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Mommy Guilt – Parenting is Hard!

I absolutely love being a mama.  It isn’t something I thought a lot about
growing up.  I knew eventually I would
want to have children, but I didn’t think about it all that much until I got
pregnant with my oldest girl.

As time has gone on, and we have added number three to the
mix, the mommy guilt came full force down on me.
I was trying to get dinner ready while simultaneously
folding laundry and making sure Lucy wasn’t upset – pick her up, put her down,
pick her up.  That is when this wonderful
phrase was said to me “Mama, you never
play with us anymore.”
  Like a knife,
right into my heart.

I stop and think about all the ways I spend time with the
kids every.single.day. 
Then all the questions start to creep into my mind.
Am I really spending
enough quality time with them?
Am I using my phone
too much?
Am I reading to them
Are we going on enough
trips to the library?
Am I using positive
Am I yelling too much?
Do I hear what they
are telling me, or do I jump ahead without listening?
I see myself involved in their every day because I am
filling all the roles, the roll of mama, teacher, chef, organizer, maid –
everything.  But, when I break out all
those rolls, I can see that me as mama spending time doing these things, even
if they are involved, are not exactly what they want. 

I think that adding Lucy to the mix has been difficult for
them.  They want me to play, but Lucy is
fussy, so I need to help her.  I am
limited in the amount of time I am available to sit down on the floor and play
a game because when I have an hour of time when the baby is sleeping, there are
so many other tasks to complete.
Parenting is hard. 
I know that I am a good mom, even though sometimes it seems
like everything is completely crazy.  Why
do I know?  Because I am asking myself
the above questions.

Sometimes the answers are not the ones that I want, and I
realize I need to make a correction on the path.  Sometimes I need to talk to the kids individually,
away from a heated moment, ask their forgiveness and really understand what
they are trying to tell me.
My kids are still so little, but I see how much they have
grown over the past year, how their opinions matter so much to them, and while
they don’t always get their own way, they still want their voices to be heard.

While I know that I can’t spend every minute playing with
them, even if I am home with them all day, I need to build in a few minutes to
play here and there.  Even though I feel
like I’m spending quality time with them learning and reading, they want more,
and they want to be able to direct the play as well.
Balance is a difficult thing.
I don’t know if we can ever look at one day and say “yes,
today was completely balanced.”  There
are some days where I feel like all I do is cook and clean and organize, barely
taking a break to breathe myself, and the kids are playing, but I am not as
invested in their day.  There are other
days where we spend the whole day together, laughing and playing, and nothing
else is accomplished besides the bare minimums.

My goal needs to be that when I look back at weeks and
months, I can say yes, my life is in balance.
This week I will be playing a little more My Little Ponies,
and perhaps organizing file drawers a little less. 

The most important part is that I understand how amazing
these days with my children, and how fleeting they are.  My oldest is going to be seven pretty
soon.  That seems incredible to me, and
it has passed by in the blink of an eye. 
I want to make the most of every minute, and that little voice telling
me “mama, you never play with us anymore, “ was the wake-up call I needed to
put some of my requirements on the day behind me, and spend more time soaking
up the love of my littles.

Do you feel like you
are able to balance everything?  Do you
have busy seasons, whether self-imposed or not, that require you to spend a
little less play time with your kids?  What
strategies do you use to work play into your days?

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