There are some secrets that many of us mommies are just too ashamed to share. We have all experienced the guilt that comes along with some of these secrets. Well, ladies, don’t be ashamed. It’s a part of motherhood. Being a mom is tough enough without having to deal with the guilt that often comes with this amazing and difficult job of being a parent. And with all of the public shaming that is found on social media, it’s enough to make us want to pretend like everything is perfect. This is not healthy, realistic, or helpful.
I’d like to share some of my mommy secrets (as well as one from a friend) with you, so that perhaps the universe can give us moms a break now and then. So here it goes…
- Sometimes, I just want a day off. I love my daughter beyond measure, but every once in a while I wish I only had to worry about taking care of myself. It’s exhausting work being a parent. I happen to also work a full time job as an elementary school teacher, so when I get home I am sometimes spent. But alas, being a mom is a 24/7 job. Even when I am sleeping, I am keeping one ear tuned in to whatever cries for help Emily might have during the night, maybe due to a bad dream or needing to “go potty.”
- When my daughter was younger and couldn’t yet walk or talk, the bathroom used to be a place where I could escape for a few minutes of peace and quiet. Now however, she’ll knock on the door, ask “Mama? Are you in there?” while trying to open the locked door, and slide books and other flat objects under the door. I used to take long showers just to be able to relax for a bit, but with the awful drought California is in, those had to stop. (I am so very grateful for when my husband watches Emily while I go out for a jog! It’s 45 minutes of the peace and quiet I need. Sometimes, I like to stop in the middle of my jog just to enjoy the sunshine, or the sound of the birds, or experience the beauty along the trail.)
- My friend, Monique, misses her single life. This means little things like having cereal for dinner and running in and out of a store really quickly. With a child, there is no such thing as running in and out of a store quickly. She misses quiet time to herself and having control of the TV remote. She misses how her friendships used to be before having a baby. Nowadays, play dates are how she bonds with other women.
- It’s going to sound selfish, but I miss being selfish. Maybe selfish isn’t the right word. Carefree? It was awesome to be able to wake up whenever I wanted, and do whatever I wanted, and go where ever I wanted. The only person I had to worry about was myself. If I wanted to spend a bunch of money for a cute pair of shoes, then I did. I didn’t feel guilty about it. Once I became pregnant, all of that changed. I was so preoccupied in making sure I was doing everything right for my unborn child. Selfish became selfless. Being selfless is good, but we mommies often take it to the extreme. For example, I was wearing thread-bare socks because I felt too guilty spending my money on something for myself rather than diapers or baby food for my child. Luckily, it was again my husband (he’s often too logical if you ask me) who helped me to remember that I must also take care of myself. I bought a whole pack of new socks that day!
If any of these ring true with you, don’t feel guilty or ashamed! You are not alone. I bet you are doing a great job of being a mommy. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I am going to enjoy a few episodes of Project Runway on Netflix and not feel guilty about it.