Often I find myself feeling guilty for not spending more time with my daughter, or for allowing her to entertain herself for a large chunk of time throughout the day, or for not properly balancing the amount of time I spend with her vs. the amount of time she plays on her own. I also feel guilty when she asks me to “talk for baby” (make the doll talk) and I inwardly groan, or when she wants to serve me “breakfast” at her cardboard-boxes-turned-kitchen…over and over and over again…and all I want to do is sneak away and sit on the couch or chat with Husband.
Sometimes I feel that the best description of motherhood I can think of is, “constant guilt.”
I think as mothers we feel that guilt more than our parents or certainly our grandparents ever did because of how society has changed. We’re expected to be superhumans who can successfully juggle working, raising perfectly balanced, well-developed angels, serving as wife/partner and keeping our significant others happy, and still somehow finding time for ourselves. That IS NOT POSSIBLE. You cannot possibly be a stellar career woman AND the best mom in town. Oh, and you’re supposed to look amazing, too. Hair done, makeup on, fit body, stylish clothes 24/7. The idealized concept of what today’s modern western woman looks like is completely unrealistic, and it follows us from the time we’re 8 or so until we get too old and senile to care. It’s ridiculous the standards we as women try to hold ourselves to – and only sets us up for extreme disappointment in ourselves. If we can sit down at the end of the day and say, “My family is happy and healthy,” we’re doing it right. End of story.
Even if you’re wearing the same sweatpants your kid tossed yogurt on at 7 a.m.