Mom guilt…I hate it yet it’s a part of my everyday life.
I think women in general suffer with any sort of guilt. Whether it’s friendship guilt or even relationship guilt, I feel like we always put someone else’s happiness above our own and that’s a huge mistake. But when you become a mom, it kind of becomes necessary right? I have to put my kids happiness before my own, don’t I?
Isn’t it cute how from the moment you get pregnant, nothing is yours anymore? And yet we feel guilty when we want one tiny sliver of something. Like dammit, I’ve gone through 117 weeks of pregnancy. LET THAT SINK IN: one hundred and seventeen weeks (and one day) of pregnancy. All of which stretched out my body, made my boobs sag and made me change who I am as a person. Like, it isn’t enough that I had to push three kids out, but they have absolutely no sense of remorse yet and therefore behave in ways that make me want to light myself on fire.
If I hand them off to the nanny for a moments peace, I feel like a failure. If I lock myself in the shower to enjoy TEN MINUTES of quiet while I clean off baby throw up and paint from my hair, they’re banging on the door and I’m banging my head against the wall. If I decide to go get a manicure, I make sure they have a super fun plan at home so they don’t feel abandoned.
It’s this constant mom guilt that has me questioning every decision I ever made. This decisions start with “why the hell did I have so many kids???” and typically ends with “why are you such a bad mom???” You see, no matter what I do, I loose. If I do the things I want to do for my sanity, I feel bad. If I put what I think they need above what I know I need, my mental capacity plummets. It’s a never ending vicious cycle of remorse.
Yesterday I had a hell of a day. I spent a good chunk of it pacifying the kids who were in a horrible mood. I mean, tantrums left and right, screaming at the top of their lungs (for fun) and refusing to eat anything I cooked for them (even though it took all. damn. day.) I even decided to take a nice long breath and have them play with kinetic sand. I left the room for maybe 15 minutes to give Antonio a bath. You know, since I feel like crap that he’s usually with the nanny BECAUSE I HAVE 5,000 KIDS and he’ll probably feel it the least because he’s 5 seconds old. Anyway, yesterday I decided to step away from the gremlins and give Tony a bath because he smiled at me and I melted.
When I came back to the playroom the sand was everywhere. Santi and Joaquín were climbing the walls (literally) and Zoe, my wonderful nanny, was in tears. She cried, I cried and Santi and Joaquín were laughing. I had one of those “ah-ha” moments where I was like “WHY IS THIS MY LIFE???” And then the mom guilt crept in. How could I think that? Even if I said it internally and didn’t meant it. I suck so much.
I try. I swear I do. In the middle of a fit of range by the kids, I calmly took them to their room. What I wanted to do was punch them in the face and tell them a monster was going to eat them for behaving like animals. But what I actually did was realize they were exhausted, put them in bed, told them THREE bed time stories (they were made up and very elaborate. Santi likes to interject with his own commentary and it’s both annoying and hilarious) and then gave them both a gigantic kiss. I lied and said I had to go to the bathroom and I’d be right back and within 5 minutes they were both passed out.
By the way, Antonio isn’t off the hook either. He’s my last so I feel like he has me wrapped around his fat little finger. He’s the type of human who prefers to ALWAYS be carried and almost always is because I feel like a bad mom if I don’t do what he wants. I worry he’ll feel abandoned, I say to myself “what’s it to me? Like literally what’s the big deal??” So I carry him. And spoil him. And I can’t get my stuff done because I’m carrying a 3 month old everywhere I go. And the mom guilt creeps in once again.
But such is life and it’s definitely my life. Two of my kids are in the pool with their swimming instructor (by the way they are in L O V E with her) and the other is with the nanny (he wanted to be carried and I wanted to drink my coffee hot this morning).
Do I feel like I should be outside telling the boys how amazing they’re doing? Yes. Do I feel like I should carry Antonio and talk to him so he knows my voice? Yes. But guess what? I’m going to put myself first right now. I’m going to enjoy my coffee and scroll Instagram.