Guilt, Thy Name is MOM

Today was an eventful day.  I took my kids to the dentist.  It was a simple procedure they both needed to get done.  It wasn’t supposed to take too long, but the kids were nervous about going either way.  I had set the appointment for 1 pm that day because I despise mornings and morning activities.

The babes went in and did well.   I am happy to know that their first dental procedure went without them being in pain or fear of their dentist.  Most of you parents can relate.  If the first one doesn’t go well, you may have a hard time getting your children to go back.  I avoid dentists as much as a I can to this very day.

After everything was finished and we were headed home for lunch, my sweet daughter asked about going to the park.  I did not want to go and a wave of guilt began to wash over me.  Like… so much guilt y’all.  I had to let her know that I wasn’t up to it.  So, I took a deep breath and said the word, “No”.  Disappointment and defeat filled the air as I pulled into the nearby fast food place for a treat.  I had made the quick stop to purchase tasty hot fries for the kiddos.  I mean they had just went through a major (MINOR) dental procedure and they deserved this treat.  Eh, who am I kidding?  I just didn’t feel like preparing lunch at home. That’s when my daughter got the brilliant idea to ask if they could instead go to the play area inside the fast food place.  I failed to mention that before this exchange, I had just gotten off the phone with my husband.  I was just letting him know how the appointment went and that we were stopping to grab some fries.  He had made the same statement about going inside and allowing the kids to play.  Making it sound so easy.  “You can literally just sit down and let them go at it.” He says.   At this point I’m swimming in guilt because my answer had still been “no”.  Now, my husband wasn’t trying to make me feel bad, he was just making a suggestion he thought would help (I love him…*sigh*).

At the end of it all, the kids were disappointed, but fine.  I, on the other hand, had so much guilt that I couldn’t even enjoy my hot fries.  I LOVE hot fries.  What exactly did I have guilt about?  I felt bad because my children asked me to go to the park and I said no.  More than that, my children who can play by themselves independently asked could they go to the park and I said no.  They even settled for an indoor park at a fast food place with air conditioning so I could sit down in peace and I still said no. I’m drowning in guilt.  What happened next was amazing.  After lunch the kids told me they enjoyed their day and took a nap.  Wait, what?  All that complaining earlier just for them to tell me they enjoyed their day?  I couldn’t believe it.  I had put all of this pressure on myself for no reason at all.  They were fine.  They were better than fine because they were currently getting a good nap in.

Moms, have you ever heard other parents say that if you can say “yes” then do so?  There is this notion that we should say “yes” as much as we can because we will have more chances to say “no” in the future.  It’s something about making your life easier as a mom if it’s not adding any extra work on your part.  Either way, I’m here to soak that “notion” with gasoline and light it on fire.  Say “no” moms.  Even if you don’t need a break, but just don’t feel like it, say no.  Your obligations as a parent do not include you running yourself into the ground because of guilt.  They do include you being the best version of you.  Sometimes the best version of you includes not going to the park on a perfectly sunny day.  This goes for every area in motherhood.  Are there some times where we have to push ourselves?  Yes, but not if the result means resentment towards your little ones.  Or throwing away perfectly good fries from your favorite fast food place (I’m still mad at myself for that).  Society has already placed enormous amounts of pressure on moms, especially SAHMs (stay at home moms).  Don’t add any more to the pile.  It’s called self -care and we all need it. I dare say, moms more than most.  You are enough and the amount of love you put into your family is enough.  Skip the park this one time, settle in your moment, swallow the inevitable guilt (cause it still may come up), and have some fries.