Help Wanted vs Mommy Guilt

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I haven’t posted in a while. I seem to be developing a trend. Yet another thing I’m failing at. I have about fifty million ideas for posts but haven’t written any of them. Mainly, I get to the end of the day and I just want to collapse into bed, play my five lives of Candy Crush, watch a little Lois and Clark, and collapse into a coma of exhaustion. I have a lot going on. I lead the preschool at my church, I lead a bible study and attend a separate one, I’m on the PTO, and I’m training for triathlons. Combine this with trying to make sure I have time with all three if my kids and my husband, it’s really not surprising I would feel tired and overwhelmed at times. But I have always been good at keeping a sense of humor about things and sometimes I think I come across as though I’ve got it all under control. This is a complete fabrication.
Because honestly, there are days where I look at myself and decide I am failure. I am already a fairly neurotic person, just ask Sir Smiley. I am a bundle of insecurities, mixed with a sprinkle of laziness, with a dash of common sense, wrapped up in a twisted sense of humor. Not to mention I’m very social, and yet an introvert which probably makes me an enigma. (one moment. King Toot has somehow found a stash of glue sticks and is finding innumerable uses for them…must intervene…) Add that to the typical guilt and constant worrying that will plague even the most mellow of parents and I am often close to the edge. Of what? Not sure…I’ll let you know when I plunge over the edge.
All this to say, if you see a mom out there that as it all together all the time…it’s a big, fat lie. We can’t do it all on our own. This is, of course, the mantra of all good Christian churches. It’s pretty much the basis of Christianity and yet it never seems to sink in. This isn’t to say that Jesus will miraculously appear in my living room and turn my water to wine to help me relax. He does tell us we can’t do it on our own and gives us permission to fail and yet loves us the same. But He also sends me people to help. Like, my husband. Daddy should probably help right? But of course in my mind I think of how stressful his job is and how I want him to be refreshed and ready to deal with all the crap he has to deal with. I give myself a guilt complex before I even ask for help. But then I wander around cranky and about to have a nervous breakdown and then feel guilty that I’m inflicting my bad mood on the rest of my family. Which then causes me to feel guilty about the fact that my insecurities are making everyone walk on egg shells. I know…neurotic is me. I have even started developing an eye twitch.
As moms we feel like we should have it all together. We should be bonded with our kids, constantly patient and loving, have all the answers, do fun and interactive crafts we find on Pinterest, feed our children only healthy and balanced meals, and just in general be the Donna Reed of the 21st century.

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This lady I will never be…

But when I look at what often drives me…it’s either fear of failure or it’s to keep up with everyone else’s expectations. But in reality none of us have all the answers, and what works for one family won’t necessarily work for another. No one has it all together all the time, and every one of us has had those moments where we lose it at our kids. We have all felt like failures. Parenting is moments of pure joy you never thought possible mixed with moments of aggravation you never thought possible. It’s a roller coaster of the emotional spectrum. My number one rule has been “Mommy’s sanity comes first”. Because no matter how “perfectly” you do it, if YOU’RE not happy than your kids won’t be. Sometimes I need to remind myself of that, and also remind myself that to ask for help is not weakness…it just means you’re humble enough to put your family’s well being above your own self-image of perfection.

Note: I wrote this while dealing with one sick and clingy kid, one hellion bent on destruction, and one kid stuck in the middle who just wanted to be left alone and never was. If the post seemed a little rambly, I’ll blame it on that.

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