Modern Toddler

Mom Guilt

January 26, 2018
mom guilt

There’s something that I have been struggling with lately that I wanted to talk about.  There was a period of time where I found myself being really preoccupied with feelings of resentment. These feelings were pretty much solely directed at Jordan and he’s done nothing to solicit these feelings.  One thing I have really struggled with since having Theo is not having as much time to myself.  I’m an introvert by nature and while I need time to myself, I battle with “mom guilt” when it comes to taking that time.  Instead, I’ve been mentally keeping track of the time Jordan gets to himself versus the time that I get to myself.

If Jordan golfed on the weekend, you can bet I was keeping a mental tab of how many hours he was gone.  If he wanted to go out in the backyard after work and hit some balls, I would find myself dwelling on how I wanted to have time to myself.  It’s been something that I had brought up more times than I am proud of. And the thing is… Jordan wasn’t doing anything to solicit my resentment. He takes the opportunity to enjoy time by himself when it’s available and he wants it, and it’s up to me to do the same.

At the end of the day, I shouldn’t be focusing on who gets more time to themselves.  I shouldn’t be keeping this mental track list to hold over my husbands head. It’s not a competition, and if it is then I’m the one winning because I get to spend the most time with our son.  Maybe these feelings make me a bad person, maybe they make me selfish, or maybe… they just make me human. Once you become a parent, you are a parent for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You don’t get to chill out on Sundays and watch Netflix all day in your pajamas. You don’t get to do whatever you want whenever you want anymore. You have a tiny human to think of first… always first.

Theo is already fifteen months and time is flying by. I want to cherish these moments with him because sadly, every day that passes is a day that I will never get back. Some days he might want me to hold him so much that my back is aching and my arms are begging to put him down. But one day, he’ll never want me to hold him again. There are days where he wants me to play with him and has no interest in playing on his own. But one day, he will be tired of playing with me and will want to play with his friends instead. Every day that I get to hold him in my arms and give his soft skin kisses is a gift. I want to make sure that the gift is what I’m focusing on.

I think that moms especially find it difficult to justify wanting time to themselves.  Dad’s seem to be better at this.  It’s ok to not love every single damn second of being a parent. It’s ok to want a break, to want an hour to yourself.  I’ve realized that I need to be more vocal about when I’m feeling this way. It’s ok to tell your partner that you need thirty minutes to yourself. It’s ok to go and work out for an hour and let your mind focus on you. It’s ok to get away for a weekend and leave your kids at home (with someone to watch them haha). But what’s not ok is the comparison I was making between my husband and I.

I know there will still be days in the future where the minute Jordan gets home I run out the door to enjoy a cup of coffee alone. There will be more days where I want to do something but I can’t because there’s nobody to watch Theo. There will be more days where I’m touched out and don’t want to be clinged on and whined at. And that’s ok.  I don’t need to feel mom guilt for wanting some alone time.   But I also don’t need to feel resentful towards my husband if one week he gets more time to himself than I do.  And at the end of the day, I’m in charge of making time for myself.  I don’t book Jordan’s round of golf for him, so he’s not going to schedule my yoga class for me.  It’s my responsibility to set aside that time.

I’m not really sure how my feelings of resentment started. All I know is negativity is fueled by negativity and the more you think about it, the more that it consumes you.  Once I accepted that it’s ok to sometimes feel this way, but that it’s not something that should be focused on, I started feeling a lot better. I let go of the list I was keeping in my head of Jordan’s free time versus mine, and instead focused on the present. I have been finding it easier to enjoy both time with Theo and time away from him.  Accepting that my feelings are ok but are not something to dwell on has felt like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.  Feeling this way doesn’t make me a bad person, a bad mom, or a bad wife.  It makes me human and it’s ok to make myself a priority as well.

Can any other parents out there that can relate to this?


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