Today was our first “Mommy and Lil Bit day” of the new year.
You know how on very rare days you manage to stretch out the minutes and fit everything in that you intended to accomplish into those precious hours? Somehow I managed to do that today and if this is any indication of how the new year will go I am looking forward to living it up. I have about 12 hours or so one day a week to try to pack in as much mommy time as possible and it is a lot of pressure especially if Lil Bit is having a bad day.
I have found in this brief but enlightening journey as a mom of a now 3 year old, that I have set up my idea of being a good mom in such a way that I will never know a guilt-free moment. Now this guilty train of thought is not necessarily in a mindful way, but almost completely subconscious, likely based on my nursing/medical background, pinterest, mothering books and my OWN mother–all of these things adding pressure and driving my already overachieving brain to be the best sort of mom. So much so that I sometimes catch myself being a crappy mom in the process….
Not going to lie, I totally googled “working mom guilt” and after flipping through a few articles I found this. The article is from a few years ago but it feels all to fitting, however she herself seems unable to offer a solution to the problem.
Looking back at my beginnings as a mother, I set my alarm when my infant slept through the night so that I could make sure there was (barely) enough pumped breastmilk to get her through the next night I worked (12 hr night-shifts wreak havoc on your prolactin levels) and cried when I spilled a 2oz bottle the first week I went back to work after pumping–in the breakroom because we did not have a lactation room. I probably would have made more milk and been a better, kinder full-time working, graduate-school-attending mom if I had gotten a good night’s rest instead. I get so preoccupied with how things are supposed to be, trying to find decent prices/coupons on organic food or meal-prepping for the week so that we can eat “cleaner” that I miss an opportunity to play with my child or teach her something new. I KNOW in my heart that it is better to be one-on-one with her and to give her a kind, caring, mother rather than a completely organic and balanced diet and every Barbie for her bless-ed dream house but my head tells me these are things that matter.
After today, where I actually spent the majority of the day WITH my daughter and not just in the same household as her, I remember why I went down to a 4 day work week and I think that this may be why the whole household has been more balanced today. Today also gives me pause and makes me consider an underlying, additional New Years Resolution…to be a mom to the best of my REALISTIC abilities rather than those that I have superimposed on myself. Wish me luck!