact that you care. Simply because of the fact that you constantly WANT and NEED to better yourself and those around you, you ARE amazing. JUST AS YOU ARE.
With your lack of patience sometimes, your frozen pizza and french fry nights, your overindulgence in coffee or wine, your career or lack of, everything about you is absolutely imperfectly ……………………… perfect.
Let me say that again because it definitely needs to be repeated: Every single little thing about you, your flaws, your personality, your guilt, self sabotage, or whatever your thoughts put you through, I want you to know this – no matter who you are, or where you work, or how much money you make or don’t make, or how you yelled at your kids, or separated from your husband because you couldn’t handle it anymore – EVERY THING ABOUT YOU IS ABSOLUTELY IMPERFECTLY PERFECT!
Going through some shit? Having a rough time trying to figure out your purpose or your WHY beyond motherhood? Having a hard time trying to get your husband on board or struggling to keep your marriage alive? Or maybe you are a stay at home mom that looks at your house every day with to do projects that NEVER get done? Maybe you have a kick ass career but you feel your family is suffering?
Guilt plagues us all, but it doesn’t need to overwhelm you, control your decisions, or your life. If you are experiencing issues, questioning what your purpose is, or just having a hard time dealing with everything in your life, I urge you to consider life coaching.
Whether with me or someone else, a life coach that you can connect with and relate to can help you really figure things out and hold you accountable to action. Willpower is never enough. Guilt should not drive your life. Mothers deserve to be human too.
Right now, I’m offering a summer session package including 4 sessions for only $200! But I only have 5 spots available at this rate. If you are interested, call or text me now at 519-890-9794.