In the weeks since the baby has been born, I have gotten a crash course in Mom guilt. Feeling guilty about whether your milk supply is enough, guilty when the baby fusses and you can't find seem to fix it, and guilty for questioning your sanity after days of no sleep and endless diapers. Shockingly the worst Mom guilt has been around leaving the baby and taking a few hours to be a grown-up and have conversations that don't involve the baby's sleeping, eating and pooping habits.
As a mom you are supposed to live for your child and want to spend every minute devoting yourself to your child. Don't get me wrong, I love my baby and want to give her every opportunity life has to offer, like any other parent, but I also want to be an adult. Selfishly, I want to feel like parts of the old me still exist, I want to spend time with other adults, and talk about things other than babies and their bodily functions.
I am very fortunate that my husband not only understands this, but encourages me to let go of the Mom guilt and enjoy some time just being me. It is because he all but pushed me out the door that I got to enjoy my first mom’s night out over the weekend. I anxiously prepared for 2 days in advance, worried about how much I would need to pump so he could feed the baby while I was gone (the baby has a very healthy appetite, so this was a legitimate concern), and nervous to be leaving when she is still so young even though my husband is more than capable to take care of the baby on his own.
Once I was out of the house and on my way to Paint Nite with some girlfriends, I realized how badly I needed the night away. I needed a few hours to feel like the old me still existed, and I had a fantastic time. Meanwhile the Mom guilt still lingered in the back of my head, wasn’t I supposed to feel bad about leaving my baby at home? Was I allowed to enjoy myself this much while my husband was at home with a limited amount of breast milk to get him through the night?
The correct answer is yes! I should be able to be a little selfish and enjoy a night out guilt free. I shouldn't feel bad for wanting to feel like the old me still exists and enjoy some adult conversation for a few hours. So why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we feel guilty for taking the ‘me time' necessary to keep our sanity and be attentive and present as a parent?
My question for other moms is how do you overcome the dreaded Mom guilt? What do you do to sneak in some ‘me time' between all the other time commitments you have?