Mommy guilt I think is the bane of our society these days. You feel guilty if you stay at home not you’re not contributing to the family and if you work you’re not spending enough time with your kids. As a mom raising children today, you can honestly feel like you are doing it all wrong, no matter what you are doing! How is that helpful? Seriously? When are we going to stop beating each other up and just do what is best for our own families (within the limits of the law of course)? There are so many different and good ways to raise your child these days. And let me tell you, we are all a little screwed up in the head and I doubt it’s because of how our parents raised us 🙂
I recently bumped into some strange guilt the other day that prompted me to write this post. Over the past year I have been working really hard to create a better balanced life for me and Alyssa. One where I didn’t feel overwhelmed all the time and felt like I was enjoying life. Ever since my divorce (when Alyssa was 2ish), I have felted resentful that I couldn’t stay at home anymore and had to be a working mom. I have HATED it! Lots and lots of issues with it and my divorce in general. I never thought that I was cut out to be a working mom. I know that a lot of working moms have to be working moms, but there are also some who enjoy working and get fulfillment out of their jobs. I didn’t think I would ever be that type of mom. I didn’t feel like I could work a full time job, be a good mother and wife, keep up the house and stay sane all at the same time! Plus stay in shape, go to church, have a social life, etc. There was no way. I knew that I couldn’t juggle all those balls at one time. Honestly looking back, I could barely handle being a good mom. Even the other stuff, I couldn’t keep up with.
It’s been a really long journey to where I am now. I enjoy “work” (to a point – let’s not get carried away here lol) and I feel like I make a difference with what I do. I feel proud of what I contribute and all that I have achieved over the past years. I bought a house 2 years ago and there was a point in time when I never thought that I would be able to do that by myself. I have my daughter in activities and over the past few months, we have been out of town more than in the past few years.
But I’ve also worked very hard to make my schedule manageable. Working outside of the home, 40 hours a week, was not feasible for me. I missed so much work when Alyssa was sick. Or I had to leave early or come in late because of school stuff. There’s the never avoidable snow days. It wasn’t working for me, Alyssa or my employer. I eventually made a change that wasn’t quite what I was expecting but it has completely turned our lives around. I get home everyday when Alyssa gets home from school!!!!! It has been my dream for many years that she didn’t have to go to latchkey. That one change gave us so much breathing room in between activies. She is like me and can’t have too full of a schedule. I am also a freelancer for the same type of work I do in my job. I make a lot better money doing it and I get to work from home on my time schedule. It’s been amazing. I also started working from home with my job as well a couple of days a week so I only have to commute to work 3 days a week! During the summer I’ll actually have Mondays off (woo hoo!) I am building my coaching business as well because that is where my true passion lies.
I don’t share all this to brag. I’ve worked very hard to get where I’m at today. I made a decision that I didn’t like how my life was going and decided to make some changes. They weren’t immediate changes so it was hard to hang on towards the end. But our life is amazing now! We have way more breathing room and are just generally happier. I really feel like I have time for the important stuff in my life.
But, the other day we were getting my car’s oil changed and everyone was hustling and bustling and just doing their job. It was about 4pm – so typical work time when I was in an office. And I felt guilty for a minute. Why do I deserve to be off at this time? Why do I get this kick butt schedule when everyone else has to be at work like normal people? Why can’t I just be a normal adult and work 9-5, collect a paycheck and call it a day? I could just feel the guilt pouring in. That’s when I made myself stop. I was not letting myself feel guilty about creating a life that me and my child love! I would not feel guilty for working towards the life of our dreams. There is nothing wrong with living your best life and wanting more for your life. There is nothing wrong with challenging the status quo. You don’t have to live a mediocre life where you just get by every day and are miserable half the time. You get to choose how you live your life, and if you are unhappy, you are the only one who can make those changes!
It’s on you though! You can’t complain about how you hate your life and are too stressed out to enjoy anything and keep doing the same thing every single day. I’m not saying you can change your life overnight, I certainly didn’t, but you can have a goal and make incremental changes to work towards your dream life!
A great book to help you set goals and make these changes is Rachel Hollis’ new book, “Girl, Stop Apologizing“. I highly suggest you get a copy and read it. I would love to invite you to my new facebook group, Self Care Mamas, where we are going to dive deeper into the topics of this book and how you can apply them to your life.