Today, I read a post from a friend about getting together this Friday night for a ladies night dinner at a local restaurant. Without much thought i replied saying i’d love to join them. Not much sooner after I hit enter, i find myself instantly plagued with a guilt of being away from my kids. Thinking I can’t go…there’s no way I can go because I don’t want to leave the kids long enough to go.
You see it’s like this. I work full time. My kids are either at school during the day or at the babysitter. When my work day is over, i literally can not wait to squeeze my kiddos. I can not wait to go pick up Jaycee and look up and see her toddling as quickly as she can towards me with a big smile and arms spread open. I count down the minutes during the day as i work to hear the school bus pulling in to drop Madyson off each day. This tells me its only a matter of minutes before she strolls in my office and says “Hi Mom!”. I long for these moments every single day. When i’m not with them I miss them. I wonder if they are being good, having fun, learning, and enjoying the day. When they are gone, I am not a whole person. They are the beat of my heart.
When i became a mother for the first time 14 years ago, I was a single mom. I will be the first to admit that I missed far too many things. I worked 3 jobs for a period of nearly 3 years. I literally am overcome with grief when i think about it. I can’t get that time back and it breaks my heart. Here I am now with a family, a home, stability, and support. It enables me to do so many things with and for my kids. Looking back on all of the things i missed years ago, makes me all that more committed to not missing out on anything now in their lives. I mean nothing. That’s where the mother’s guilt comes in at for me a lot.
I will attend every meeting, game, trip, conference and gathering i possibly can for my kids. It’s not optional. I want my kids to look back in 10 or 20 years and remember my presence in their lives.
As much as i adore my children, i do get frazzled. I’m a patient person when it comes to children and i find myself at times at the end of my rope. As i sit here and type this, my hair is a mess, i have no make-up on, haven’t showered since yesterday morning (hell who has time for that!?), and my socks don’t even match! I am my own Hot Mess! My poor husband gets to see me looking “nice” maybe once every week. And don’t read too far into the term “nice”…i simply mean I have on a bra, I’ve showered and my make-up is done. Take it or leave it! My good friend asked me once while i was still pregnant “You aren’t going to be one of those mom’s that never does herself up anymore after having a baby are you?” I of course was like “Oh gosh! No way!” Clearly…I lied! But when i say i don’t have time…i seriously mean i don’t have time! On my list of priorities, mommy is rock bottom. I’m not complaining…don’t get me wrong. I’m just saying I think this is fairly typical….. isn’t it??
When my kids come home at the end of my work day, the last thing i wanna do is be away from them to do “me” stuff. THAT is my struggle. How do you balance filling your heart to it’s capacity with your kids happiness (because that makes me happy too) and still find time for just you…..time to preserve your sanity and clear your mind? I’m serious mamas! I want to know! How do you do it and overcome the guilt from leaving your kids for an hour or so?? The guilt is what typically convinces me “oh heck, i’ll just stay home”. I’m sure I’m not alone in this am I??
I know this struggle is personal, but I’d like to think….I guess I hope….that there are other mothers out there who feel the same pains that I do as a mother. I love my kids…it is absolutely immeasurable the love i have for them. Sometimes though, I think maybe if i did carve out more time to clear my head that I could be a better mother too them. The stress may not be as prevalent and perhaps I would be more relaxed as well.
I want to hear from all of you amazing mothers! Have you or Do you struggle with this too?? How do you cope with that guilt or overcome it??
Let’s remember…we are all in this together! I’m not an expert, i’m just learning as I go and doing my very best and leading with my heart! I look forward to your thoughts and feedback!