With my exciting adventure coming up I’ve been wavering between excitement, fear, sadness, joy, anxiety and pride…and of course I’ve been feeling MAJOR guilt. What I’m not sure is, whether or not it’s “Mom” guilt, or just regular guilt. What’s the difference?
We tend to say we have “Mom” guilt because we have kids, but shouldn’t we categorize our feelings depending on why we are feeling them, not on the titles we give ourselves?
I feel guilty because I am doing something for myself. But then I’ll try to spin it so I don’t feel super guilty. Like, I’m doing it to be a good example for my kids, to show them what it looks like to follow your dreams and be brave. Yeah, that’s why I’m doing it.
Or then I’ll tell myself I deserve this adventure. I’ve been working and helping others for so long I “deserve” something that is just about me. Well that makes me feel even worse, and it also makes me feel super selfish. WHY?????????
I adore my children, and any time away from these precious young years makes my heart break. I know that sounds sappy, and if you would have asked me when my youngest was a baby, and she screamed at me ALL day, EVERY day, I would have jumped at the thought of leaving. I used to dream of leaving and spending one night in a hotel all by myself, but not now. Now they are at this wonderful age and going through so much, and I don’t want to miss a moment.
Oh I know, I know, they need independence. It will be good for them. They’ll get to spend time with their Daddy and grandparents. Yes, I’m logical, that all makes sense to my brain, but my heart is still like “noooooooooooo”.
And actually while I was working on this post I came to an a-ha realization. I’m not feeling guilty at all. I’m feeling angry. I’m mad I’m going to miss events, not for my kid’s sake, but for my sake, MY head, MY heart.
Let me break it down, I don’t get paid in actual money for being a parent. Wait, what you say? You don’t get paid for being a parent? Awwww yeah, nope. But I also realize my salary is SO much more precious than cash.
I get paid in kid currency. I get paid in hugs and kisses. Soccer games and choir performances. I get paid when I go to school functions and dance recitals. I get paid every holiday I spend with my family, every trip to the beach, every Sunday walk…and don’t get me started on birthdays. Their birthdays are like my birthday, I’m just as excited and I celebrate almost more than my kids do. I’ve earned these birthdays along side these amazing people. I’ve received love and beauty every day they’ve been alive, and I deserve to rejoice.
So yes, I’m mad. I’m having a tantrum. RIGHT. NOW. I’m actually angry I’m going to miss weeks of my mama paycheck, that’s what this all is, it’s actually all about me, not my kids. It’s not guilt at all. They are going to be just fine, better than fine. But I’ve gotta work through my mama tantrum, and of course I’ll do it, it’s my only option.
Of coooourrrrrrssssseeeeee I’m grateful for this opportunity. Of course I’ll get there and give my 110%. And of course I’ll cry and miss my family. But I will be ok. I’ll move past tantrum to triumph, and I’ll make my kids proud.
And I’ll end with a quote that my friend Dez just text me. She cracks me up, and made me LOL while I was writing at the library. I’m sure I’ll hear her in my head as I tackle this great adventure.
“Isn’t there some Spider Man quote great risk comes from great reward or some shit? He better be right, otherwise some angry mamas are going after him.”
Looking forward to sharing all the good things soon. Give your babies an extra hug for me.