Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mom Guilt: Part 2

Before I start, I want to ask you to please please PLEASE vote for me here at Skinny Scoop’s Top 25 Mom Bloggers of 2012.  All you have to do is click, click on “see more suggestions,” scroll down, and give me the thumbs up!  Thanks so much!!

Also, did you get a chance to see my debut post atThe Detroit News MichMoms blog?  Please check it out!  I am so excited for this opportunity and would be ever so grateful for any loving comments you feel inspired to share!  (I don’t want to be that new kid who feels like she doesn’t have any friends, you know)?
Remember when I went to Texas in March?  Maybe not because I was too crazy dealing with the constant sickness that consumed the first three months of 2012 (along with some other random reasons).  During that time, my friend Annie from RealMommy Chronicles wrote a guest post that talked about the decision to be stay-at-homemom or a work-out-of-the-home mom.

Her post could not have been more aligned with the feelings I had during that trip.

To be brief, the Texas trip was a dis.as.ter.  I was stressed because poor Marie had been diagnosed with pneumonia just hours before I was supposed to board the flight.  I was so unsure what to do, but in the end I wrote down the medication directions and trusted that the grandparents could handle it.  (Although they did a fantastic job, I can’t say that I would make this choice again).

I was able to keep it all together . . . until the end.  On the plane.  With everyone from the conference riding together.

It was the kind of cry I couldn’t stop, and the more I stopped the harder I cried.

I think it came down to the stress of caring for sick kids coupled with the feeling that I was losing some footing on me and my goals.  I was nursing The Babes back to health.  I was supporting Greg at his conference.  And I was tired and overwhelmed.

I think what brought this all to the forefront was the fact that the president of this male-dominated field conference is a woman.  Not only is this woman the president of this conference, but she runs a company as well.  Oh, and she’s a wife and a mother of two young children.

I envied her.  To me she appeared free and successful.  However, she does have a live-in nanny.

And underneath my envy was the inevitable guilt.  Guilt for wanting something in addition to being a mother.

I am smart.  I went to college and have a degree.  I had a career (albeit not something that made me happy).  I even have a master’s degree.  It can be frustrating to always be in the supportive role when I know that I am capable of doing something different.

Here’s the thing, I don’t want a nanny lifestyle.  And I don’t always want to rely on my parents or my mother-in-law to take care of The Babes.  I know this time is fleeting, and I don’t want to wish it away.  Once their time as children has passed, there is no going back. 

But on the other side, being a full-time caregiver can be overwhelming, especially when there are sickies involved.  There have been times when I think it would be best to take myself off the stove completely; however, this will not make me happy.  I know it’s best to keep my goals on the backburner, slowly simmering gradually adding elements so when it’s time, I have a rich, well-developed place to start.

In retrospect, why was it easier for me to entertain the thought of taking myself off the stove rather than the guilt?  Why do I insist on torturing myself with this notion that having something for me is cheating on my family?

Do you ever feel mom guilt for wanting something in addition to being a mother?


Kate Kranz said...

Are you kidding? I have mommy guilt over every.single. thing. Either Im working too much and not seeing my girls enough, Im working too little and am unable to give them the things that I so desperately want to give them. Im constantly torn as a mother and as "Kate." In fact, thats why I started my blog "I wanted it all and that's what I got!" I want to be a mommy, a career woman, a wife, and... ME!" You aren't alone in your feelings!

Mommy on the Spot said...

Kate, I love how you describe yourself being torn between being a mother and you. That's how I feel, too! Thanks for your support!

Michelle said...

I get it. I SO get it. I feel it all the time. The guilt. The time spent working on "My stuff" while my baby is sick, or wants to play, or needs to eat! I threaten to quit ALL. THE. TIME! But then I remind myself that every once in a while I am allowed to readjust the balance. Sometimes, lots of times, it's challenging to even locate the balance. But we move ever forward and do the best we can to raise happy little humans :)

You're doing just fine. I know it.

Kate Kranz said...

I think it's important for mother's to understand that while being a mother is a HUGE part of who you are, it isn't the ONLY thing that defines you. :)

Mommy on the Spot said...

I like how you talk about adjusting the balance. that is so right!

Mommy on the Spot said...

This is true. I don't know why women tend to let motherhood define them. You don't hear men going around talking about the pressures of fatherhood defining them, right?