Friday, December 2, 2011

I refuse to feel guilty.

There's this weird thing that goes on among parents, or mainly moms. We get this weird complex and hold ourselves, and others, to these impossibly high standards. We sit in our playgroups carefully watching our kids interactions with the other kids and thinking, "Oh, my little Johnny is definitely more advanced than little Timmy." Or we embellish stories of our kids, making them sound smarter, brighter, more advanced, etc. than their peers.

Your Suzie was walking at 11 months? That's nothing, my little Sally was already being scouted for the 2024 Olympic Gymnastic team.

Don't even get me started on our houses. Maybe this is just me, but I always feel the pressure to have my house clean. Not just clean, but super organized and guest ready. I've relaxed a little bit since having three children, realizing that cleaning while the boys are awake is like raking leaves while the kids are outside playing. I get something clean, go to clean something else and turn around to find that my clean living room has been turned into fort land. (Not to be confused with Fort Dodge, fort land has a little more going for it...ha!)

So, since that little digital sign told me that I was pregnant over 6 years ago I've had this nagging sense of guilt and feeling of not being good enough, not being held up to the right standard.

I work outside of the home and *gasp* my children go to some form of daycare. According to some people, that means my children will be maladjusted miscreants, who should only hold out hope of getting menial jobs which may or may not include asking if someone would like fries with that (I'm only slightly exaggerating this).

I will sometimes get a babysitter and go to a morning movie on my day off of work. And yes, while some people have "their priorities straight" (direct quote from a mom of another kindergarten when she heard me say I was going to the movies one morning) I will occasionally partake in a movie and popcorn and soda ALL BY MYSELF and watch what I want to watch.

And today, after spending the morning hanging with a dear friend I went back to my house with all intentions of cleaning while the boys napped. Instead, I curled up in bed with Aaron and we read books and giggled and I fell asleep and woke up covered in stickers because apparently, Aaron didn't fall asleep. :)

And you know what, I still have Cheerios all over my kitchen floor and laundry in the washer/dryer from the day before yesterday(?), but Aaron had a giggly time with his Mommy and I had got to spend some good one on one time with my poor neglected middle child.

And I don't feel guilty.


Anonymous said...

I am so privileged to be your "dear friend" whose time with you today was worth much more than my planned trip to the gym, and organizing and filing, and certainly worth more than cleaning! Those things have not near the value as filling up our friendship tank. Love you Carrie!

Unknown said...

You know, I was that Mom and wife with the impossible, self imposing standards, always judging myself by what were the "right priorities." I even tried holding my family to my standards until one day James told me that it was not important. He wanted me to sit with him on the couch and watch TV because he did not care what the house looked like. The kids wanted their mommy on the couch watching TV, too, and they did not care that the house was messy. It was me, all me! I do think that was my aha moment. I realized that my precious little time with my family is just that, precious, and my deploying husband and school age children did not need to remember every waking moment at home with me yelling at them to clean, clean, clean! So I am getting over my insecurities and owning my feelings, as hard as it is, and being a little more reasonable about what are priorities. After all, won't the laundry, dishes, and toys find their way back to my cleaning list tomorrow anyway?! Sometimes it can wait! I don't feel guilty... as much as I did before, anyway! Thank you, Carrie, for your post!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post, I still to this day feel guilty but am letting go little by little. This helps me...get my priorities straight... ;)