Saturday, February 12, 2011

no guilt, mama.

I remember walking on campus with my sister during my first months of college, wondering how she knew so many of the other students.  When questioned, she told me it wouldn't be long before I made friends of my own and realized just how small of a world our little college town really is.  She was right.  A few months later, I had a solid group of buddies and plenty of acquaintances to chitchat with around campus and town.

College ended.  Teaching began.  Teaching ended.  Mothering began.

When Henry was around 6 months old, a friend told me about the Tiny Tots story time at our town's public library.  At this point, our main activities were shopping at the thrift store and Dirt Cheap so I eagerly looked forward to Wednesday mornings.  Learning baby's names and recognizing mama's faces escalated to meetings at the park post-story time which quickly escalated to regular playdates and new friendships.  I no longer had to wonder how other mamas had friends because I had mama friends of my own.

Mama topics consume our conversations.  If it deals with toddler or babies, we've likely discussed it.  Yesterday's playdate evolved into a conversation about "mama guilt".  Listening to my friends reminded me of Liza's pregnancy when guilt was my #1 emotion.  Guilt consumed me at every turn......until I made the conscious decision not to feel guilty.

For me, it is this easy:
Laura, do not feel guilty.  You are doing the best you can do.  You are only one person and you can  not physically do everything all at once.  Not only are you a mama to two small children, you are also an adult that needs time to herself and a wife who needs to spend time with her husband.  If you mess up, you mess up.  Learn and do better.  

Timing was perfect for yesterday's refresher in my "no guilt" decision.  Later that afternoon, Liza was semi-hysterical while riding in the Ergo on my back.  I bounced, walked outside, made funny faces in the mirror to no avail.  She would not be happy.  Um, yeah.  Her leg was tucked behind her butt.  Not comfy at all and it took me entirely too long to recognize the problem.  What did I do?  I fixed her little leg, apologized, made a funny face in the mirror so she would smile and went about my day.

 No guilt.


Christine @ Merf In Progress said...

That's a great philosophy. I tend to beat myself up far too long when something like that happens.

Jude and Alisha said...

Thanks for the reminder - then and now...

Charlotte sat in a poopy diaper again for way. too. long. I said oops, changed it, and moved on. Hopefully I'm getting there.

Jen said...

i also use the "no guilt" philosophy even though I am not a mama yet and it is so simple but so profound. i often forget to give myself grace. thank you for the reminder;) i have a huge grin from reading this post!