Monday, August 8, 2011

You Are Not a Bad Mom

If you are a mom, my hope is that this post will make you nod your head, smile, and laugh a bit. If you're a mom-to-be, my hope is that you will read this, file it away, and refer to it a few months from now. If you're not a mom, and never plan to be one, file this in your "new parents are nuts" folder and move on.

Mom guilt. It's a phrase I'd heard many times before I had a baby, but I never really understood it until I became a mom (one of the many, many things in this category). It pretty much comes with anything you do for yourself. It's starting to get better at 10.5 months postpartum, but I don't think it ever truly goes away, as becoming a parent instantly means that your life is no longer about you.

I've been thinking of the things that activate my mom guilt, and I thought it might be good to put together a list, not to remind myself of all the things I shouldn't be doing, but rather to remind myself that it is ok to do the things I need to do. We've all heard it a million times - you are a better mom if you take care of yourself. (I personally repeat this mantra in my head as I enjoy a well-deserved glass of pinot grigio after Molly goes to bed. That and "Wine makes it all better." Chant it with me - "I'm a better mom with wine." Wait...)

At any rate, here is my list. Feel free to add along. Heck, feel free to print it out, put it on your fridge, your bedroom mirror, your car dashboard, or your office desk. Whatever you do, remember that it is ok to be who you've always been and be a mom.

  • go to the bathroom, and sit for more than 30 seconds.
  • take a shower, and enjoy the peace and quiet.
  • go to work and make money for my family.
  • send my child to daycare.
  • order take-out instead of cooking.
  • sleep in and let someone else get up with the baby.
  • enjoy a date night.
  • enjoy a girls night...or weekend.
  • make the decision to stop breastfeeding.
  • take a nap.
  • don't cry when I leave my baby's side.
  • give my child some alone time.
  • follow my head instead of my heart when it comes to important decisions.
  • follow my heart instead of my head when it comes to important decisions.
  • put a screaming baby down and take a minute to re-focus.
  • sit and watch tv, read a book, craft, or zone out instead of cleaning the house while the baby naps.
  • continue to do and appreciate the things that made me who I am before I had children.
  • just need a break.
I know there are a zillion more things I could add to this list, but I'm feeling guilty for sitting for so long. Just kidding! (Kind of).  So I ask my mom readers - what would you add?


  1. Not cooking your college student a home cooked meal 2 or 3 times a week (when you don't get home to cook yourself a meal until 7 or 8 o'clock)

    Saying 'No I can't watch the grandchildren tonight because I have got home late every night this week-I'm exhausted, and I have to work tomorrow.'

    You see Sweetie-it never ends

  2. Love this post!!! When I go grocery shopping, sometimes I bring my book so I can read in peace for 10 minutes before I go in to the store :)

  3. Kristina,
    This is a fabulous assertion (or bunch of assertions!) Thanks for reminding us all :) I would add, "I'm not a bad mom if I take time to work on my blog instead of picking up the house after bedtime." Check out my new one, lifebythebeans right here on blogger!

  4. When I say "no" and let him cry about it.