Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mommy Guilt

The leaves are coming down and there's a chill in the air.  It is definitely fall around here.  Last fall/winter, I struggled to "make-do" with the clothes that were already hanging in my closet.  At the beginning of the season this year, I decided to refresh my wardrobe with some new items.  I had four main targets: some new church outfits, a new coat, new jeans, and a new pair of corduroy pants.  I have found a couple new church items, but haven't yet shopped for a coat.  The biggest obstacle, by far, has been the jeans and cords.

Like most women, I am not 100% happy with my body, but I am at a place in life where I am s-l-o-w-l-y coming to accept the body I have been given.  I am not about to divulge my actual weight or pant size on the internet for everyone on the planet to see.  I will simply say that I am not skinny, but I am also not overweight.  If I do the math, my BMI is within the normal/average range (this was recently confirmed by an actual doctor during a routine exam.) Given that information, one would think that it shouldn't be too difficult for an "average" size woman to find an average pair of jeans - especially this time of year, when you can go into any store and find tons of jeans.  However, in the last two weeks, I have tried on at least 25 pairs of jeans and cords in 5 different stores.  I have seen everything from bootcut to skinny; dark washed to crazy colors; and slim fit to curvy fit.  (I even saw a style for "curvy figures" in a size 2.  Seriously, what curvy woman could wear a size 2???  Isn't that a bit of an oxymoron?)  Finally, today, I found a pair that fit.  I think I actually even heard a Halleluiah chorus in the background.  Even better, they were on sale!!!!!  So guess what - I bought two pairs!!!!!

Why then, after all that, did I literally have knots of guilt in my stomach when, in retrospect, I considered the $56.00 I had just spent on - gasp - MYSELF?????  I'll tell you why - because I'm the mom.  In general, moms are always putting everyone else first.  We worry about what our kids need and what our spouses need.  We worry about our houses, our jobs, our committees.  We worry about schedules and appointments and laundry and homework assignments.  After all that worrying, we are usually too tired to bother worrying about ourselves, even though we've been told over and over again that "you can't take care others if you don't take care of yourself first."  I even gave my daughters that same advice in my Lessons I want to Teach my Daughters post.

We moms also tend to expect perfection from ourselves.  We feel guilty if we yell too much; if we don't spend enough "quality time" with each and every one of our kids; if we miss a field trip or a soccer game; if we skip the healthy meal and opt for fast food - the list goes on and on and on.

So how do we get over all this "Mommy Guilt?"  Boy do I wish I knew!  I would write a book and be a millionaire.  Sadly, however, I don't know.  Here's what I do know.  Moms are people and no person is perfect.  We all make mistakes in different aspects of our lives.  I know LOTS of fabulous moms who, I'm sure, could rattle off a long list of things they think they do wrong (or at least less than correctly).  However, I also know their kids and their kids are all just as well-behaved (or not) and well-adjusted as my kids or any other kids.  That tells me that they are no worse at this mom gig than me or any of our other mom friends.

Moms work hard and we carry a lot of responsibility and emotional weight around with us all the time.  We all deserve an expensive, fancy coffee or a new pair of shoes or a really good hair cut or a couple pairs of new jeans from time to time without feeling guilty about it.  We just have to keep reminding ourselves - and each other - of that fact!!  
Maybe we should all get t-shirts like this!! :-)

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1 comment:

Jeri Kleiber said...

Great Post! I completely get where you're coming from. The grey on my hair is coming through, my nails look awful, I own ONE pair of jeans that I bought the other day because my fat butt can't fit into any other jeans I own and I have completely quit taking care of myself. I always tell my husband he should be thankful that I'm not one of those high maintenance wives that demands expensive purses and shoes and spa treatments.....etc.etc...., but I've been thinking lately maybe I should start taking care of me. I'll probably be a better Mom if I could only feel better about myself again. After all, one day it will come to my kids attention that their Mom is starting to look like a bag lady and they might just have a problem with that. :) Sorry to ramble!!!

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