I knew moms could dish guilt and I'm sure I'll be guilty (ha - no pun intended) of that in the very near future if I'm not already, but I was not prepared for the amount of guilt I feel on a regular basis as a mother. Recently my husband's uncle died and he drove up to South Carolina for the funeral. He was gone 3 full days and during that time my good friend Lori came over to help me with the kids. Let me just say, having a live-in babysitter is great! One night I went to tae kwon do class while Lori put the kids to bed and the next night I went to kickboxing while she watched them and after I got home I hired a teenager to put them to bed and Lori and I went out with some other ladies for margaritas! The next morning I said to Lori, "I should mow the grass. Will you hang out for a little while so I can do that?" It was terrific, but boy, did I feel guilty. That's a lot of babysitting for my kids to endure. At the same time, my kids love Lori and she loves them. Same with Kelli, the teenager who kept them for Margarita Friday. Plus, I spend a lot of time with my kids. A LOT. I'm with them all day, every day. And by no means do I think working mothers who put their kids in daycare should feel bad about it, so why do I feel so guilty about leaving my kids with a babysitter for a couple of hours to go out with friends or my husband or to exercise, babysitters that they love and who love them?
Another thing that makes me feel guilty is when I deny my kids something so I can have something else. Not material goods, usually it's activities. My son loves to watch train videos on YouTube. I like to blog and waste time on Facebook. Still, sometimes I feel guilty telling him no, go play when I'm on the computer and he wants it.
Ugh, mother guilt. I never knew it was so bad on the other side.
Someone asked me once how I want my children to see me. I said I want them to think I'm strong, intelligent, and tough. So maybe I should stop feeling guilty. After all, what I show them when I leave them with babysitters are these things: It's important for Mommy and Daddy to spend time together without you; our marriage matters. Mommy needs to exercise; exercise is important for all of us. Mommy needs time with her friends; we all need good friends. Also, it is not safe for you to be in the yard while someone is using a lawn mower!