My life is full of mom guilt. I know I'm not alone in this, but sometimes I wonder if there's something wrong with me because of how excessive this guilt feels.
Of course I'd expect to feel guilty about certain things, like the amount of time I've been away from them in their lives instead of getting to be one of those stay-at-home moms who makes their food from scratch and volunteers in the classroom all the time. I accept that guilt.
Then there's the guilt that is borderline, for reasons like not having my kids in dance and gymnastics and soccer and all kinds of other things since they were young, because if they realized that they wanted to be an Olympic ice skater right now, they'd be way behind all the other kids and it would be all my fault. But I was a young mom on a tight budget with a full-time job, so those kinds of things just weren't feasible. I should have come up with a get-rich scheme or married for money. Maybe then I wouldn't feel so bad.
Some of the guilt I have is irrational. Take, for example, the guilt that causes me to do my kids' chores for them. Because they have been at their dad's for a few days and I feel bad making them clean their room right now when they don't feel like it. What the heck is that about? Making them do chores is GOOD for them, and I'm ridiculous. I am also frequently stressed out and spread too thin because I accommodate my children's last-minute plans, since I'd feel bad if they had to miss out on something they wanted to do.
This is where I need to do some work. I have got to stop torturing myself with these bad feelings of inadequacy. I'm a good mom!
The mom guilt even goes so far as to be one of several reasons I don't want more kids. Not only is it exhausting to be constantly worried about the two kids I already have, but I would feel terrible guilt about the time I could spend and the extra things I could do for a new child that I wasn't able to do for my others. And I'd lose sleep over it. I can't do that to myself on purpose.
My kids better appreciate someday all the stress and guilt I've endured with their happiness in mind.