Is there ANYTHING we don’t have guilt about? Mom guilt seems to have her claws sunk deep into every decision (and outcome) we moms make when it comes to work, food, holidays, weekends, money, time. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. So why should summer mom guilt be any different?
This summer I realized that the real reason why I don’t put my kids in any summer camps is because of MOM GUILT.
That’s a lot of face-time. That’s a lot of summer. And, by week four, things got real.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and a place for summertime fun, but it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing strategy plagued by guilt–there’s another way!
For me, my hang up has been this idea of a long, lazy summer together.
An entire summer with the kids out of school…(deep breath) and no camps is something I’ve always done. But, as this summer slowly ticked away, I realized this habit I’ve cultivated isn’t doing anyone any favors.
In fact, it may be adding to my family’s collective misery. Yep, thanks to my decision (based on guilt), everyone got stressed and a little AGRO.
For years, I’ve said it’s because I want the freedom to spend days at the pool, scorching hot parks, and insane library puppet shows all summer. But, as my stress level mounted this summer, I started questioning what my real motivation was behind this choice.
Why was I putting myself through this?
With a little honesty, I was able to finally admit that I would feel guilty if I didn’t keep them home. (Sigh.) Somewhere in the back of my head was a story running on a loop saying “this is what you should do.” And, “if you’re lucky enough to get to be with them all summer, then you shouldn’t squander it.”
Buuuuut….just because you CAN do something—doesn’t mean you should.
REALITY: I was totally zapped—patience had flown out the window and I was feeling the low energy of a stressed out mama. So, who was winning from this choice based on guilt?
TRUTH: Nobody. Not me. Not the kids.
When you’re parenting from a place of “I should do this because…” instead of a place of “this will be good for all of us…”, then it may be time to reevaluate how that system is working for you and make some much needed adjustments.
For me, I truly didn’t realize that mom guilt was the motivating factor behind my own summertime shame. But, once I get my lightbulb moment–that’s typically my ticket to change.
I’m a big believer in acknowledging something first, so you can make a plan to act. I discuss the importance and power of acknowledging our true feelings in my post Stay at Home Moms Deserve Happiness.
THE JIST: Call it by it’s name, and then plan your attack!
Embrace the Real You
Next summer is going to be like the summer I got my period, or my boobs. I’m going to embrace change and just go with it.
Sure, it’ll be awkward. I’ll have all the feels about it. All the growing pains. BUT, when it’s all said and done, I’ll feel like a new woman because I will have chosen to accept what’s real instead of trying to be something I’m not.
You can’t get to happy if you keep repeating the same tired old things that make you miserable. That’s the whole point, right? Getting to happy, happier, happiest?
Could next summer be your radical change summer, too?