Guilt can be such a funny thing, the way it hits you when you least expect it. Guilt can come in waves and those waves can feel like they are crashing down on you out of nowhere and suddenly you feel like you’re drowning. Your thoughts are consumed with the thought of needing to be better or wishing things were different. Have you been there? Do you know what I am talking about?
There is a lot of talk out there about the guilt moms struggle with working and leaving their babies with a sitter. There is talk of the guilt from moms who focus on themselves and turn away their children for even a second. You know it’s out there, you hear about it, you know it’s real. But there is one thing I haven’t heard much about that is just as real, the guilt you feel even as a stay at home mom.
I’ve struggled with it. I’ve been there where the waves have come crashing down. I know what it feels like. To wonder if every minute of your day should be spent by your child’s side. To wonder if choosing to wash a few dishes instead of tend to your child’s demands is wrong. To wonder if taking a moment to sit and do something you want to do instead of build blocks again is okay. Anything that isn’t done right at your child’s side can quickly send the waves of guilt crashing down. It can truly wear on your heart when you wonder if you’re doing something wrong.
If you’ve felt it too, you’re not alone.
Being a stay at home mom is such a blessing, but it doesn’t come without it’s hardship. Most days you don’t ever have a chance to yourself, a moment where you’re not just waiting for someone to need something from you. Your entire life, everything you do, revolves around the little children whose feet pitter-patter down your halls. I know sometimes it can feel exhausting. I know when it feels exhausting, you feel bad for feeling exhausted. There isn’t much the waves of guilt tend to leave untouched.
But sweet mama, I’m here to tell you something, don’t let those waves overtake you. Motherhood is an imperfectly beautiful thing and you may never truly know where the balance between it all lies. But guilt, it doesn’t deserve a place in your mothering. There is nothing wrong with letting your children play alone. There is nothing wrong with making a mistake. There is nothing wrong with ordering pizza and not pairing it with a vegetable. There is nothing wrong with having a hard day at home and wondering if you would have been better off working. Being a stay at home mom isn’t easy sweet friend. Yes, it is exhausting. Yes, it does take almost every waking (and sleeping) minute. Yes, it can wear on you. All of that is okay. It’s okay to say no to your child. It’s okay to take a moment for yourself. It’s okay to not be there with them every second. It’s okay to find something for you. Your children will never doubt your love for them because you turned down playing to do something for yourself. Your children will never doubt that you care for them when you take time to care for the house too.
I know sometimes being a mom can feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, you don’t want to mess up. You want to do this mom thing well. Sweet friend, the best way to be a mom is to have freedom from guilt. You’re doing a great job, even on the days you don’t think you are. So rest in that freedom today, and let that come crashing down like a wave.