Monday Musings: Shelving the Mom Guilt
Mom guilt is real and can be all-consuming, if we let it be. As the working mom of three busy and active kids, I can't be everywhere all the time. I rely on many to help keep our family going each day and week.
I oftentimes have to miss one of my child's games, performances or meetings. In these instances, I find myself frustrated and guilt-ridden even when my husband can attend without me. As my children get older, I find the "missing out" moments are more frequent and with that I feel more guilt.
A few months ago, my youngest had an overnight campout. It was on a weekend our older kids had commitments. I couldn't be at all the events so my husband and I had to split up. He took our youngest on her camping excursion, and I stayed home to manage the rest of the weekend's schedule.
Although I'm not a fan of camping, I still felt a lot of guilt for not going when the majority of the young girls in attendance would be there with their moms. When I thought about it too much, I started to feel a bit sick.
As the weekend approached, my daughter became so excited! Thrilled to have her dad with her, she was also a little melancholy I wouldn't be coming along. Admittedly, I was, too, but I didn't want her to know.
When they came home Sunday afternoon from the campout, my daughter was beaming with excitement. She couldn't wait to tell me all about the hiking, campfire songs, making s'mores and the funny memories she made with her dad. She showed me photos and videos. It warmed my heart that she didn't miss a beat without me. If anything, I was relieved she made wonderful memories with her dad.
My husband had fun, too, as I could tell when he retold stories. It was then that I was reminded that my daughter needs me, but I'm not the only one who can make her experiences fulfilling. Although she was one of the only girls without her mom, she made everlasting memories with her dad and what a gift that was for the both of them!
Had I given into my mom guilt and attended instead of my husband, I would have denied her a weekend of father-daughter bonding and memories she will carry with her forever. They still talk about the campout and it warms my heart that it's their special memory.
Earlier this week, I received an email about the spring campout next month. As soon as I told my daughter about it, she asked "can dad and I go?!" I smiled big and said said, "Dad will have to check his schedule but I am sure he would love to go."
I was right. He didn't hesitate to say yes. And this time I don't feel any mom guilt. I'm completely content.