Im Opting Out of Mommy Guilt

I’m Opting Out of Mommy Guilt

… And Guilt in General

Maybe it’s a cultural thing, being Canadian and apologetic or regretful, if you haven’t heard jokes to that effect you really haven’t lived… but it’s been kind of a problem for me.

Something I immediately noticed when I became a Mom was the term ‘Mom Guilt’ dun dun dun… and to be truthful I dove head first in to major guilt with having to supplement my son with formula (you can read about that here) and it took me almost the first year of his life to get past it. That guilt took away from a lot of joy I was feeling, and let me tell you it was just the first of just so many things to beat myself up about.

Love Yourself!

So I’ve decided to stop. Just like that. Who has time for guilt? Before you know it, you could be beneath a huge mountain of guilt & the guilt can turn to anxiety, fear of doing anything in case you do it “wrong” and it can kind of incapacitate you. Blah. No thank you. Not that anything is quite that simple when it comes to changing the way you think, but once I came to the realization that I was sick and tired of feeling badly about so many little things, I knew something needed to shift in the way I was thinking.

I am not saying that if something big and life altering happened I wouldn’t feel bad, I’ve just tried to shift my thinking  about the “little things”, and if I do feel bad about something, I have been making a concerted effort to change it. My son fell going up the stairs on the slide at swimming lessons, it was 100% my fault for not helping him all the way up and I felt awful, but he was okay so rather than dwelling on how badly I felt, I will just make sure to not put him or me in the position for it to happen again.

Don't look back

This seems to be such a common thing, for Mom’s especially – and I was doing it all the time myself, standing around talking about how bad we feel about so many things pertaining to our kids, and almost each and every thing discussed is something within our control to change. I was feeling guilty about all of the screen time our little guy got when he was sick a couple weeks ago, but now I see that as an option – 1) stop doing it or 2) accept that screen time is inevitable and let it go. Feeling bad about unhealthy food options for you or your kiddos? Same thing, either make a change or let it go because there is no point beating yourself up over something you aren’t willing to change, in fact feeling badly about it for me only causes me to eat even more unhealthy foods – it is a weird negative cycle.

How about this one? I see it all. the. time. Moms feeling badly for having time to themselves, whether it’s a night out with friends or…  even, wait for it, a hair appointment. (I’m not saying this can’t apply to Dads too by the way) I know I am a much better Mom when I have had some time to do things I enjoy with people that I enjoy. This one was really hard for me for a long time even when I knew he was being left in great hands I would want to hurry back. That isn’t even about my son though, that’s some weird need to be needed that I know most people feel but guess what, your child is fine without you while you are gone (9 times out of 10), and will still love and need you just as much when you get home. I know for me, 5 minutes back in the door and he is whining and trying to climb my leg and I wonder what the rush was to get home ;)…

Little Monkey

So the moral of my little rant is to go easy on yourself, or make a change. For me it has been, and will be, a work in progress but I knew that I needed to make a change and work on focusing on the positive, the things I am good at both as a Mom and as just me, and I have felt a huge shift in my thinking and the way I feel about myself.

I would love if you would comment below about some of things in life you have let go of, or are changing whether it is a parenting thing or just life thing!

A Good, Good Night…

I’ve gotten into a little habit. There’s a little thought I think every single evening and I share it out loud with my husband every few days or so. It’s always similar always around the same few words ‘tonight’s the night! He’s going to sleep all night! 8pm-8am!’ Which is a bit ridiculous to even say out loud since it has never ever happened in his almost 14 months of life.

That’s where the Black Eyes Peas ‘I Got A Feelin’ song comes in – I don’t care who you are, you’ve heard it at some point. ‘Tonight’s gunna be a good night, tonight’s gunna be a good good night, 0000OOOO0000!’ That song goes through my head almost every night, often while brushing my teeth.

I think that’s something every parent can relate to. I have no idea if we will ever get 12 whole hours out of him, I’d happily take 10 hours with just one or two wake ups! id happily take the 7 hour stretch he’s done a handful of times just to get our hopes up.

Anyway what I am getting at is that as parents we are always hoping for an improvement somewhere, for many it’s sleep, for many it’s their child’s eating habits, perhaps behaviour. There’s always something.

And with that something can come frustration,  sleep deprivation, research, trying everything, not knowing what to try, and most importantly that hope.

I’ve been so surprised at how frustrated I can get at my sweet little munchkin in those wee hours during the multiple wake ups. He doesn’t seem like my sweet little munchkin by that second wake up forget the third,fourth, and fifth. He pulls on my hair for comfort and that drives me nuts and I always find it so hard to keep my zen once the hair grabbing starts and his little arms are getting so long that no matter how I hold him he seems to be able to get at the little curly hairs at the back of my neck – perfect for getting his somehow always sticky fingers caught in.

I’ve been getting frustrated with myself for my frustration with him and just when I was near the end of my patience (but really where is that for parents? The end? It might be a unicorn) I saw something on good old Facebook about enjoying all these moments and that we would never be so loved, so needed. That is so overwhelming. It is a big responsibility and you know that in a practical way but if you really really think about it oh my!

So enjoy is the wrong word but I’ve been trying to at least embrace some of those middle of the night  moments. Being more patient. Taking an extra long inhale of his baby smell. Noticing how big he is getting in my arms. And it all helps. I don’t manage it with every wake up, but with more of them and I love those moments so much. I won’t miss them when they are gone but I might as well soak them in for all their sweetness while they are here.

A good, good night. Trying to embrace the middle of the night with my littoe one.

 

Incomplete Sentences – By Products of Mom Brain

I just need to know – are there any Moms out there who have ever successfully had a full conversation with a new (or old) Mommy friend?! If so – how? I can’t even count the number of times I’ve thought back on an interaction and wondered ‘did I do all the talking?’ ‘What did I say?!’ ‘Did I ask them about themselves?!’ ‘What did they say?!’  … Where am I? Where’s the coffee?!…

I had our son about a year after moving to a new place – not super far from where we lived before – but a ferry ride away. This means it’s a whole different ball game to visit my friends, we can’t just quickly meet up for coffee or grab a bite like we used to. Not to mention that just a few of  my friends have kids as well which can change things a little too. So obviously I would like to get to know more people in the area but there are just a few obstacles I’ve noticed…

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