The other day, Luke asked me why I didn’t go on his class field trip with him and went on to tell me that the “other moms” were there. I have to admit, it hurt. The guilt of not being there really hurt. I told him that I had to go to work but I hoped that he had fun on the field trip and that the other moms were so nice to go as well.
I call this one of my many “mom guilt” moments. I know I can’t do it all and I know he didn’t mean any harm in asking. But my heart sank hearing that.
I feel guilty working full time. I feel guilty that I don’t have time cook. I feel guilty that I don’t take him to the park that often or say yes to more play dates.
One of the guiltiest moments I had was when Luke had a fever and I didn’t give him medication, hoping the fever would go away. He ended up having his first febrile seizure that day. I had to call the ambulance and he was taken to the emergency room. There was so much that went through my mind as we took that ambulance ride….like what I should have done or that I should have known better.
Being a mom is hard. Trying to make the right decisions is hard. Trying to do everything to be a good mom is hard. And when I feel like I made a major mistake, I’m pretty hard on myself.
I think some of that mom guilt is from my childhood when my parents were not involved in my school functions. I remember how I always wanted my mom be around for school events but she would tell me she couldn’t because her job wouldn’t let her leave for the afternoon. I also remember thinking back then that I will always be there for my kids.
Looking back, I’m not mad at her or have any resentment. She had an hourly paying job as an immigrant to this country. My parents were trying to make ends meet and making enough money for the family to survive was very important to them. They gave up that “school” time with us just so we would have a great life.
I know my situation is not the same as my parents as I have some flexibility with work. But not all the time. I learning to tell myself it’s okay to take the right about of time off of work to be there for my child but I’m also trying to let him know that sometimes work is very important as well.
I just hope Luke will grow up not to remember the times that I wasn’t there but the times that I was there.
So the answer to the question, if the mom guilt will ever go away? I don’t think it will for me but I’m slowly learning how to deal with it. I’m giving myself some grace and forgiveness and knowing that I’m trying my best,
This motherhood thing is hard. I know we all can’t get it right and learning each day as we go. I’m learning not to put so much pressure on myself and to forgive myself. I hope the other mamas out there are doing the same.