Mommy guilt is the topic of the week around the mommy-blogs. Some mommies have it bad (*cough*Teresa Strasser*cough*) and some have learned to live with it. I fall somewhere in the middle, which is why a week dedicated to letting go of that mommy guilt is so appealing!
My top 5 mommy-guilt triggers:
- Diaper rash. It doesn’t matter if I changed her poopy diaper 0.5 seconds after it came to exist, if she has a rash, it’s all my fault and I feel awful.
- Letting Adelaide watch TV. Nearly every day at 4:30, I turn on an episode (or two) of Blue’s Clues, so I can clean the kitchen and prep dinner without her underfoot. Keeping her out of the kitchen when I’m cooking is nearly a safety issue, but hearing her talking to her old pals, Steve and Blue, instead of participating in some other more engaging and stimulating learning activity makes my guilt-pressure spike.
- Spending an entire day running errands. You know the kind I’m talking about—do the grocery shopping in the morning before lunch so the afternoon can be spent zipping all over town picking up dry cleaning, restocking the toilet paper and going to that one store on the other side of town because they’re the only place that carries that one item. The only cure for mommy guilt of this severity is an entire day at the indoor park.
- Letting Adelaide cry herself to sleep. There is no question in my mind (nor Matt’s mind) that sometimes, Adelaide just needs to cry herself back to sleep. We have proven this over and over and over and over AND OVER. If she wakes up more than once a night and we go in to put her back to sleep, she continues to wake up every few hours. NO FUN. Instead, if we go in and put her back to sleep the first time, and then let her cry herself to sleep the second, we usually don’t hear from her again until morning. Even though I know going in to soothe her will result in an entire night with no sleep, it still requires all of my strength to not go to my child who is calling out for me to comfort her. UGH! Sometimes doing the right thing is so, very hard to do!
- Working. I do my best to only work during her naps and after she goes to bed, but there are days when I have looming deadlines and I simply have to be on my computer while Adelaide is awake. The problem is, that if I’m on my computer, Adelaide wants to be on my computer too (I guess I shouldn’t have expected otherwise…she comes by it honestly!). So, if I need to work, there needs to be something to distract Adelaide from her lack-of-mommy attention. So far, my two options are TV or Munchkin Playland. If I only have a little work to do, an episode of Sesame Street or Blue’s Clues usually does the trick, but if it’s more than a little, we make the trek out to Munchkin Playland, where she can play safely and I have my necessary internet connection. This one is really a tug-of-war on the mommy-guilt scale. I LOVE my work, but I also LOVE my kid. I hate that I feel like I’m neglecting one in order to spend time with the other. Can’t I have it all??
Alright folks, there you have it, my Top 5 mommy-guilt triggers. And because this week is GUILT FREE WEEK I will choose to relax my expectations on these issues. Join me in being a better parent by letting go of some of that guilt! Take the guilt free pledge!