Guilt is a horrible feeling. It’s ongoing even when you get forgiveness. It’s overwhelming, debilitating, and even destructive. Guilt as a mother can be even worse.
I’m being a bit more dramatic than most mothers or more than most any adult. I wish I could change that, but I can’t help but wonder…is there any way to NEVER experience guilt as a mother?
I’m almost three months into my SAHM role. When I originally decided to go down this road, I had grand plans. My son was going to be crawling at 5 months, walking at 6 months, drinking from a sippy cup by 6 months, even talking by 7 months. Well, Davey will be 7 months on Saturday and so far he’s come close to a few of these goals, but hasn’t exactly attained them. And I feel guilty that I haven’t gotten him to that point. I feel like I’m not doing enough for my son.
I look at a lot of moms who homeschool their kids and can’t help but wonder how they do it. Do you feel guilty that you’re not achieving enough with your children? I’m not a teacher. I have 3 degrees…an associate in English, a Bachelors in Communications and Political Science and a Masters in Business Administration, but I’m not a teacher. I don’t know how to teach my son and I feel horrible that he may be behind because of my ineptness.
I’ve asked a few other mothers and they all tell me that guilt is never-ending, but that I shouldn’t feel guilty that my son isn’t on the same level as everyone else. I should let him be a baby, let him learn and grow on his own, and just love him. Well, I do love him with all my heart and then some, and I am letting him be a baby, but growing and learning on his own? I could use some help in that department.
Guilt is a necessity. Guilt can also be a good emotion as it pushes a person harder, or at least it does for me. My husband and I are both overachievers. We see something we want and we work hard to attain it. I want my son to have the same work ethic instilled in him, but at almost 7 months am I pushing too hard or am I just beating myself up for the fact that I want him to be at a different level already?
I find myself questioning my SAHM status especially when I look at other babies who are in daycare. Some daycares are more than just that, they’re actually schools that teach children. I’m not a teacher, so how can I be sure that my child is learning as well as others and does it really matter?
Davey gets his own level of social interaction thanks to free programs at our local library and a strong support network of other SAHM’s with whom we have a standing playgroup with every week. I’m not worried about him being socially awkward or repressed. I’m worried that he may start school behind others his age. Is that fair for me to guilt myself and is it fair for me to push him?
I’ve said this before, being a mom is the HARDEST job ever in the world. When I worked in corporate America, never once did I feel guilty or inadequate with my job. Never once did I feel defeated or unaccomplished. In the end, I did my job and was proud of myself at the end of the day. As a mother, I can’t say the same thing.
I suppose all I can do is continue each day, pushing myself forward, taking advantage of the time I have with my son. My son may not be learning his colors, letters, words, shapes, or alphabet as quickly as those who are in a daycare/preschool, but he is getting my undivided attention as a SAHM. Each day is a new adventure and a new discovery. So, perhaps I should just shelf the guilt for a while and just be thankful that I’m here when he wakes each time, that I’m here for each feeding, that I’m the one responsible for teaching him everything (no matter how slow I may be), and that I’m the one now experiencing his “firsts”.