How much is “my best” as a mom?
Am I really momming as hard as I possibly can 24/7? Is what I am doing only the best I can do? Why am I crying right now? Why do I feel so damn guilty?
I am an over worked stay at home mom. It’s only been six months since I quit my full-time job. I still work. I work all the time. I struggle to find balance. I sometimes break routine with my kids in favor of getting things done, far more often than to pay more attention to them. I suck.
I have stubborn kids. You probably would disagree. They listen fairly well in public and say “yes, Mommy” when prompted. But when Mommy is sitting at her desk writing, trying to make enough money to justify even being at home to raise them is, of course, when they need my undivided attention.
I do my best to structure the day around them and their needs. They eat and nap and go to school on time. We play and learn together. They go outside and enjoy whatever season it is that day. They know mommy loves them and they smile and are happy. Their needs are met.
But the times when I turn my back to them to face my computer is when I make the choice to fail as a mom (this is a crass view point. I am super hard on myself and all people see is my determination, when in actuality, it’s my fear of failure… even as a mom).
So, when the doors are close, I hyper-perform. I am crazy productive and when it is time to stop working, I go into mom-overdrive. I stop everything and eat meals with them at the dinner table. I teach them how to do new chores and make it fun to be mommy’s helper. I do arts and crafts, sing and dance, read and tell stories, and I make sure that they are well rounded people.
But the GUILT I carry, ignoring them to work when I could be smiling and drawing with them. Saying “uh-huh. That’s great honey, but Mommy is busy right now.” Seems like such a damn cop-out to actually being present. I’d almost rather be back at work so that I am not physically ignoring my children while making a living.
I know that this is something that I will let go of. I know that there has to be balance, and they will learn to be self-soothing and independent little people who are happy that mommy is also happy. I know there will be a day when they are in school all day and I will miss them and maybe even regret (crying again) turning back to my computer. But I also know that this investment in my education and writing will give me the freedom to spend more time with them down the road.
And while we’re here, let’s talk about “being too hard on yourself.”
First of all, you’re welcome. Hard on Herself Dacia is the one that is on time. That makes promises and follows through. That is nice and honest for the sole purpose of being able to fall asleep at night. Hard on Herself Dacia will be a best-seller, award winner, a team player, a mentor, a teacher, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to vent to. Hard on Herself Dacia is the one that shows up and organizes when no one else does.
I do allow myself some grace, but not much. It is hard to do the right thing sometimes, but cutting corners bothers me. Cutting corners doesn’t make me the best writer, 3.9 GPA student, the “got her shit together” mom, the “runs the household” wife. I set goals and I reach them. Not because you expect me to, but because what is the point in all of this if failing is an option. If I fail it’s because I didn’t try hard enough, or never started to begin with (for my fitness friends, Monday is always the day, and then oops, wait til NEXT Monday lol). I lost 20 pounds for crying out loud. But these last 10, well… apparently they are fond of me.
ANYWAY. I definitely don’t feel like the best mom. It’s not something I can just schedule into my day like the rest of the things. It’s the variable that keeps me on my toes and the constant thing that gives me the drive to try so damn hard at everything else. Maybe it is as hard as I can, because momming is pretty damn hard to begin with.