Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Mother's Guilt

I am a mother. I have two absolutely beautiful, amazing, full of life and wonder...toddlers.

Scarlett is vivacious. She is a red-headed spitfire with a daily goal of trying to argue her father and I into oblivion. And Evan...well he is a person all his own too. He spends his days climbing, toddling, falling, yelling, hitting, playing, eating...and well...he is just a very busy little man.

After a 10 hour work day, I come home to these marvelous little creatures., and I look forward to it all day. But once I am actually home, and chasing those little tyrants...I often have selfish thoughts.

I have seen and heard enough to assume that most parents do. It is only natural to want to do things, or have things just for yourself. Yet, being a mother, when I do want to do things, or have things (even just alone time)...I feel incredibly guilty for it.

You are taught from a young age that when you "grow up" and have children, that you are supposed to sacrifice and do without so that they can flourish and have success in life. What no one bothers to mention is that this leads to an insurmountable level of guilt when you do.

Here are some things that I find myself feeling guilty about as a mother:

Hiding Yummy Food From the Kids for After Bedtime.
I don't indulge in many things sweet. Just not my thing. But I loooove ice cream. And I haaaate having to share it. I don't even like sharing my bowl of ice cream with Dustin. And lord help me if I even open the freezer and the kids see my tub of Edy's Sundae Cone ice cream. They will bug the every loving daylights out of me to get some. Every. Single. Day. until there isn't any left. Call me selfish, but I want to indulge myself a little at night. After a long days work, and then coming home to chase little people; feed them, wash them, wrangle them into bed after about a million trips out of their rooms...I just want to sit down and devour the entire tub. Alone. Watching Netflix. In my house coat. But every time I do I feel absolutely horrible. I feel like I need to wake the kids and share. But I don't. Ring my selfish bell please.

Going To The Grocery Store Alone.
Whenever we need something from the store, Dustin and I will have a formal duel to see who gets to go. He tends to draw faster. Or run out the door faster. I haven't figured it out yet. Either way...whether it is a quick 10 minute trip or day long event...I relish the idea of going to the store alone. And when I do, I always leave one kid or the other standing at the door bawling their eyes out. It absolutely devastates me. I just try not to look back, and stick ear plugs in so I can't hear the heartache at the door. Going to the store and not having to say "No" a million and one times is so luxurious. Going to the store without looking like a crazy person screaming at her kids to be still is so grand. But the guilt of a crying baby can practically eat you alive. No joke.

Taking A Shower Alone And Locking The Door
{GASP} I know. The absolute horror of showering alone, AND locking the door. Who does that? Well I get the joy of this occasion, every now and then. And when I do I will sneak a glass of wine and 3 pieces of dark chocolate in there with me as well...then I turn the music on my phone up to drown out the pleas to be let in. I would love to let them shower with me every time I go in, but in all honesty we are getting old enough to take baths by ourselves. And sometimes mommy just needs the 30 minutes alone especially when I need to shave. Shaving and toddlers...bad idea. They are little recorders and Scarlett loves to be just like Mommy. I'd have heart failure if I caught her with a razor in her hands. But either way, I hate locking them out...even for 30 minutes. It feels like I am telling them that they aren't welcome, and they are. Once I get out of the shower.

Shutting Them Out For Sexy Time
If you are a couple with young just nodded when you read that statement. I can't even tell you how many times Dustin and I have sat the kids down to a movie and popcorn, and locked the doors, just so we can sneak off to our bedroom for some "alone" time. I can't tell you how many of our friends with children, have shamefully admitted to the same thing. Guilty as charged. One of the key ingredients to a happy marriage is having sex, and lots of it. That is so very hard to do when you have kids. And just isolating that time for bedtime isn't going to work either. You need spontaneity and fun, or else its just routine. A Wham-Bam-Thank-You-Ma'am on a Saturday afternoon while the kids are busy can reduce stress and friction. I always feel bad, especially if one of the kids discovers our indiscretion, and yells through the door the whole time. Busted. But we know they will be okay until we are done. Even if we feel fleetingly guilty.

Losing Your Patience and Yelling
Being a parent is so hard, but so rewarding. You may think you know what you are signing up for when you have kids...but TRUST have no idea the task at hand. Toddlers are demanding, evil little creatures. They have a mind all their own. And you are always wrong. And you are always a meany-poopy head when you are wrong, which is always. And the word no...oh boy...don't even think about it. And when you do say no, you tend to lose your mind after you have said it a million times in the last two minutes after they have begged you relentlessly for gummies while you are cooking their dinner. And you yell. And then they run away in fear crying. Because you look like an absolute maniac...with sharp razor teeth and glowing red eyes. Just accept it now that you will yell. And you will feel like the worlds biggest chump when you do. It comes with the territory.

Leaving Them With Grammy For The Night
I love when I get to spend time with Dustin all alone, it doesn't happen often in this crazy busy life we have. I love it even more when we get to go away for more than a couple of hours. Like go away all night. It's exciting knowing we can do whatever we want and stay out as late as we want. We usually go out for dinner, shoot some pool, go to Wal-Mart, and then go home and pass out. We sleep like the dead knowing that we don't have to worry about anyone waking up in the middle of the night because of bad dreams or needing a drink. And we know we will get to "sleep-in". But the whole time we are out and about sans children, all we do is talk about them. Or talk about how much they would love what we are eating, doing, seeing, etc. They really do consume your a good way of course. We always make a point to get them something special or do something special with them to compensate for our guilt. 

I love being a mom, more than anything in this world. I love my babies. I love our life. I love my husband. But I have to take time to stop and love myself. It is hard to do that when you feel guilty for it. I know I shouldn't, and neither should you. Sacrificing for our children, doesn't mean we have to sacrifice who we are as individuals. And it also doesn't mean that we aren't entitled to be a little selfish sometimes.

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