I’m not going to lie. This last week, I’ve experienced a lot of mom guilt. Summer has come to an end, and when I look back on what we accomplished, I see a lot of images of us sitting around watching movies and running errands. I also remember my kids fighting a lot. Don’t get me wrong, we actually did quite a bit, but what sticks out in my mind are the lazy days. At first, that seemed totally normal. It’s what my summers were like as a kid. It’s what a lot of summers were like when we were kids.
Comparing and Regretting
Still, with school getting back into session, there has been a lot of talk about summer adventures. I’ve heard all sorts of stories about special outings, day trips, shopping sprees, quality time, and week-long sleep overs. Yeah. Mom Guilt.
Then I started thinking about it, and you know what? I’m not going to feel guilty. They say comparison is the thief of joy, and I think it’s absolutely true. I didn’t think anything of how we’d spent our summer until I started comparing to others. In fact, I think we had a pretty fantastic summer. We just had a lot more down time than others.
There’s No Need for Mom Guilt
The truth is, no one can do everything. Sure, those moms did a lot of day trips and lunches out and hosted other kids in their homes for days on end. On the other hand we spent the first 6 weeks of summer break with almost non-stop activities. We didn’t do small daily outings, because we were busy exploring Yellowstone, and swimming in Monterey Bay. Our July was slow and lazy, exactly like I wanted it. You just can’t do both. It’s a strain on finances, time, and sanity. We all need a break sometimes, right?
There is also the issue of how my kids act when they know we’re leaving the house. It can take a solid hour to get them both ready to leave- not to mention the fights I break up during that time. Then, once we get to our destination, they’re usually bored within 30 minutes and ready to come home. That’s not even worth the effort! After stressing myself out over this for weeks, I finally gave up. I realized we were all happier hanging out at the house, binge-watching Harry Potter, and splashing in the kiddie pool in the back yard.
Don’t get me wrong, we still do things, but it’s certainly not daily. I try to plan low-key activities a couple of times a week, but I haven’t done anything that requires planning or a drive longer than 15 minutes for over a month. I just realized that I am a better mom when I’m not that stressed, and really, they behave better in a low-key atmosphere.
We’re All Different
The bottom line is, every family is different. What works for some moms and kids, doesn’t work for others. The mom planning daily outings probably has kids that are miserable staying at home. Maybe she’s an extrovert, too, so it doesn’t stress her out to get out of the house. Maybe she feels mom guilt when she keeps the kids trapped at the house all day. We’re all different, and we all have different strengths and weaknesses. The trick is to find what works well for your family, and stop comparing to others. We all feel mom guilt every now and then, but it’s important to not let it rule our lives and stress us out.
Do you ever suffer from mom guilt? Let’s come together and talk about it in the comments below!