Monday, May 6, 2013

Mom guilt

I have been struggling with this subject for a while and did not know quite how to address it! After a great conversation with a close friend this weekend, I decided to give it a try. Here goes...

I am a stay-at-home mom. I am not a stay-at-home mom by choice. I am a stay-at-home because raising a child on the spectrum, with our family situation, requires it. I am lucky in so many ways! I get to take my kids to school every morning. I get to pick my kids up from school every afternoon. I get to help them with their homework. I get to be room mom. I take them to their practices. I clean their laundry and cook meals for them every evening. Yes, I am truly blessed to be at home with my children and have the ability to watch them grow!

I am also a frustrated stay-at-home mom. I would like to feel like more than a maid and a cook and a taxi driver. Yes, I said it!!! I love my children more than words can say, but I feel that being at home every day with no adult conversation is exhausting. I do not get fulfillment from cleaning the floors or folding laundry or going to the grocery store. I do not like hearing from my kiddos that our money is dad's money because he "works". Those words make me want to scream!!

Here's the other side to my story. If I was working every day and unable to do those things, I would feel guilty. How do I know? Well, first of all, I know myself and I always feel like I should be doing more. Secondly, every girlfriend I know who works says she wishes she could stay home. I get it. I truly get it!!!

As moms, we are always struggling with the right decisions for our families. We love our children so much it hurts. We would give them the world if we could. We sacrifice so they do not want.  However, we are human and sometimes we need more! Sometimes we need to feel loved and appreciated and know that what we are doing is important.

Here's my conclusion...we are never truly happy as moms. The guilt is always there. I am home with my children because that is where I need to be for my family! I am "working" because I am running from therapy to therapy and doctor to doctor. I am there to pack their lunches and clean their clothes. I pay the bills and manage our household. This is the role I was given, and even though some days I do not feel fulfilled, I know that right now, in this place, I am doing the right job for me and my family.

For "working"moms, please know that you are there doing the role that you were given. Whether you choose to work or circumstances require you to work, you are there to love you kids every day. You are doing the best you can for your family!  You are doing amazing work both inside and outside of the home. You are earning respect every single day and showing your children what an amazing woman you truly are. You are in the right place at the right time for your life and your family.

Every job as a mom is important! Women, we need to stop judging one another and instead love and respect each other for the roles we share as moms, wives, and strong women in this world. We are truly the only people who can understand each others struggles, so we have to be there to support one another.  Let's be there to lift each other up, not tear each other down!