Monday, August 2, 2010

Raise your hand if you're in a parenting funk?

**Btdubs, this post is not written well or even well thought out, so if it's not really flowing just look at the shoes again and move along..

Let's talk about something. Mommy guilt. Ugly mommy guilt. UMG. Somewhat, but not at all, like OMG. Which I'm not a fan of.

(The shoes don't really have anything to do with it, they're just an attention getter. And a break for you from Eliot pictures. And a thank you card to Steve Madden for knowing my needs before I even utter them.)

Last week was my one-year anniversary of working full-time. Or one-year of juggling emotions on being away from a child I worked pretty stinkin' hard to get. One year of cramming bonding moments into the couple hours between work and bedtime and on weekends. 12 months of wondering what he's doing, what he's learning, what he's getting away with, what silly thing he said, what I would do if I were that mom jogging by my window with her stroller during work hours instead of behind this really attractive ear-piece talking about cables and fuses. One year of telling myself how happy I am that lots of my friends are stay-at-home moms, what a great opportunity it is for them.

Last week I was having wine with some other moms one night. It was a great night with these somewhat new-ish friendships. All 5 of us have different work/school schedules and there was a running theme at one point, no matter how many hours you're out of the house. Mommy guilt.

"Am I doing enough?" Probably not. "I could be ____ if I was ___."

I feel like this is one of the those areas that we're all our 'own worst critic' with a side of 'grass is always greener.' (Aww, look at the cliche besties!) If you work out of the home, you feel guilty you're not logging the hours you should be, not to mention the lack of energy once you've gotten home after a long day, having to do housework at some point and blah blah. If you work at home, you feel guilty that you're mentally pulled in two directions, constantly debating your quality in either place. If you are a SAHM, you feel guilty that you're not being a good steward of the time you do get, the blessing it is that you have this opportunity but for pete's sake can I please have a few hours to myself!?

But then you bust out a killer craft and you feel pretty dang proud, especially if it's edible. But then your kid gives you attitude, the laundry gets up and walks out, and you realize that not only do you not have a plan for dinner but there's no food in the house and you never called that friend back and I was totally gonna teach myself how to sew today. Ugh.

Go look at the shoes again. Deep breath.

It's overwhelming at times. The good news is, we love our kids. Bottom line. We love them. And yes, the day-to-day, working/non-working, time vs. money juggling act can mess with your mind but it's all a season.

Ya know, my parents both worked full-time, the ENTIRE TIME I've been alive and *gasp* I still love them to pieces and harbor no ill-will toward those decisions. Because they love me and I've never doubted that for a second.

I think this whole UMG is a distraction. Plain and simple. A lying distraction.

Today I choose to make the most of my time w/ E-beast and that's the long and the short of it. It may not be a couple of hours that I use to teach him how to read or taking long bike rides together. It may be doing laundry together but that's okay, too. Because at some point during laundry I will squeeze him until he says, "No fanks mom."

Btdubs, I have another parenting post coming. Deal with this first, then the secondary issue. Ugh. Or go read this post by my friend Heather, cuz I could have written myself...


La Familia CastaƱeda said...

I Love it...I just simply love it.

Chrissy said...

Love the shoes, love the post even more.

I suffer from UMG on a chronic basis and I know that 95% of it is self imposed. I chose to take classes! I chose to have 6 kids!

So why do I feel like a crazy person 1/2 the time?

I'm with ya Mrs. M.

Maybe we should start a support groups. UMGunited

heather said...

Katie, I love you! I love reading your writing and am always amazed at how to the point you get in such a way that hits home so well. So Well.

And the shoes? Love them almost as much.
Don't mind the drool on your post...

erin said...

Totally with ya. I have that guilty feeling all the time. No matter how much time I am with Marlie it never really seems to cut it. How about we all cut ourselves a little more slack? Thanks for the great post Katie!