Real Talk: Stuck Between I-Love-My-Freedom Mom and my Fear-of-Missing-Out-Mom

As I am sitting (again) in my hairdresser’s chair, pulling out my laptop to quickly put into words everything I’m thinking, seeing and feeling right now, I realise some of the best thoughts really do come when you not only don’t expect them, but don’t want them. I thought I’d come here, let the stylist do her job while I would listen to a few podcasts (on life, not kids), surf social media, or gather inspo on Pinterest. Or perhaps even bring my book along and manage to finally finish it after all this time. Not thinking or feeling was exactly the purpose of this hair appointment, besides the good side effects added to it by default. Moms know very well what I’m talking about- we need an excuse every now and then to go somewhere and do nothing. Think nothing. Plan nothing, observe nothing, just be. And since the house isn’t always a proper place to do that, we come up with hair appointments, facials, nails, or spa days.

So I went to do my hair wihout* any kids, as they were both in school and daycare. My two free days a week are MY days, where I do whatever I want without carrying a toddler along.

And yet, here I actually am, in the chair, MISSING MY KIDS. What?! It’s only 10 am, so yes, I do consider myself slightly insane. Because the moment I pressed play on my first podcast on my watchlist, a young mom walked in with one baby in the stroller and a  toddler slowly keeping up behind her, both munching on raisin buns, their little mouths dirty and their tangled hair flying around wildly. I first thought she came in for herself and  thought “Look at her, trying to get her hair done with both kids tagging along, I remember those days.. This was me not too long ago”, but turns out she came in for cutting her kids’ hair. Also great, except for the one sliiiight issue- in order to be still, they had to both share her one and only treasure- the phone.

So you can picture the scandalous moment of having to share the screen between the two of them, take turns in cutting their hair, desperately searching for extra bribing ideas, trying to remain calm and collected, keep the kids smiling and still, and all the chaos involved. I was looking at her with a mix of admiration and empathy, totally getting what she was going through, and reminiscing about myself. There were bananas in her bag, toys on the floor, little hands wiping waffles from their faces and cleaning themselves ON THE CLOTHES. Clothes that were most probably freshly washed and ironed. Probably the mom spent one of her free evenings in doing so, instead of watching Netflix and chilling, just so they can spoil them within the first 23 minutes of wearing them. The kids were loud and noisy and messy, and I was there alone, in peace and silence, and so I suddenly felt this crazy guilt take over my present moment, with my 3-year old being in daycare that day, and me trying to not even let that thought sneak in, but how difficult to do that when you’re surrounded by other kids of the same age.

Yet, why would I feel so guilty? My son goes to daycare only 2 *fking* days a week. From a full 5-day work week, I only have TWO days to myself, which let’s face is, is not much at all. Considering my endless to-do-lists on those two free days, I should be left with extremely little-to no time at all for missing kids, thinking about kids or doing things for kids. And yet.. our mom brains just don’t work this way. And what I’m realising every week is that instead of being so aggressive on what those days should consist of, maybe it’s better if we allow it to be a mix… a mix between getting bored, watching an episode or two of your favourite trashy series you never catch live on tv, missing the kids, cooking a complex breakfast just for yourself and not having to share it with anyone, writing, working, going out with your girlfriend, or journaling, or working out, or doing just everything you can think of- all the while allowing yourself to miss your kids or even feel guilty about not sharing it all with them.

Because mom guilt is what makes us moms, and just as you have never heard of the expression “Dad Guilt”, because…well, it does not exist, you also never heard of a mom who has not felt mom guilt in her life. It’s part of who we are – or better yet, who we become after having kids. It’s what defines us as complete and complex women. It’s what drives us to be present with those kids despite being overly stimulated each night, it’s what makes us human and ultimately, it’s what keeps us loving and kind. Don’t try and fight the guilt, because you can’t. And whether you’re going to your full time job or on a tropical girls solo trip, the guilt will be there.

And you can too have both your freedom, and be a committed mom. You don’t need to choose because they are connected. You can love your kids to death, yet take a weekend off and recharge. You can send them to daycare so you can lie dead on the couch, or paint or go shopping, while you are back in time to not miss out on their activities or soccer games.

You can be both a hot girl seducing your husband at 10 am because the kids are not home, and a few hours later cook a home made meal for them.

We can be all of this, and more. We can and we are everything we want to be, because moms are endlessly powerful, resourceful, creative, and amazing. We are the real deal!

xx

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