Two little words with a lot of weight. I’m a new-ish mom, but in my short time in this role I’ve become all too familiar with this feeling of “mom guilt.” Basically, you feel guilty about EVERYTHING, all the time. I know I’m not supposed to complain and I should feel grateful for my blessings, blah blah blah. I AM grateful. I love my babies more than anything I’ve ever loved. Ever. But this is my blog, and I’m letting it out. I hate feeling that I’m not doing a good job, or not even a good ENOUGH job. I’d be happy with good enough. And this isn’t brought on by others. Honestly, most of the time, women are fucking fantastic at supporting one another. I can at least say that about 98% of the women in my life. No no no. Mom guilt is even worse because it's an internal, inescapable feeling. And it doesn’t matter how many people tell you you’re doing GREAT. This feeling of guilt swarms in at unexpected moments and makes us feel that we’re not up to snuff or that we’re doing something wrong. And we work so hard! It’s bullshit. To give you an idea of the craziness that ensues inside my head, here is a list of all the things I’ve felt guilty for in the past few weeks:
- I stopped breastfeeding Fletcher at 3 months old.
- Fletcher had constipation from the formula.
- Fletcher is getting chubby from the formula.
- Harvey feeling left out while I coo on the new baby.
- I’m starting a new job, and Fletcher has started at daycare.
- Fletcher started at daycare a week before my new job, so I got a week to myself.
- We brought the boys on the boat last weekend and Harvey missed a nap.
- Harvey cries at daycare drop off every morning.
- I let Harvey watch Netflix, a little too often.
- I get excited sometimes when Harvey goes to bed at night.
- Sometimes, I frustrated when Fletcher won’t fall asleep for his naps.
- I get angry when Harvey won’t eat, and I sometimes lose my patience.
- I end Harvey’s baths quickly some nights, because I’m just too tired.
- I didn’t clip Harvey’s nails for a couple weeks.
- We skipped Harvey’s bath. (TWO nights in a row)
- We went out for dinner, even though I knew Harvey would hate it and make a scene.
- Harvey’s blanket stinks.
- We're going out of town for a wedding and Fletcher is only three months old.
- Writing this blog post makes me sound like a bad mom.
On top of all these things, there’s also pressure to be a good wife, a good friend, a good daughter, a good sister, a good employee, a good neighbor, a good dog mom, etc. etc. etc. At times, it feels like my head might explode. And this isn’t me fishing for a compliment. I know I’m a good mom. I know I’m doing my absolute best. Mom guilt just hits out of nowhere, for no reason at all. I get the feeling it’s chemical and there’s no controlling this demon. I just keep telling myself that I've got this and that there's wine in the fridge. Thank god for wine.