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!

Imaginary Sails - the weird feeling of being a work at home mom.

Weird (non) Work Days

It’s been a weird day. I feel like I was just getting back into the swing of working when I stopped working – and by working I am referring to my paying job. I was acutely aware all day today that I should have been at work, even though I shouldn’t have been. I have taken a step back to casual from two days each week after a month back from maternity leave. I made this choice for lots of reasons but essentially childcare (or lack of) and barely bringing anything home when it was all said and done were the major factors. If I’m barely making anything doing something I am less than passionate about – I’d rather find ways to mostly be a work-at-home-mom for now, especially with all the changes in our lives lately including my hubby Bryn now being self-employed which means an all over the map and fairly unpredictable schedule.

Our work lives have changed drastically in the past couple of months not to mention all the work our energetic little bundle takes as well!

It feels like I’ve had a job forever, which isn’t quite accurate but very close to at least half my life so far, and definitely all of my adult life… so while technically I am still a casual employee all that means is I will work the odd day if I can when (and if) they call. I’m a bit worried about this new chapter.

Here’s why:

  • I’m not a routine person.
  • I am not a creature of habit or structure (in most ways).
  • I would like to think what money I do (or don’t) make doesn’t define me or give me value – but I am freaking out a little inside (and now publicly) about the fact that I will not be bringing in much (for now).
  • I am a master procrastinator, which equals me being adequate but maybe more often than not sub par in the all things domestic department.

 

Weird Work Days - Back to work then back home again after mat leave - my plan to get more organized in this unstructured life. (more…)

Unexpected Parenting 'Quirks' - Imaginary Sails

Bonk… Unexpected Parenting ‘Quirks’


There are a lot of ways I’ve been surprised with myself as a parent, in good and bad ways, here are a few ‘quirks’ that I’ve been very aware of lately:

Bonks

I think if I put a GoPro on my little mini mister’s head I would be horrified, he’s been walking without holding on to stuff for about a month and he is pretty steady on his feet. He is also top heavy (most babies are with those big cute heads right?!), he is also the perfect height to whack, bonk, graze, scrape his head on many random things that are in his heads way but not quite in his line of vision – like today it was a BBQ, yesterday (and many other days) our dining room table not to mention random face plants.

A couple years ago my sister in law told me about a friend of hers that actually got a helmet for their little guy to wear and I thought is was hilarious. And maybe a little (a lot) overkill, but now I wouldn’t laugh and could almost call it reasonable because I seriously can’t believe the abuse their little noggins endure. I might have even caught myself thinking about googling it, just to see…

This all coming from a very accident prone person who was raised being told by my Dad that ‘scars add character’ – not in a creepy way just in a they tell a story way. I want my kid to be brave and adventurous and unafraid to try new things!

Unexpected Parenting 'Quirks' stairs - Imaginary Sails
But I worry about all those bonks and if they actually cause more damage than a minute of tears and a few days with a mark. Gah – I guess that’s why their heads are so soft?

Oh and I got his skin with the nail clippers a couple weeks ago and I almost cried right along with him and still feel awful, but he was over it as soon as we got a fascinating and colourful little bandage situation applied.

Food

I’ve also caught myself being a little weird or over bearing about food. Not that I think this is rare or unique, I’m sure (I hope) this is pretty common, I just didn’t know I would feel so very very verrrry adamant about what our little one eats. Or rather what he shouldn’t eat…  my husband may or may not get a shiver down his spine at simply the thought of letting H try a bite of a cookie or something. He KNOWS I am watching ;) . I feel like Grandparents or Aunties and Uncles can get away with a pass for a treat here and there but I do not want a treat crazed baby on my hands yet, I speak from experience – sugar is most definitely a drug of sorts.

Stylin Baby

What my little one wears. This is weird and for sure a bit vain but I do get way too much pleasure out of putting a somewhat (more…)