I have been a mommy now for almost two years – wow! Before I became a mom, I had many expectations, based on what I had seen and what I had been told, but no one really told me about mom guilt, and I don’t think I had ever even heard of it before. In fact, it was only when I realized I was experiencing mom guilt that I found out I was not alone. Mom guilt is a thing, and I am actively experiencing it.
I don’t know if mom guilt ever goes away or changes, and I don’t know if I’m feeling this way because I only have one child right now, but what I do know is that I feel extremely guilty whenever I’m not doing something with Ada Verastic. For example, she loves going out, and when I leave her at home to go somewhere, I feel like I have betrayed her (even when I’m going somewhere I cannot take her to). I literally try as much as possible to leave the house when she’s asleep because it breaks my heart to see her crying face when I leave. I know she will be okay, but I still feel very guilty.
The guilt extends even to food. For example, I brought home a bowl of ora soup from my trip to Houston (please don’t ask me to explain), but it took me over a week to finally eat it because every time I wanted to eat it, Ada Verastic was either asleep or not hungry. So I waited. Eventually, she was awake and hungry, but my toddler still refused to eat it. I ended up eating it alone, but I didn’t feel bad because at least I had tried to feed her.
The mom guilt also concerns more serious issues, like time. Am I spending enough time with her? Or wait, am I spending too much time with her? Am I edifying her enough? Am I exercising her brain enough? Am I being mom enough? If someone else were doing the things I’m doing with Ada Verastic, I would confidently tell that person that they were doing an exceptional job, but when it comes to me, I feel very guilty. I even feel guilty when I sleep without her, and when I worked in Corporate America, I felt guilty about that, too.
Ironically, I grew up with a mommy who always had a job – she was [still is] a medical doctor, so you’d think that I, of all people, would understand. And when I was four years old, I even lived only with my dad because mom was rounding up med school in Russia. Still, I don’t remember a time I needed my mom and she wasn’t there. So, logically, I know that I am not breaking Ada Verastic, but emotionally, I am ripping myself to shreds.
Right now, right this moment, I am not home. I packed my laptop and everything and ran to a place I now refer to as my office because I have so much work to do, and I know that doing it at home will take me four times the time to accomplish half as much, so I know it makes the most sense for me to be here. But I still feel terrible. Why didn’t anyone warn me about mom guilt?
When I’m done working and I go home, I know I will be greeted by a very excited Ada Verastic. I always look forward to going home because I love how she runs into my arms when I come home. However, it also makes me feel guilty that I have been away for so long, and that’s why she’s so excited to finally see me. From another angle, I also love that she can see her mommy fighting for her dreams – although I know she cannot comprehend it yet. But when she gets older, I want her to fight for her dreams too, and I’m hoping that I’m setting a good example for her.
So, if you are a mom who is more experienced than me, please tell me how to overcome this mom guilt. And can it even be overcome, or should I just start saving money to go see a psychotherapist to discuss my feelings? Also, does it get better as the child gets older and I have more children? HELP!