Mom guilt. The two words I attempt to ignore and claim do not exist in my life. The reality is I am a big fat liar if I actually identify that as my truth.
I feel drowned in mom guilt many days, and it usually is because I feel like I am not succumbing to a certain genre of Facebook posts and random blogs. You know, the ones titled “Slow Down Mommy, ” “I Am Only Little Once,” “Cherish Every Moment Mama, ” “The Last Day She Nursed,” I could go on and on. I am not against these posts, in fact many times I read them and find myself crying like a newborn, and vow to more joyfully soak in the little moments. Yes, I may feel a tad guilty when I don’t cherish the days when I have laundry piled to the ceiling, crayon marks on the wall, and a 1 yr old beating up the 3yr old – but that is life, right?
About a month ago I was working the local Sons of Italy Italian Fall Festa, prepping salads and serving up foccacia, when I struck a conversation with the wife of our club’s president. She was saying how much of a good mom I was and how darling my little ladies were. I of course thanked her, but followed it up with a statement that bled mom guilt – “sometimes I just feel ‘blahh!” All the stuff out there talks about cherishing the here and now while they are little. I do that, but some days I am just overwhelmed and feel guilty!”. What she said next is what actually inspired me to write this post (Thanks Libby!).
She reminded me that someday, yes, our children may physically be too big to sit on our laps. To be cuddled and rocked to sleep. To be tucked in bed and to hold our hands when we walk down the street. But, the reality of motherhood is that our laps will never be too small for them. They will, and can, forever be on our laps. Through our love as mothers our laps will always be there for them. Yes, yes,YES!
We don’t have to fret when we read that blog post about the last time we rock them to sleep. For sure, I dread that day, don’t get me wrong. BUT we can rock them, cuddle and love them throughout their lives. Screw that mom guilt, mama. Yes, we must enjoy the here and now and breath in their fresh baby skin that will one day be covered in acne cream. But it’s ok to look forward to the years to come. To the adventures to come. To the last day you change that poop diaper. It is ok.
They will need our laps during boyfriend breakups, test failures, sports team cuts, and sickness.
They will need our lap when they trip and fall, have a bra mishap at their first dance, and don’t get into the first college of their choice.
They will need our lap when they feel alone and ugly, when they feel left out and cheated, when they feel life is unfair, when they have lost faith.
They will need our lap when they move into their first apartment and pay their first bill.
They will need our lap the night before they walk down the aisle and wonder what the heck they are doing.
They will need our lap when they have their first child, and are ready to lose their marbles.
They will need our lap when they just need it. Just because we are their mamas.
Don’t drown yourself in mom guilt when the next post of newborn bliss shows up on your news feed. Embrace it, look at how you can change one thing in your day to help you soak in the moments, and then move on. I, for one, am a sucker for drowning myself in feeling like I have failed my children when I live a day of total distraction. A day of nothing but answering to the calls of little people and forgetting just that – that they are little people who will grow up. This is my work in progress. Always progressing. Always failing. Always refining. Grasp motherhood like a sharp knife. With meaning and focus. Motherhood is not for the weary, or the faint at heart.
Remembers mamas, while one day they may not ask to sit on your lap, your lap will never be too small for your babies. They are, and can be, forever on your lap.