Moms and guilt.  They go together like peanut butter and jelly. Like peas and carrots.  Like gray hair and sleepless nights.

I can’t tell you how much I wrestle with this issue.  As you well know by now, I am not a stay at home mother.  I am a working mother which, to be frank, adds another layer to the guilt cake that I serve up each day.

It is extremely hard not to compare myself to other mothers.  When I see a mother playing with her kids on the playground while I am on my way to a meeting, it is hard not to feel slightly unfit to hold the “mommy” title.  And you can  forget taking time away for myself on top of all of that.  I mean, how dare I? I am already away from them so much as it is, right?  <heavy sigh> Like I said, I wrestle with this issue constantly.  It seems like there is just no way to avoid the trappings of mommy guilt.

I recently read a post by Cara at Land of Bean.  She did a great post (I encourage you to read it!) about being a mom, her need to recharge and guilt.  An excerpt:

“I don’t feel guilty when I leave my daughter. Not for a couple of hours with her father or a trusted family member. And not for a long weekend away.  My time away from my daughter is regenerative for me. I NEED those hours and sometimes days to rediscover my love for being a stay at home mom. Do I miss her? Absolutely. But guilt? No way.

There is no other profession that doesn’t allow for vacation days*. And I see myself as a professional mommy. I don’t just want that time for myself, I DESERVE it. There is no expectation of a full three week vacation each year. I’m not even expecting a whole week, but I do expect some time for myself.”

Go Cara!

You know, I recently read an article in Working Mother Magazine on Anatomy of Guilt by Ilisa Cohen.  While that article was chock full of excellent advice on dealing with the subject, I found one quote particularly thought provoking:

“I don’t believe in guilt. Live on impulse as long as you never intentionally hurt another person. You should live completely free.” – Angelina Jolie.

What do you think about that concept?  Living completely free?  Thinking about it that way, taking time for yourself seems a little bit easier to do.

What are your thoughts?  How do you tackle your own mom (or dad) guilt?

RESOURCE:  Got Mom Guilt?

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