Disclaimer: This blog post will be a full confessional of the mom guilt I carry for being the “type A mom” vs. the “fun mom.” I am gonna be honest, I am carrying some major mom guilt lately, but it gives me a sense of peace to know I am not the only mom who struggles with the feeling. By the way, I hate that I am even admitting that I am the kind of person that struggles with this. It was not in the plan or my calendar when I scheduled into my life that I was becoming a mom.
(picture credit stellostyle.com)
I want to be the mom that knows time flies and who appreciates and doesn’t get annoyed by (or feel guilty after) someone saying the phrase “they are only little once.”
Yet, here I am again beating myself up for never seeming to find the balance on when it is ok to let things slide and not feel like I am losing my mind in the process.
By nature, I am a Type A personality, and it translates into how I mother. I like things tidy. I like things neat. I like things organized. And well….to say I like things “clean” would be an understatement. I am a bona-fid germaphobe.
I love schedules; I love knowing “the plan” for the day, week, month, yup…the year. I use a planner, the old school planner, pencil and all. I carry it with me everywhere like a security blanket. My world would end if I lost that thing. Thinking about it makes me sick.
To me, this all sounds normal…it is after all the brain given to me playing out in the physical world and spilling into my home and how I mother. In other words, I am used to it, and yet it makes me sad. Bring on the mom guilt.
These organized traits of mine tend to be completely unrealistic when you have children. Sure you can plan playdates all day long, I can use my cute little planner and all, but someone always seems to get sick or injured and then my planner is just a smudge of pencil marks where I once thought I was in control.
Having a clean and tidy house is refreshing and soothing to me…it calms my spinning mind. The problem is, I tend to give up fun with my kids in the process. For example, today I didn’t play store with my kids. They were pretending to sell all of their stuffed animals to each other, and it was pretty cute, and ideally, I should have played I guess (mom-guilt, mom-guilt, mom-guilt). But instead, I just watched them play and folded laundry because the pile was right there and getting it finished was super pressing…right?
Yes, my laundry needs to get done, but I could have engaged and giggled with my babies for 5 minutes and shared in the memory.
This is where I need help. Regardless of me being a “Type A Mom”, I know I am not the only mother who struggles with the battle of getting things done and playing with your kids. How as mommas can we do both?
When I think back on my childhood, I don’t remember my mom playing on the floor with me and yet I knew without a doubt that I was important to her and loved by her. I think the world of my mom. She is arguably the best.
So why do I feel guilty?
I think it’s just because I love my kids so very much. I want them to have the fun mom, and if I’m giving myself an honest assessment and could stop the mom guilt for a moment of all the thing’s I’m not, I would say that I am that. I might not be the fun mom all the time…but who is? At the end of the day, you and I have to get stuff done whether you are the “fun mom” or the “Type A” mom.
My kids didn’t suffer because I didn’t play at that moment, they love me, and they have a sense of security in that I love them too. There is no question about that. I love that they want to share their version of fun with me and that they want to play with me. I think that says something.
And- I might be a “Type A” mom, but the sticky fingers and questionable stains on their shirts will be in my mental memory bank along with the smiles and the way their voices sound. Maybe I will be that older person reminding the new mom that “time flies” and “they are only little once” after all. I am already annoyed with myself.
I think what I am learning is there really isn’t a master plan of balance for me. It’s just me, “mom”, knowing that some days I will do better than others. And they will love me regardless.