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 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.”
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?