I’m going to talk about Mommy Guilt today.
Hang on, I wrote out a list about the things I feel guilty of as a mom.
*rolls out a long piece of paper cellotaped together across the living room all the way to the kitchen*
There, my list. How much time do you have?
In all seriousness though, Mommy Guilt is a real thing, guys. Whether you’re a working mom, or a stay-at-home mom, or a single mom, or a stepmom or any kind of mom, you’re bound to have forms of guilt towards your children. Social media? Oh, they’re all perfect please. My kids’ photos look like this:
I was lucky to get this one shot because the next second, they were all over the floor and refused to pose again. Key to getting a good Instagram photo of the kids: 100 tries and pray that at least ONE is instagrammable. Haha.
I get worried when people email me saying I’m a great mom and my kids always look so happy and I make motherhood look so effortless. NO, GUYS, NO. What you see on social media is all the perfect 2-seconds moments. Most of the time, it’s like this:
The truth is stains on my scarf, stains of my kids’ clothes, tears, snot, running around the restaurant, us scolding them to sit down quietly, them eating pianos…
…. Or spilling things on people’s expensive floors…
….them puking on me….
Parenthood is…. really something life-changing and heroic. I no longer feel shame wiping snot with my bare hands in public….. or looking like this in public.
Truth is, I have so many things I feel guilty about when it comes to motherhood. Some of em?
- Leaving them for work/trips/events/weddings/go to the toilet. – their face is just so sad when you leave, their eyes get big and doe-y, and you’ll have those moments when you’re like ughhh should I just not go.
- Doing your own thing / resting / having a life of your own / being tired – even me taking a bath or scrolling through Instagram on the couch, I feel guilty. Daniel will come to me and say “Mommy, please play with me…” with a hopeful spark in his eyes and he’ll drag his Lego blocks along… aiyo, who cares if I’m smelly, no need to take a bath la! Sometimes, I’m just sooooo tired after work but the kids obviously won’t understand that because to them, you just came home and fun just started!
- Playing with your phone – sometimes it’s not even playing, it’s real work stuff replying people or dealing with a crisis. Many times, I’m talking to 4 different people trying to solve a problem, one hand typing vigorously and one hand trying to connect animal puzzles and singing nursery rhymes with the kids. It’s complete extreme situations (one happy, one stressful) and being in front of the kids, you just have to put on a face and conceal your worries… but sometimes you just can’t. And that’s terrible!
- Getting help to take care of your kids while you work – whether you send them to a nursery or you have helpers at home, the feeling is there that you feel inadequate and you have to resort to others to care for your children. Even worse, when you come home, and they want others and not you. WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU WANT KAKAK?!!! CAN SOMEONE HELP TAKE OUT THIS KNIFE OUT OF MY HEART?!!!
- Stopping breastfeeding – I breastfed Daniel for a year and he’s very manja with me until now. For Mariam, I breastfed for only a couple of months and she’s not as clingy to me as Daniel is. Till today, I feel so guilty and I keep thinking I should’ve lasted longer but I really couldn’t because I was bleeding every single day and my pumped milk was pink! But the guilt will always be there, because I feel like I should’ve tried harder with Mariam in the breastfeeding department. It’s such a horrible feeling because once you decide to stop breastfeeding, your milk will never come back so it’s a final decision kind of thing.
- Giving them the iPad – Who knows la, whether this is good parenting or bad parenting. I see it as good because Daniel especially learned his vocab and all through YouTube and mannn it’s such a lifesaver when you eat in restaurants etc. But the hard part is controlling the duration. Once you give it to them, they’ll want the iPad all day all night even in their sleep. So I need to learn how to discipline them and just say NO, THAT’S ENOUGH PEPPA PIG FOR A DAY!!
But can I be super duper duper honest?
The biggest Mommy Guilt for me now is giving them equal love and attention. If you have one child, it’s so clear cut because all the attention goes to him/her. Daniel had a really really blessed one year or so, because Dean and I only had eyes on him. There were so many pictures and videos of him eating, walking, talking, breathing… When Mariam came along, I have to admit I was a bit confused how to allocate time between the two of them. Mariam would cry for me, and at the same time, Daniel would cry for me, and oh the guilt… who do I attend to?!! Even when I look through Mariam’s photos, there’s so little of just her – Daniel is always in them too! #photobomb
One of them always has to give in, and I feel so bad when I see it. Sometimes Daniel just yanks a toy from Mariam and she cries so loud but Daniel refuses to give it back. So she’s left crying miserably. Vice versa too. And each time, it just breaks my heart and I start thinking why didn’t I buy 2 of that!
People tell me you can’t treat any 2 kids the same, so it’s not as simple as allocating an hour each etc. They each have different sensitivity level and attention span etc, so you have to trust your senses. But how?! How would I know if I should spend equal time with each of them, or I should spend more time with Mariam alone to make up for her “shared” attention. Then Daniel, how?
Seriously… motherhood is trickier than algebra! But it makes me feel better that I know there are a lot of other moms in my boat as well, and we keep on supporting and sharing experience with one another. Love all the Mommy support in this world!
I will be more conscious to their needs and feelings, and learn how to master situations. But one thing I will make sure to do is to be fair when giving them things like clothes, toys or even yummy food that I know they’d like. Even to their biscuits below!
Right now, it’s this Mamee Monster Biskidz biscuits that they keep chomping on. I don’t mind of course because it’s full of DHA and vitamins, so I know it’s not just junk! Light and airy, they come in 3 flavours; chocolate, milk and seaweed. I give them all but I carefully count each one before packing into their school bags. Must be sama!!!
Also, Mamee Monster Biskidz understand our struggles as moms and they came out with a video to let us know that it’s okay to be imperfect.
Sigh. I love you both with all my heart, there is no more or less, my heart is just so full for both of you. And I hope you will know that one day, my two angels.
Let’s spread this around and share your #ImperfectMOMents with me!