Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mommy guilt

Mommy guilt is an icky thing.  And, evidently moms like to tear one another down for choices they make.   What the heck?  What does that solve?  I think this post does a really good job about discussing the conflict, and I agree 110% that tearing one another down does no good and that we moms should be all about supporting one another rather than judging and being hateful about another's personal choices that we may not know the reason behind.  Adding to mommy guilt in both parties is the wealth of resources, studies, blogs, and websites (I'm looking at you, Pinterest) on the internet that often contradict each other on how to best raise your kid.  Cry-it-out vs. not.  Breast vs. bottle.  Daycare vs. nanny vs. stay at home mom vs. stay at home dad.  When milestones need to be met to ensure your baby will get into Yale.  When that sneeze means your baby has a rare brain tumor and will die in 10 minutes if you don't do something immediately vs. when that sneeze means something irritated your baby's nasal passages.  And don't even get me started on the "perfect" moms on Pinterest (who, I admit, have good ideas that I'm not ashamed of stealing a few of but don't have time to do Every. Single. One. like they do) who have a fully stocked craft corner, sensory bins, and a perfectly clean house in every picture.  My thought on the whole how-to-raise a baby thing is that every situation is different, and only that mom/family unit knows what is best for them.  Nothing wrong with browsing options, but not everything will fit, and some things will fit but just need to be altered.

That being said, it's difficult having to leave Sophia in daycare every day...I sometimes feel like they're doing more raising of her than I am.  And that's a pretty hard idea to swallow.  I love that she loves it there, she's getting a lot of play opportunities and social interaction that would be hard for me to provide (how does one set up a play group anyway?  Craigslist?  Newspaper ad?).  But, it still sucks.  It's even harder when I people tell me how glad they were that they got to stay home with their kids, that it wasn't easy but they made it work.  Believe me, if I could be a part-time stay-at-home mom, I would in a heartbeat (I'm not cut out to be a full-time stay-at-home mom).  My situation doesn't allow that, though.  I'm hoping one day it will, but until then, this is our reality.  I'm still trying to figure out how to maximize awake-time with her within the confines of daycare hours and hours I'm required to be at school.  Having a boss who seems to think family is just an inconvenience and to be avoided at all costs doesn't help.

Don't worry mom, I like it here.  I'll be happy while you're gone (unless they feed me food from that evil spoon.  Then all bets are off!)

When I get home, all I want to do is spend the precious few hours (or sometimes minutes) before her bedtime with her, and I am very protective of that time.  Chores can wait, errands can wait or be assigned to the wonderful hubby to do after work on his way home, school work can wait, too.  We play, wiggle, crawl (well, she wiggles and crawls....I watch.  And sometimes crawl).  I try to persuade her to eat food off a spoon, and she says she'd much rather eat her wheel, thank you very much.  So I let her.  We squeeze in bath time sometimes; we take baths together, as we always have, since it's way easier to hang on to a wet, squirmy little one that way (in my opinion).  Then, sadly, it's her bedtime.  And time for me to do grown-uppy things before my bedtime.  Far too little time spent with her for me to like.  Poor Jordan gets even less, as he doesn't get the car time that I do (I'm sure he's only slightly sad about that, let's be honest).

This bumpy laptop cover is pretty cool.

So, to the working moms out there: I know it's not easy.  Believe me.  And to the stay-at-home moms: I know your job isn't a cake-walk either, nor are the sacrifices you've had to make.  To both (and myself): remember that your little ones love you for being you, not for being anyone else.  Maximize the time you get to spend with them as much as you can, and be fully present when you're with them.  That email can wait.

I'm pretty happy when you come get me, too.

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