Mom Guilt

What was I doing with my time pre-child? No, really. What on earth was I doing with my time? Because I must have had a lot of free time. Why wasn’t I super-skilled and uber-talented in some cool skill or cut like a diamond from all of my time spent at the gym by the time I got pregnant because in retrospect I had HOURS UPON HOURS OF NOTHING TO DO. Right? I have no explanation for what the hell I was doing.

Photo Credit: http://tinyurl.com/nzqcusj
Photo Credit: http://tinyurl.com/nzqcusj

I had a child, and suddenly I want to be exercising more, learning new skills, participating in various activities. I want to spend time with friends, whether it be in person or on the phone. And since having a child, I also feel the need to make sure that my daughter spends time getting to know extended family, so that means fitting in time to visit grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. Oh. And then there’s work. And going to work tends to make me feel a little guilty sometimes. Well, doing anything that doesn’t include my nuclear family causes me to feel guilty.

Getting one in.
Getting one in.

I realize that this may seem like a silly thing to complain about, and I’m very grateful for having options and the ability to pursue my interests. But leaving my daughter for hours at a time on those “precious” weekends – because that’s exactly what they are when I’m working a Monday through Friday job – to do something that I’m interested in feels a bit selfish.

Sew many interests, sew little time. teehee
Sew many interests, sew little time. Snort.

So, my husband got me a gift certificate for a sewing class for Christmas. I’ve been wanting to learn the basics of my sewing machine and dreamed of making little toddler-sized sun dresses for my daughter and funky skirts for myself for years now. So I signed up. I also took a coupon class with The Crazy Coupon Chick recently. (Back when I wrote this post I had mentioned I was planning to go. It was awesome, by the way, and I highly recommend going if you’re not plagued with a severe case of mom-guilt and dig saving a few bucks.) I’m also focused on running a half marathon next month, which requires getting some longer runs in on the weekend. And then, of course, every five seconds I’m seeing a class or event or activity that I want to participate in.

Fabulous coworker and I with The Crazy Coupon Chick.
Fabulous coworker and I with The Crazy Coupon Chick.

I try to remember that for me, a healthy, happy mom is a mom with her own interests. I want to be able to model for my daughter how important it is to set goals, try new things, have hobbies, and fill time positively. And I want to be a balanced mom. Most importantly, I want to be a mom that is free of a tons of guilt. Because, well, guilt sucks, man. And although I feel that I’ll always carry around some extra guilt (cause that’s how I do), well, I have to draw the line somewhere.

CP's first grown up ladies' luncheon.
CP’s first grown up ladies’ luncheon.

So, here’s where the balance comes in. I’ve been banking a lot of my accrued vacation time and have decided to use those days for not just “me” time, but time to spend with my daughter. So last Friday, we went to a ladies’ luncheon with my older cousins. And then we went to visit Grandma. Maybe another day off to get in that long run? Sure, why not? And it takes some of the pressure off of those “precious” weekend days. I’m even trying to talk girlfriends into taking a planned hooky day! So, who’s down?

4 thoughts on “Mom Guilt

  1. YES! What did I do with all that extra time & MONEY?! Great post Tara. I know what you mean about feeling guilty doing anything by yourself on the weekend because the weekend is the time you get to see your family the most, I’m totally with you there. But I love that you are choosing to let go of the guilt and still do things that make you YOU – I agree that’s really important too. Glad your class with The Crazy Coupon Chick went well!!

    1. Oh! I forgot to even mention that! Yes … daycare is like a second mortgage! If I had a nickel for every time that I commented to my husband, “Who would have known that this whole time we could have found the money to afford a little vacation house?”

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