You let your kids sleep in your bed? Shame on you.
You went back to work after only 6 weeks of maternity leave? Shame on you.
You hide in the pantry to have just a moment’s peace? You don’t LOVE every second of being a mom? Shame. On. You.
Sadly, this is the reality that moms everywhere face based on the decisions they make for their family. We are constantly told what to do, what not to do, how we should act, how we should discipline our kids, how we should keep our households…and the list goes on and on. We are expected to work full time, keep a clean house, feed the whole family, plan family outings, take care of the bills, and more. When is it enough? When are we enough?
If we don’t do everything perfectly, we are labeled a “bad” mom, a “bad” wife. We compete with each other over Instagram and Facebook and TikTok and every other social media platform. Who has the cutest kids? Who keeps the cleanest home? Hey look where we took our kids this weekend. Look how much money my husband makes. I’m SO happy, my life is SO perfect. We hide behind our screens trying to show the world and our friends that we’ve GOT this! We’ve got this whole motherhood thing down and we’re doing better than all the other social media moms. Just look at my pictures, can’t you tell?
But the thing is, not all of us do. Some of us are barely hanging on. Some of us are still battling postpartum depression. Some of us still cant lose those 30 pounds we put on from pregnancy…or just overeating because motherhood is so damn stressful. Some of us don’t have time to make a fancy dinner or to style our hair and makeup to impress our husband or to take that shower we’ve been dying to take since two days ago. I say some, but the sad thing is that “some” has lately turned into “most” these days. All of these factors that go into making motherhood glorious, make us feel really crappy when we can’t achieve them.
There are days when my kids eat nothing but popcorn and chicken nuggets. There are days when my sink is overflowing with dishes and my couch has a mountain of clothes to be folded and put away. There are days when I come home from work so exhausted that I really don’t want to read my kids a book or play a video game, I just want to take a bath and be left alone. There are days when I can’t stop crying because I’m such a terrible mom and my kids deserve better than me, at least that’s what I tell myself. I should want to read them a story, I should want to go for a bike ride, I should want to play Don’t Break The Ice a thousand times…right?
Mom guilt is so profound and so heartbreaking and SO common, so why are we not talking about it more? I don’t wan’t to see another picture of your perfect dinner, I want to see you munching on fruit snacks and string cheese because you didn’t have the energy to make a casserole tonight. I don’t want to read another post about your perfect family outing, I want to read your post on how your kids threw a fit a thousand times and you lost your marbles and your temper for 10 seconds because kids will do that to you. I don’t want to hear how much you absolutely love every second of every day of being a mom and how everything is perfect…because it’s not. Motherhood is not perfect, kids can sometimes be assholes, and we as moms shouldn’t be expected to have our shit together 100% of the time.
Most importantly, I want to stop holding onto the guilt that shames moms into being “perfect” and I want to normalize just being OK. We are going to have our good days and our bad days. It’s okay to talk about those bad days too! It’s okay to not have it all together. It’s okay to take care of yourself! It’s not okay to keep beating yourself up over expectations that you set yourself up for based on what other people say you should be.
So take a breath mama. Let go of that mom guilt you’ve been carrying around like that toddler who swore they’re a big kid and didn’t need that stroller anymore. It’s going to be okay.