Mom guilt. We are wracked with it. OMG, I didn't breastfeed long enough. OMG, I breastfed too long. OMG, I'm a working mom and I don't get to spend enough time with my kids. OMG, I'm a stay at home mom, and I spent too much time with my kids!
Ladies, ladies, ladies!
That's quite enough, from all of you! There are plenty of people in this world who are going to take great pleasure in telling you how much you suck; you don't need to add to it. So here it is, my list of things moms really need to forgive themselves for doing ... right now.
1. When your school-aged kid forgets their lunch. Instead of smacking yourself for not noticing the bag on the counter, how about recognizing that your 7-year-old is old enough to be responsible for her own G.D. lunch by now!?
2. When your kid complains you're the only mom who never volunteers to chaperone the Girl Scout trips. First, you're not the ONLY mom. Trust me. Second, would you rather have a job that keeps you from chaperoning or not have a job and not be able to afford Girl Scouts at all?
More from The Stir: 25 Mom Confessions to Top All Mom Confessions
3. When you realize your kid is wearing shoes that are a size too small. I felt like the worst mom EVER when this happened, and then I remembered ... my 6-year-old hadn't bothered to tell me that her feet hurt. Moms, unless you graduated from Hogwarts, stop punishing yourself for not being able to read their minds!
4. When you're too tired to play with your kids. A few months ago I got home from a whirlwind business trip, and I was WIPED. My daughter was all excited to see me after three days with Daddy, and when I crawled into bed, her face dropped. It broke my heart, but let me tell you ... if I'd stayed up, I would have been a cranky, bitchy Mommy. Sleeping for 21 hours straight (yeah, really) made the time we got together the next day sooo much better. Remember you don't want to just give your kids time; they need quality time.
5. When you eat the last piece of candy. Even if you did it while hiding in the bathroom, there is no shame in eating the candy YOU bought. Got that?
6. When the school nurse calls and you realize you sent the sick kid to school. Listen, kids fake sick. A lot. And sometimes it's hard to tell if they're just "not feeling like going to school" or "not feeling well." Schools have nurses for a reason!
7. When they want you to read a fifth bedtime story, and they REALLY should be asleep already. You know what happens to kids who get everything they want, don't you? If you don't, maybe the story you really need to be reading is the one about bratty Veruca Salt.
8. When the parenting rules change. A LOT has changed since my daughter was born: the BPA stuff, the time to start solids, the science on rear-facing car seats. I could get really mad at myself that I didn't know these things then, but I won't ... and you shouldn't either.
9. When you don't feel like making a "real" dinner. It would be a perfect world if every night your dinner table looked like a pin on Pinterest. But if this was a perfect world, every man would look like Adam Levine. One night of cereal for dinner isn't going to kill anyone.
There it is ... I've done it all. And as you can see by the photo way up at the top, my kid loves me anyway. That's good enough for me to lay down the mantle of mom guilt I've been carrying around.
What do you feel guilty about as a mom? How are you getting past it?
Image by Jeanne Sager