My 4-year-old is super clingy when I get home in the evening. She follows me everywhere, including the bathroom. And when I’m on the couch she’s stuck to me like glue, making me watch The Finger Family or Surprise Eggs or these strange videos with adults acting out the voices of barbies and crap (if you understand any of these references, I feel your pain).
And although sometimes I’m exhausted and my mind and body scream for a little personal space, I know why she does it.
I’m away from home a lot. I work and go to school five days a week. And when I’m off, I’m grocery shopping or cooking or cleaning or giving baths or doing homework or just trying to keep up with life – all with the goal of getting my girls to bed on time.
But sometimes once they’re in bed and I realize I didn’t have time to read a story or play a game, I feel a little guilty. I mean, I think I’m a good mom. But I’m nowhere near perfect. In fact, I fail often:
Sometimes I get frustrated and yell.
Sometimes my kids eat EGGO waffles or microwave macaroni and cheese for dinner.
Sometimes I forget to ask about homework or sign permission slips or buy the treats I agreed to provide for the class movie day.
My kids get way too much screen time.
I’ll probably never be part of the PTO.
I’m often the last parent to arrive to parent-teacher conferences.
And I forget to work with my preschooler on her alphabet and numbers.
But I’m sure I’m not alone. I’m sure most moms wish they had more of themselves to give their kids. And it’s not just us “regular” moms who feel that way. On a recent episode of The Real, Tamera Mowry talked about the mom guilt she feels. And this is someone who can pretty much give her kids the world. But even she wishes she could give them more of something money can’t buy: her time.
But here’s the thing: Moms shouldn’t feel guilty. You may miss out on some milestones. I mean, my oldest daughter started walking one day while I was at work. And you might be afraid your kids are going to be sitting on a therapist’s couch in 20 years talking about how you were always working.
But they will be okay…I promise.
More and more research shows that kids can benefit from having a working mom. This is especially true for daughters, who complete more years of education, are more likely to be employed and in supervisory roles and to earn higher incomes, according to The New York Times.
And whether you’re a new mom, or an old mom, or a stepmom, or a single mom, or a married mom, or a working mom, or a stay-at-home mom, or a work-from-home mom, or a sick mom, or a well mom or a mother figure…there will still be people who try to find a way to make you feel like you don’t measure up.
You’ll never feed your kids enough vegetables. You’ll never put them in enough activities. You’ll never bake enough cookies. You’ll never buy them enough stuff – or you’ll buy them too much stuff and spoil them.
But you know what? WHO CARES!
What I’ve learned over 8.5 years of motherhood is that you have to do what’s best for yourself and best for your family, regardless of what anyone thinks you should do. And if anyone has a problem with it, get rid of them to make more room for people who support you.
If no one told you today: You’re killing this parenting thing, mama! Keep it going!