Mom Guilt is Weird.
last night we spent our first night away from atlas, together! my husband has been away from her quite a few nights because of traveling for work. i have been away from her one night back in december when i got super sick and he was out of town. my in-laws thankfully took her so i could sleep.
we had a great time staying downtown and we reminisced about how this is our TENTH valentine’s day together! crazy.
my first night away from atlas back in december (and our 4th night in our new house) evoked quite a few strong emotions in me. initially, i was very resistant for my in-laws to take her for a few reasons. the first – i felt like i should be able to still mother while dealing with sickness. most women aren’t so lucky to have family that would be willing to take her so i felt like i should keep her and just power through. i also felt guilty that they would have to get up with her 2-3 times a night (she still has yet to sleep all the way through the night).
my mother-in-law finally convinced me that it was the right move – thankfully i never worry if atlas is well-taken care of because they are fantastic.
after i buckled her in her car seat, all while wearing my super sexy mask to prevent the spread of my illness, i crawled into bed (aka our mattress on the floor at that point) and listened to the quiet house.
i was overwhelmed with guilt once again that i wasn’t taking care of my daughter. i felt guilty for enjoying the quiet. i felt guilty for taking a long, hot shower. i felt guilty for mindlessly zoning out on netflix as my heavy-duty cold medicine kicked in.
thankfully i have a great mom friend jessica, who is also a business owner, working mom and never hesitates to keep it real. i texted her and told her of this strange guilt that i couldn’t shake. she responded along the lines of “oh my goooodness – enjoy that quiet. enjoy that shower. enjoy time to recuperate so that you can be a better person all around. i would jump on a chance to have a night to myself!”
as much as i try hard not to need outside reassurance and validation from others, it seems as though i need that during my “beginner’s motherhood” and that is okay. it is becoming clearer each day to me that in order to be the type of woman/partner/mom/person that i want to be, i do have to take care of me. that’s so much easier said than done especially when you throw a being into the mix that you literally have to do everything for.
i am finding this new kinship with other women that i was never a part of before. a lot of that consists of us saying “omg. me too! it’s hard…” it is reassuring to know that other women struggle with this stupid “mom-guilt” and wondering if we are making the right decisions.
last night, as my husband and i sat at dinner i got so wrapped up in laughing with him that i kinda forgot we had a kid for a minute. i felt guilty that she wasn’t on my mind constantly. later, as we were laying in the most luxurious hotel bed, i realized that i didn’t feel guilty for spending the night without her, like i did the first time i was sick. then, get this – i felt guilty about not feeling guilty. what is this new weird world of mom-guilt?! i don’t like it.
parents reading this – how do you deal with this weird guilt? if you aren’t a parent, have you ever felt this and what did you do about it?
…and if you are into valentine’s day – hope it was grand! if you wanted it to be more, then you have to talk about expectations. anyway – off to go buy 75% off chocolate for myself!