Reflection: Mom Guilt

Last week we spent the week in Texas visiting family and friends.  It was a great visit and we fit so much in.  Of course, there was people we missed seeing but you can only do so much.

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Leading up to last week, I had noticed a change in myself.  Maybe it was the long, intense winter that I am not accustomed to or maybe I just needed to be exposed to other's feelings, perhaps I was just sort of lonely?

I found I was sad about things that I should be happy about.  I was feeling inadequate, like I just simply cannot do enough.  Mostly, I feel sad toward my kids.  I think the term is "Mom Guilt".  Even though I've been a stay at home mom, I've noticed since going back to school that Mom Guilt is rearing it's ugly head.

How come in this world on Pinterest and Facebook that we can find it so easy to feel inadequate for what we do for our kids?  Sure my parents made me food, taught me things, spent time with me, and attended my events.  Maybe as a child of divorced parents I feel I need to place more importance on my children?  My parents love me and always have, that was never a question.  I felt support too but I went through a lot as a kid that makes me whom I am and probably contributes to my uncanny desire to make my kids childhoods as amazing as I can!  I remember wanting to have a playhouse and loving to roam the woods to look for love lost things.  I found many an abandoned chicken coups and old bridges crossing springs!

Since I've started going back to school, everyday my littles are at school, I enjoy my peaceful time to study and to things around the house that take forever to do with littles around.  But I feel awful when they say,"Why can't we stay home with you today, Mama?"  Why does that break my heart?  They need the social interaction, the learning, and the values that come with school.  It's hard to remember sometimes especially in times I start to get the uncontrollable Mom Guilt.
After my trip back to Texas and seeing so many of my friends was such a breathe of fresh air for me.  I had many confidences made to me about issues they are dealing with themselves.  This small thing made a HUGE impact on me.
I'm not the only one dealing with issues!
Some of my friends whom I consider so put together and carefree are also hurt or sad about something in their life.  I had no idea that a friend had her family giving her Mom Guilt over her attendance to the gym or antagonizing her about her weight loss (she looked great before but wasn't happy with herself or her physical ability and has worked out, lost weight, gotten stronger, and looks like a real life supermodel!!!).  I had no idea that others were having issues with their relationships.  I had no idea...

Seriously, in this world of "perfect moms" and "perfectly kept homes", we begin to berate and beat ourselves up.  Nothing is ever good enough or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, we are finally content and happy with ourselves and suddenly someone else has to attack us on the very issue we have worked so hard to "fix".

To my inner finger pointing, head shaking, Mom Guilt shamer inside me:

I've prayed about you, I've cried about you, I've had anxiety attacks about you.  I know you will always be there but I can outwit you and (as my Dad always said) 
 Don't let anyone steal your joy! 

It's ok for me to pursue a higher level of education.  It's ok for me to go to the gym.  It's ok for me to turn on the TV while I make breakfast.  It's ok for me to be ME!  My children need for me to be happy and healthy so I can be the best mom that I can be.  I need to set the example that you receive love, give love, and love yourself so they can learn to do the same for themselves.  I need to be a good role model for them.
We all have reason's for what we do, I'm going to Graduate school so I can go back to work when they both get into school so I can make more money for our family to enjoy vacations, savings, and so I can have the career that allows me freedom to make my own schedule so I can pick them up from school and take them to their practices and be with them when they aren't in school.  I may have to sacrifice the next two years to go hardcore into school BUT sacrificing 2 years versus years and years of working 8-5 and not being there to pick them up from school for the rest of their schooling is a trade off that I am willing to make for myself and my family.

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it"
- Proverbs 22.6

Please be sure to check out my post on ways to relieve Mom Guilt.  They are just some tips that have truly helped me!

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