Does anyone else suffer from Mommy Guilt?
It never ceases to amaze me the butterflies that disrupt my delicate stomach as I head out the door without any attachments. Just my purse, my keys, and me. Oh and of course don't forget those darn little fluttering bugs inside me!
My husband is a huge blessing to me. He is not one of those guys that for some reason thinks its the wife's job to tote the children around, regardless of a perfectly capable daddy sitting at home doing basically nothing. Note to the guys, if they are your kids its not considered babysitting for you to watch them, its just your job as the other half of the team that made them to also help with their care! So it shouldn't be necessary to get permission from you if we want to leave the house without the children occasionally. But as I already mentioned, I do NOT have one of those husbands.
My Jon is supportive of me going out for frivolous or fruitful excursions quite often. I think sometimes he even feels annoyed as I linger in the hall, reminding him one more time what to feed the kids, when they should be up from their naps, requesting if he has a chance and doesn't mind could he give the baby a quick bath. Then after stepping out the door, I turn right back around to come in and throw in the extra reminder that the diaper cream is right beside the diapers, so he should be sure to use it since the baby has a bad rash. Again I make it to the door, only to realize I actually forgot to grab my cell phone, you know just in case he has a question to ask me or if I remember something urgent to share with him, like that older sister should definitely have a glass of milk with her next meal, she needs the calcium after all.
Somehow I do eventually make it all the way down to the car and turn it on. The butterflies have turned to bowling balls by now, rolling around my insides, as I roll out of the parking lot. The heaviness usually stays with me until about half way through my outing, though I always have my phone well within reach and check it for a missed call often- though how I could miss one the way my hand hovers near it I don't know!
So why do I suffer from this 'mommy guilt' when I go out alone? Have I become so ingrained in the role of mommy that I don't know who I am without those little hands to hold? Motherhood has become so second nature to me that its like breathing, but take away my air and I begin to suffocate! My kids are like the air to me, I need them, I have given so much of myself to them, its hard to stand from all the holes inside of me when we aren't together. I feel lightheaded, the air is thin.
I know someday these feelings will change. I will grow as my children do and eventually I will have to let go. I will have to find myself again, not as a mommy, but as me.
Who was I before the kids? Someone I don't think I could ever be again, because motherhood has changed my life so drastically, but as with anything I have grown from it and I am stronger for it. But I will grow to worry less about them, to enjoy sleeping in without the internal alarm going off when I expect them up, without the constant clutter of toys or crumbs to clean from the floor. Of course by then, it will be new little hands to hold in my own worn and wrinkled hands, new crumbs to clean from the floor again as well as toys cluttering my living room.
But for now this is who I am. I am mommy, mother, mama, and mom. It's just another adventure God has set before me and I am excited for each challenge it presents, even learning to let go gradually as they grow and maybe someday the 'mommy guilt' will pass.