As a mom, and a working mom at that, losing a sense of self is not an uncommon thing. We’re so focused on the jobs and roles assigned to us that we don’t realize we aren’t spending time pouring into ourselves. But then there’s “mom guilt” right? The worst or is it. Between finding enough time to do all the chores, meal plan, work, answer emails, get 8 hours of sleep, school functions, etc., what I found is that it all boils down to PRIORITIZING!
I remember having a heart to heart with my pastor about some things going on in my life at the time. He had me do this exercise where I needed to identify, “what was important to me, why it was important, and to prioritize the importance of those things.” I was doing good until I got down to “numbering” those important things. And without even knowing, I was at the bottom of the list. Then here came the hard questions! Without hesitation, he asked why was I on the bottom of my list. I had no answer but in my mind that’s how it should be, right? I had grown into the mindset of “my child comes before all else and all that needs to be done in order to do so came there after. I’ll worry about me later.” The question was repeated. Pastor explained why this was “wrong.” “How can you be the best mom, a nurse, a friend, or anything if it all comes before you?” Suddenly, he hit with the eye-opening question. “When you are empty or get sick, then what happens to all those things you had before you?” I wasn’t expecting or ready for that question.
Over time, I attempted to focus more on myself so that I could be the best version of myself and give my best to everyone and everything that was attached to me. I still struggle with mom guilt and it could be because I only one child and/or that feeling “I have to “get it right.”” Google defines mom guilt as “ is the feeling of guilt, doubt, anxiousness or uncertainty experienced by mothers when they worry they’re failing or falling short of expectations in some way.” So this year, I took a trip and did so WITHOUT my kid.
Initially, I felt bad because I would, now, be missing field day at school and a volleyball game. It was like the decision, “to go or not to go” was daunting. But here’s where the balance and prioritizing came into play. I hadn’t been on a trip with adults only since my daughter was in pampers. I NEEDED THIS TIME! I had never missed a field day, a monthly school lunch date, or any important moment in her life. I talked with some other mom friends to help with this “mom guilt.” I talked with my daughter and that was the key. She understood why I needed this time, heck why we needed this time. Honestly, she handled it better than I did, lol. Finally the decision was made. I stayed for field day because this is her last one of elementary school and we videoed before the game. Thank God for video calling!!
Yes, mom guilt is real and can be challenging for sure. But every once in awhile, as a mom, we should to take a moment of self-reflection and evaluate our priorities and the things we’re giving our time too. No, we don’t want to fail at anything or miss the slightest moment in our children’s life. But the saying is true a happy mom makes a happy home! Take some time for you, for YOU!