It’s real. It’s one thing that we all experience. No matter if we are a young mom, a single mom, an older mom, a happily married mom, a divorced mom, a crazy mom, a boring mom, a sahm or a working mom. No mom is immune to it.
I just recently had a discussion with someone in an online forum about mother’s guilt. She put a post out there talking about her working 2 days a week and considering turning her back on the job and become a sahm. As you can guess she mentioned that she feels incredibly guilty even only thinking about it. But she also mentioned how guilty she feels to not be with her kids while being at work. I don’t always read through comments on Facebook but as this truly struck a cord with me and I also felt curious to see what others would say I started reading. I was expecting to find some of the good old trolls responses too but to my surprise there was none. In hundreds of comments not a single troll comment. No judging, no “I know better”. There was just sharing.
While it’s probably not one of the clearly hot iron topics and therefor doesn’t really attract as many trolls as other things would, I still found myself sitting there surprised. The more I thought about it the clearer it was. Motherhood is basically one huge guilt trip.
There were the sahms commenting about how guilty they feel for not going to work and not helping their husbands to provide for their families. Or feeling guilty for not being role models to their kids by showing them that women too can have careers. There were the new moms feeling guilty for feeling so overwhelmed with all the new situations. For not being able to get their kids to finally have a sleeping pattern. There were the moms feeling guilty for freeing up some me time by having the grandparents look after the kids. Or the ones who always look after their kids and feeling guilty for not including the grandparents.
There were the working moms feeling guilty for going out there and work their full time jobs, their career and leaving their kids in someone else’s care. There were the working moms feeling guilty for working only part time and not providing enough but also for working part time and leaving their kids. There were the sahms feeling guilty for having left their careers for being there for the kids.
The list could go on and on. It was crazy to read and I was waiting for that one comment of someone saying: I’m totally fine with my decision because it is what works best for my family and what I enjoy the most. But there was none of that kind. The crazy thing was that it almost seemed that in the end everyone also felt guilty for feeling guilty.
Why is it? Why do we feel so guilty? And I wonder: Do our husbands feel the same way? Or do they just do their thing, do what feels is right and accept it? Are we overthinking things? After all it’s pretty simple, at least on paper: Whatever we decide doing needs to feel right for us. And then we should not feel guilty about it.
I started to write this post 2 days ago. Usually posts don’t take as long to be done. I sit down, I write and it’s out. This one though triggers so many thoughts. I sit here, thinking about why everyone feels guilty and how it’s possible that I hear myself so often in their comments. I sit here wondering how I can feel that guilt too while my life, the life my family lives feels so right to me. And yet there are the questions: Am I doing enough? Should I rather play with them or take them somewhere instead of sitting here and typing this? But while I’m out with the kids I know there are is laundry to be done, the house to be cleaned, some work do be taken care of, forms to be filled out and sent in and so on. When I’m out with them I feel guilty for not heading to a dog area and taking them along. When I do take the dogs along I feel guilty because maybe the kids would have enjoyed a different place much better. When I do the laundry, clean the house, take care of the forms, the work and so on, I again feel guilty because it’s time that is not spent with the kids.
You just can’t win, right?
It might come with age one day, with maturity that we so hope we will one day reach. But maybe one day we will look back at all of this, all our actually ridiculous guilt trips and wonder why we did this to ourselves rather than just live the moment. Live the moment, enjoy what we are doing and why we are doing it at this specific time and just go with it. Maybe one day we will see that living in that moment without overthinking it and then going from there and changing the situation when it doesn’t suit us anymore is the way to go. While I’m writing this I’m still wondering if it will be possible to be completely guilt free even then.
I like to end my posts with wrapping it all up but today I simply can’t. I don’t feel there is a solution to present. There is no right and wrong. No way to get around the guilt. It’s just what being a mother is like. One of the many things we take on when becoming a mom. Do we ever get on top of it? Not sure… I guess only time will tell 😉