Earlier this week I wrote a letter to all of our new Mamas reminding them they were divinely chosen to be their child’s mom. I do this because every year during the first week I witness an immense amount of Mom Guilt. I watch mamas who have spent countless hours researching curriculum, comparing teaching philosophies, reading reviews and touring preschools to make sure their child gets the very best. I see them struggle with the transition into the new school year and I hear them say things like, “I feel so bad for leaving them” or “I’m not sure if I am doing the right thing.” All too often these statements evolve into even more negative thoughts such as: “If I am happy while I’m away from my child, I must be a bad mom” or “If I am excited to go to work, I must be a bad mom” or the one I see the most “A good mom would never want or need a break from their child. I do. I must be a bad mom.” And so, the Mom Guilt sets in.
I get it. I am a mom of two and have felt the pangs of Mom Guilt. I know we are programed to want nothing but the best for our children. I know change is hard and I understand how easy it is to second guess your decisions. I’ve spent my fair share of nights worrying over my choices. I realize we often show love to our children by sacrificing parts of our lives to make sure theirs are amazing. However, I believe that all too often by trying to do it all perfectly, by sacrificing ourselves and by giving into the Mom Guilt we lose sight of the person we are meant to be.
Mamas- you need to know and believe you can’t pour from an empty cup. It is impossible to function at your highest capacity if you don’t first take care of yourself. You need others to help you raise your child to be the best possible version of themselves. This isn’t a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength. You are recognizing you are just one person and there is an amazing world of other unique individuals who can offer your child even more. Stop second guessing yourself and have faith. Look at the hard work you put into every decision you make for you child and give yourself some grace.
Find yourself a tribe of other mamas who get it and have been there. Give yourself permission to give and be 100% wherever you are; whether it is at home with your child or at work or enjoying a pedicure. The next time you find yourself worrying about your child while they are at preschool, ask yourself, “Would I want my child to spend their entire day worrying about me?” NO! The best way to teach your child is to model it. Do it. Be present in every moment. Take good care of yourself and trust that you were divinely chosen to be your child’s mama.