Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mommy Guilt

I've been thinking a lot about mommy guilt recently. Mostly because I've been feeling it so much recently. Maggie stayed with my mother-in-law for a week and a day while our AC was broken. My MIL posted a ton of pictures of their time together.

Every picture I saw made me feel guilty. Oh look, she cooks her something every meal (or so it seems). Oh look she's actively engaged (can you tell I'm a teacher?) with her all the time (or so it seems). I just felt like I don't spend that kind of time on Maggie. I actually felt guilty for picking her up. I thought maybe she's better off living with her various grandparents.

Isn't that horrible? Nothing makes me guilty like being a mom. I never feel like I'm doing a good enough job with her. I never feel like her diet is balanced enough. Like I'm taking her to enough playdates. Like I'm spending enough quality time with her. Like I'm good enough.

Take for instance my yoga classes. I feel so guilty about yoga. I want desperately to go to yoga but now that I'm back at work it makes it even more difficult for me to go. But (here's my Catch-22) because I'm back at work I need the yoga even more. I need that break, that exercise to clear my head. But I feel so guilty about it because it takes time away from Maggie. Well, not always. There are 2 evening classes and 1 is before her bedtime and 1 is after. But because I'm depending on other people to watch her I let them decide which time slot they would rather have her. And most times people want to see her and not just sit in my house while she sleeps.

Anyway, I don't have any answers here. I spend a lot of time wondering what percentage of mommy guilt is real (and something I should be working on/improving) and what percentage is bullshit and I should realize I will never be good enough and just do what I can and try to do my best. And goodness I just don't know.

Any thoughts? Do you suffer from mommy guilt? Have you ever thought your kid would be better off with someone else? Did that thought make you feel guilty?

PS. I want to clarify that I am immensely grateful for all my parents and family that both want and are willing to keep Maggie. I'm so grateful that she is loved by so many people. I didn't mean for this post to sound ungrateful just whiny.


Charlotte said...

Oh honey, they hand you that mommy guilt the second they hand you that adorable little bologna loaf fresh out the birth canal! If it isn't how much time you spend with them, it will be something else. The one thing I've learned about mommy guilt (times 5, one for each baby!) is that you can't let it hold you back. Parenting is poignant but nobody's perfect. Your daughter loves you for you:)

Minky {moo} said...

oh my gosh, this is the hardest thing I think we all struggle with. And I say we take a cue from the daddies. They never think twice about taking time for themselves, you NEED the yoga and that makes you a better mommy to Maya. And all of the exposure and input she gets from the family just helps her grow and learn to be a trusting, loving and LOVED child.
I tell myself this all the time, it's hard, but go to yoga!!