I hear a lot of moms saying they feel "mom guilt" all the time. I am certain I've experienced it in certain instances, and I probably will countless times in the future, but I have to say, most of the time, not so much. Maybe I'd feel differently if I had a boy. Who knows. I consider myself the most important female influence in Lilah's life. I want to model self-love, self-care, the ability to communicate my feelings, and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations. I want to model a strong marriage, strong + loyal family ties, strong female friendships, and a strong work ethic.
I work part-time as a Registered Nurse in an operating room. I think it's important for Lilah to know my worth both in and out of the home. I think I'm modeling work ethic and dependability. Being her mom is my favorite role but it's not my only one, and I want her to not just hear that, but know that.
I am going to California in July for a self-awareness workshop, where the entire purpose is bettering myself and learning more about myself. I'm going by myself for FIVE FULL DAYS.
If on a rare occasion I get off work early, and Lilah is with the nanny, I'll stop in at Anthro on my way home, or spend time at home in my journal, or with my Tarot cards, or just with my feet in the grass in our backyard, not rushing to pick up my kid.
I have A LOT of help. LG is the first grandchild on both the Van Meter and Tinker sides of the family. Lilah spends a TON of time with her grandmothers, especially. I absolutely love watching the individual relationships she has formed with our family members, and absolutely love my time to myself! My lack of guilt here is not to be misunderstood as a lack of GRATITUDE. I'm super grateful for my tribe, my village, so I don't feel alone in raising Lilah.
I scheduled an entire day to binge on Orange is the New Black the Saturday after it came out.
And finally, as I write this blogpost, my husband is being the sexiest dad alive, making Lilah giggle in the bath, brushing her teeth, getting her to go potty, putting on her pjs, reading her a book, rocking her, and putting her in the crib. Only to be followed, I'm certain, by crying and insisting that she needs to potty again, or needs water, which then means she'll need to potty again, or she wants to "rocky" again.
Sharing the load in parenthood is my best non-kept secret. While this style of motherhood might seem selfish to some, I guarantee, I'm one of the most patient + loving mothers you'll ever encounter. That's because I'm not spread too thin. When I'm with Lilah, it counts. I'm present. I want to be there. 95% of the time.
And when I'm getting to the point with my precious 2 year old where my patience is wearing thin and I know I'm not being the best mom I can be, I reach out for help. My husband has received many-a-call of "WHEN WILL YOU BE HOME and CAN YOU TAKE OVER?" and then I go for a walk with LG and wait for my "5 o'clock hero" to come through the front door. Sometimes I'll plug in my headphones while we walk and I'll listen to a podcast, or a guided meditation, or some rap. Whatever mood strikes. Many times, I have reached out to my mom or mother-in-law, "Can you get Lilah?" And as a result of my gracious + loving + supportive family, I have kept my sanity for 2+ years in this parenthood adventure.
Without an ounce of the guilt.