The Art of Mom Guilt

I constantly find myself in this place of guilt; mom guilt accompanied with simple human guilt. Right now for instance, 4 of my 5 kids have hand, foot, and mouth disease. They are home “sick” and because of it, we cannot go anywhere. I’m angry. I’m feeling some severe cabin fever. And then, there she is: mom guilt. My kids are sick, and I’m here feeling sorry for myself (and honestly, sorry for them). In the bigger picture, I am full of simple human guilt. I call it this, because I really do not know what else to call it. It is the guilt we have when we realize we are being irrational and self-involved. 

the art of mom guilt

Several years ago, my third baby was born with a heart condition. My husband had not long before been diagnosed with cancer. I know just how unfair life can be to people. I am well aware that hand, foot, and mouth disease is nothing in comparison to the year 2017 into 2018 for our family. Yet, still, in this current moment, I am feeling so horrible about our pretty “easy” situation; our curable and almost complete hand, foot, and mouth saga. 

Often, emotions can overcome us, right? Often, as moms, we forget that it could be so much worse, and we drown in the moment. We flounder in the presence of childhood illnesses, work stress, household chores, etc. We ignore the good and we feel every single little negative event or feeling. 

When my daughter was first diagnosed in 2018, people (well-meaning individuals in my life) repeated the phrase “it could be worse” to me and my husband. I was particularly bothered by this and honestly, it caused an immense amount of guilt. This “simple human guilt”. Perhaps they were right. I should not be upset, it COULD be worse.

One visit with my very wise cousin changed that. She said “Just because it could be worse, doesn’t make it better.” Her words have been on repeat in my head this week while we struggle through yet another week of a virus. 

Moms, we are allowed to feel overwhelmed. We are allowed to be sad or frustrated when things are more difficult than normal. We are allowed to be human. Parenting is not all sunshine and roses, and we are allowed to acknowledge that fact. 

I am stressed, and I love my kids. 

I am angry, and I love my kids. 

I am sad, and I love my kids. 

I am full of mom guilt, and I love my kids. 

I realize it could be worse, but it’s not great right now, and I love my kids. The next time you find yourself stuck in the middle of mom guilt and real life feelings, offer yourself some grace. Yes, most often it could be worse, but when you’re in it, when you’re deep in the trenches of momming, you are allowed to feel all of the feelings. 

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Melissa lives in Dryden Township. She is married to Paul and together they have 4 wonderful kids. Liliana, 9, twins, Violet and Izabel, 4.5, and David, 1. Melissa is an IVF mommy. She owns Randazzo Jeweler in Almont with her husband. She also runs Tender Journey, a line of jewelry and blog inspired by her journey through infertility. Melissa has a pretty rambunctious dog, a small flock of chickens, and a few peacocks. She enjoys spending time with family and checking out local events with her family.

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