I yelled at my kids right before dropping them at school. I forgot to send them with jackets. I bought lunchables instead of making nutritious all organic lunches. I said “because I said so” instead of taking the time to explain my reasoning for saying no to yet another sleep over. I didn’t stay long enough at the skate park. I didn’t take them to the skate park. I said the skate park was closed.
It starts early. You let your baby cry in her bed while you finally take a shower after a 10 day hiatus. You called him a fat ass when he wouldn’t stop crying in the middle of the night. (Only to your husband who didn’t even hear it because he slept through the crying, but you still feel awful.) You fed her store bought baby food instead of mashing up organic avocados and bananas. Mom guilt!
Every mom I know suffers from some sort of mom guilt. We have been conditioned to think that every single thing we do or don’t do can impact our child’s very soul. I stressed because I didn’t carve pumpkins this year, and I definitely didn’t roast any damn pumpkin seeds. I don’t bake or cook really. I don’t enjoy the park. I hate reading with my kids.
Shit. My kids are screwed. (and while I’m confessing…I didn’t breastfeed. Oh shit. Double D screwed!!)
Except that I do other things. Maybe it’s not the traditional way of bonding, but dance parties, and super awesome indoor tents are something, right? You have to know who you are and be that person. I don’t use the oven much but I’m not stingy when it comes to hugs and kisses and praise. I can create an impromptu musical with my kids about homework. “Every day this week, we try to geeeeet our work done. Geeeet our work done….” Chorus line…Anyone?Anyone?
I heard a great Ted talk the other day from Brene Brown and she said:
” Our job as parents is to make our children feel worthy of love and belonging.”
Did you read that? It did not say our job as parents is to sit on the floor playing hours of barbies/legos/petshop. It did not say it is our job as parents to take them to all three Chipmunk movies the day they open. Good parenting doesn’t mean baking from scratch! And Lunchables were never mentioned!
I actually googled Brene Brown after watching this. Apparently she is a big wig in the self help community. I’m surprised I didn’t know her sooner since that’s where you will find me in any bookstore. She has a great book: The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting. I haven’t read it but I did read the synopsis. Hey, that counts. Plus, did you read the title? Hello!Basically she says we have to embrace our imperfections. It shows our kids that it’s ok. We need to be who we really are. For me that means, I’m not a baker, a butcher or a candlestick maker. It’s exhausting to keep up the charade anyway. I am pretty sure I’m not fooling anyone. It’s ok that I don’t bake cookies from scratch! It’s ok if I give a little processed meat. It’s ok if I don’t want to hear my daughter sing “Rolling in the Deep” for the one millionth time.
We all have our own ways of making our children feel worthy of love and belonging. It doesn’t have to be the same for everyone. And it will never be perfect. Stop feeling guilty. In the words of Barbara Streisand and Barry Gibb: You’ve got nothing to be guilty of….”