My kids went back to school last week, and I could not be any more relieved. Yes, I think August 15th is too soon to go back to school (when I was a kid we went to school August 25th-ish to June 5th-ish, my kids get out before Memorial Day and go back mid-August) and yet it wasn’t soon enough. Why? Because nothing brings on the mom guilt like summer break for a work at home mom. I pretty much feel like a failure all summer long, even with part time child care for my two youngest.
It is what it is. We don’t go on a ton of fun adventures. This year because of different events and kids’ camps and other scheduling snafus, we didn’t even actually take a vacation.
The mom guilt is REAL. And, it decreases significantly when the kids are back in school and I can do my job during the day and be on mom duty as soon as I pick them up, and not try to do both during all our waking hours.
Still, it takes me a few weeks to recover from a summer of mom guilt. And I know, I KNOW that this crazy pressure is what I put on MYSELF—there is no one doing this to me, but me. It’s so wrong, but I’ve been unable to break the mom guilt cycle.
That is probably why I cried big, fat, hot, ugly tears over this video from mom, author and speaker Rachel Hollis. Hollis is huge right now, so I’ve been hesitant to jump on the Rachel Hollis bandwagon, but after seeing this video, I’m fully on board. She GETS it, and she got me RIGHT in the feels.
Every word she says here about mom guilt and mom joy is 100% true. I could have said them ALL myself.
Go ahead, watch it. You NEED this, Mamas.
Now, go get yourself a tissue and clear your blurry eyes so you can come back and read the rest of this. I’ll wait.
I think part of the reason why Hollis’ video assault on mom guilt hit me so hard is because I know it is true.
I have written a few articles on this myself. I know and believe without a shadow of a doubt that God made ME to be my babies’ mom (even though they are a far, far cry from babies right now. My oldest is fourteen and like five inches taller than I am). I know and believe that as Hollis says, God made me and my baby “to be a pair.”
I know this.
So, why am I so hard on myself? Why do I have to remind myself of this over and over again? Why am I always comparing myself to other moms and comparing my kids’ lives to the lives of their peers?
From house size to activity roster, why am I letting mom guilt and comparison steal my flippin’ JOY?
WHY? I only know I have to stop it. Because in addition to all I’ve said above, I also know this: I do not have to feel guilty and stressed and nervous about my mothering. And though feeling some of it is natural, at some point it also becomes a choice.
Today I will not choose mom guilt. I will choose joy.
I know full well that I will likely have to make this same choice tomorrow, and the next day, until it starts to stick for a little bit longer.
But I’m committed to reminding myself to make the right choice. To not only believe that God has made me for more, but to ACT like I believe it.
Mama Friend, will you make this good choice today, too?
You are the best mom your kids could ever ask for. Believe it.