It seems like lately I have been reading a lot of blogs that start with apologies. Apologies for complaining, apologies for not ALWAYS being happy, apologies for not having it together all the time and having to admit we are human. I am sure I have started plenty of posts like that. But why?
Primarily, I am talking about women, and specifically mothers. So my question is, what are we apologizing for? Are we no less human than those who have desk jobs and sucky commutes and frustrating clients to deal with? Aren’t we allowed to get annoyed from time to time? How about sad? Fed up? My answer is yes.
Before I was a mom, I had it all figured out. Like everyone else. But everything changed upon having a baby. It has to. And yes parenting can be really hard on you at times. Staying at home all day brings its own set of challenges along with the joys. And guess what? I don’t think we need to apologize for admitting it. AT ALL.
Here’s my theory. At least as it applies to me, you can take it or leave it. As women, especially my generation which followed the women’s movement and had a lot of battles fought for me, we are told we can do anything, be anything, if we try hard enough. You want a career? YOU GOT IT. Baby? You can have that too! Both? SURE! But I think what gets lost in translation is that while, yes these opportunities are far more available than ever before, we aren’t ALL meant to take them ALL. Right?
So growing up I had a laundry list of careers in case my dream of being a stay-at-home-mom didn’t come true. Yes that really was my dream. I decided my “back up plans” would be to be a Supreme Court Justice or a Foreign Ambassador to some kickass country with cool buildings, or maybe a Missionary, or a Spanish Translator! I married and divorced at a young age and went to college a little later than most. I realized that I really didn’t want those things for my life after all. That for me, it all paled in comparison to building a home and a family. I had a career that paid the bills, but it had absolutely no place in my heart.
And then I got it. I met an amazing man and married him. We had a baby. I got my dream and I am here, living it! So many people don’t get that! Therefore, I am absolutely under no circumstances allowed to complain. Ever.
Enter the Mom Guilt.
Mom Guilt tells me that I am ungrateful, unloving and lazy. It says that everyone else in the world is better at everything than I am and why do I even bother? Mom guilt is a big fat whorish liar. She can make me feel worse than the prettiest girl and her meanest insult. Why? Because Mom Guilt is inside my head and really knows how to take me down. And I am tired of giving up that power.
I’m telling you it’s a cycle! I know it because I live it. And I just want to say to myself and all the other moms who are feeling this to LAY OFF! Cut yourself some slack and realize that nothing, no matter how hard you tried to get it, is quite what it seems. Everything is flawed some of the time and it’s ok to roll your eyes at the world a bit. Throw your feet up on the couch and watch an America’s Top Model Marathon if you need to and try again tomorrow. No apology necessary.