Mommy guilt

As much as I would like to say that I am a confident and calm parent, there have been many situations that have challenged my grip on my, lets call it personal serenity. Having children humbles you. Parenting takes a self focused, independent, professional woman and transforms her into a crazy, unshowered hermit.

When we do leave the house, I can really only deal with one, MAYBE two, errands at a time. And *every* time we have to find the public restroom in what ever store we visit. Except last Friday, I just wanted to do a quick trip to Target. Really nothing is quick with 2 kids, 3 years and 20 months. Everyone peed before leaving the house and honestly, I don’t think we were in the store for more than 20 minutes. Then we were out without anyone asking for a potty (glee!) and made it home. Then as I’m taking stuff in the house, kids are playing with toys in the garage, not 2 minutes from me pulling them out of their carseats, Fiona (my 20 month old), says “potty, potty, potty!”. I run to her and she’s completely peed down her pants and socks and shoes.

Mommy guilt. I just wanted to do a quick errand. I didn’t offer a pottytunity pre-emptively at the store, in the car, or immediately after taking Fiona out of the carseat. I was trying to take care of my own needs quickly, and Fiona couldn’t wait. It was just one miss and there’s been countless others in her lifetime, but this one reminded me of my ever present struggle to put my kids’ needs first.

There’s a list a mile long of things for mommy’s to feel guilty about and EC isn’t supposed to add to the list. It’s supposed to be a tool to help cross off the other things that can make a mommy feel guilty about, like diaper rash, food sensitivities, soothing a baby’s cries when they don’t want to poop on themselves, environmental impact, and battles with toddlers over going in the potty. I love EC and how it’s empowered me. Parenting, on the other hand, has been like a refiner’s fire. It has sought out the ugly aspects of my character to incinerate them and hopefully leave a better person in it’s wake. EC was the first arm of parenting I’ve experienced. And I hope that I don’t shrink back from the future things that will make me a better human and a better mom for my girls.

It’s a priveledge to have 2 precious children to be charged with their care and nurture. It’s such a huge weight that mommy guilt seems to creep around every corner waiting to pounce. What is the solution? I think the only solution is mercy and forgiveness. Everyday I have to find it. Support from other mommies is tremendous in cutting down the mommy guilt. I’m not always confident, or put together. I don’t have all the answers. I’m on the journey trying to do the best I can. That’s mercy. Sometimes I blow it. I try to do better. That’s forgiveness. Hopefully I will have learned BOATLOADS of mercy and forgiveness for my children as they grow up and know how to bestow it on them.

-Gayleen

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