She certainly doesn't look it, but actress Angie Harmon says she's a mess. She's currently filming TNT's Rizzoli & Isles, working up to 90 hours a week, and shuttling between Los Angeles and her home in Charlotte, North Carolina. She has three daughters -- Finley, 7, Avery 6, and toddler Emery, 2. It's a busy life, and she says she's left feeling guilty at every turn.
Even though my life isn't an iota as glamorous as hers, I can completely relate. I think we all can, whether we stay at home, work at home, work part-time, full-time, have 1 kid, or 10. Bottom line: Motherhood comes with a big old batch of guilt no matter what you do. I used to think it was just me and too many years of Catholic school, but the more moms I talk to, the more I know we ALL feel it.
Just knowing that helps. As Harmon told Good Housekeeping recently:
When I feel like I’m not doing what I am supposed to as a mother, I will torture myself. I don’t know how to deal with it. I find some consolation in the fact that all mommies feel it.
Oh how I feel it. In case you need more consolation, Angie, here are a few of the many ways:
When I'm working, I feel like my children need me.
When I'm not working and with them, I feel guilty that I get bored after playing 30 games of Candy Land and WISH I was working.
I feel bad when I choose not to pay $3 extra for the organic blueberries, then later buy a fancy new lipstick.
I feel guilty that I don't go on every flippin' field trip and remember every damn book fair order.
I feel guilty for thinking of it as a "damn book fair order."
I wish I loved packing their lunches, but I loathe it.
I feel guilty about the amount of processed food that sometimes fills those loathsome lunchboxes.
I feel guilty when I raise my voice.
I feel guilty that I let things slide because it's easier than going to battle.
Sometimes, I feel guilty when I actually shut the door to use the restroom -- what if I don't hear them getting into something?
There are roughly 20 million more where these came from.
Motherhood is one big guilt trip. I don't think it ends EVER either. I think we'll forever look back on the choices we made and question -- even if just a little -- if we did enough, mourn that we didn't do more, and question if we REALLY did the best we could. Inevitably we'll fall short, but that's okay. As long as we love our children enough to feel guilty and always question and evaluate our choices based on that love, I think we're doing alright.
Now if only there was a mommy confessional in which we could all be absolved.
What do you feel the most mommy guilt about?