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3 Ways to Show Mom Guilt the Door

by Andrea Updyke

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We had quite a bit of snow here in Raleigh, NC yesterday. Here in the south, any snow event is a big deal. But to see several inches of powder in our front yard is pretty amazing. That said, as a work at home mom, I’m pulled in a couple different directions and no matter how I may try to go with the flow, it’s tough. Mom guilt is involved and I really get so tired.

If you’re a mom finding yourself somewhere in between your own feelings today, I want you to know you aren’t alone.

Read: Unintended Rest is Still Rest

As I share some of my photos from our pretty snow day, I want you to see them but also know the feelings I was experiencing. We had a wonderful snow day (and we’re home again today, juggling) but it’s never as simple as a photo is it?

rosemary snow in yard

I spent yesterday working, answering emails and had a conference call. I was at my desk more than I wasn’t. I also got up and made cookies and got outside with the kids. We had dinner together. We talked. I broke up arguments. I wanted to do all of those things (well except for the arguments). But I also felt stretched thin.

I think this happens so often in motherhood. We have all of these desires and ideas for mom life and they are good. We want to make memories with our kids and take all the pictures. We want to laugh and savor the moments. Yet our pesky responsibilities get in the way and that’s when we get tired and need a break. That’s when we realize that maybe we don’t want to be with the kids right now. And of course, that’s when the guilt creeps in.

oscar snow day

brothers snow day

Go After Grace

I find myself in this place more often than I want to admit. And when I really stop and think about it, I believe I become trapped by my own expectations. I think many of us do this without even thinking. We hear the words “snow day!” and think playing, sledding, hot chocolate, movies, cookies!

But if you work from home and some of these things don’t happen or maybe they happen without you, it’s real tempting to feel guilty for …what? Not doing every single thing or throwing every single snowball? Moms, we do NOT need to take this on.

When we recognize mom guilt trying to weasel its way in, we have to stop, turn around and go after grace. It’s perfectly ok to let dad take the lead on some activities or to send the kids off on their own. In some cases, it’s probably better.

It’s BETTER.

Read: Hang On, Mamas

dad in snow

building snowman with dad

build a snowman

Snowday Snowman

Reset Expectations

Does it sound like I’m talking to myself? Well I am. I struggle with the kind of mom I am or want to be all the time. I think it’s completely normal and I’m willing to talk about it. The struggle is real and there should be no shame in admitting it.

I want to be “the fun mom” but life happens and more often than not I’m the cook, the disciplinarian, the homework helper, the confidant. I love being all of those things too, but when it’s time for fun, sometimes I participate and sometimes I give myself a pass. I walk around and take photos, I throw a snowball or two and then I head back inside to catch my breath in the quiet. I know they’ll be by my side again any minute.

It’s ok to grab alone time when you need it and it’s ok to cherish it, guilt free. We all need a reset sometimes. And sometimes it’s our own expectations that need it the most.

mama in snow

yard snowy trees

rosemary snow

When we allow ourselves the space to catch our breath, it makes play so much better. It becomes something special, something magical. And for a few moments, we get to be that mom who lives in our heads and our hearts.

There is no perfect plan for each day. And on the days when we get a curve ball like several inches of snow and life has to shift around to accommodate it, we have to give ourselves the grace to allow for catching our breath, taking a moment and shifting perspective. It’s not selfish, it’s essential.

Calvin snowy day

Snowman with mom and kids

kids playing in snow

Keep Moving

Being a mother is one of the greatest joys of my life. It’s also a constant education and a gut check. It’s beautiful, exhausting, demanding, rewarding, exciting, confusing and fulfilling.

It’s a lot to process and sometimes moms feel several of these things at once. So be there. Allow for a moment of mom guilt. Breathe in, release what doesn’t help and hang on to what brings life to you and your family.

family snowman

Then tomorrow when the sun comes up, you’ll be ready to do it all over again. And that’s a truly beautiful thing.

sunrise with blue sky and snow

snowy trees and blue sky

Do you have any tips for beating mom guilt when life throws you a curve ball? Even if it’s a pretty one? Share below in the comments!

And if you have any snow day pics, come share them on my Facebook page!

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Motherhood is full of curve balls. Here are 3 tips to show mom guilt the door so you can enjoy parenting with grace.

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2 comments

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2 comments

Andrea Bates January 18, 2018 - 11:01 am

Such a beautiful piece, Andrea. Thank you for sharing it. Here, I did get out and sort of play w. my kiddo. It’s mom and me time when it snows, which is our norm, but yes, I have work to do and coffee to drink and reading to get done and so many things that when I say I don’t want to I feel horribly guilty. It’s so hard to let those feelings go.

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Andrea Updyke January 18, 2018 - 12:50 pm

It really is. We feel like we should always say yes but when we can’t or simply don’t want to it seems wrong. But it’s not! Saying no (and teaching our kids to hear no) is so important. Hang in there and ENJOY your downtime when you can get it.

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