Subscribe to our mailing list

Get the news right in your inbox!

F*ck Mom Guilt

May 5, 2019 2 Comments

F*ck Mom Guilt

May 5, 2019 2 Comments

As we roll towards the one day a year set aside to celebrate the immense job of being a mom, I find myself thinking about how, despite all we do as mothers, we often have this ever present feeling that we’re falling short of the expectations of the job.

I have not met one woman who just feels like she’s doing a great job as a mom. I’ve met developers who feel like they’re at the top of their game, I’ve met sales people who know they’re some of the best in their field, but when it comes to the job of motherhood, few of us feel like we’re crushing it.

I get it, raising a whole person is a bit different than writing code or closing a deal but I can’t help but believe that we unfairly assess our performance based on the pressures we place on ourselves and ones placed on us via our culture, our peers, our families, and everyone else who has an opinion on how mothers should be mothering (and EVERY ONE has an opinion).

That pressure typically translates into Mom Guilt. Mom Guilt is a real affliction. It’s chronic. Always underlying, just below the surface and flares up most often in moments when we want to or decide to do anything that appears to benefit only ourselves. It could be something as small as hiding in the closet eating a candy bar so the kids don’t ask us to share to something as big as taking a solo trip to get away from those bundles of joy for just a bit.

We are constantly given messages from the moment we find out we’re having children that our lives are not our own anymore and we’re all but forced to don this Martyr Mantle where “everything we do is for our children”.

Fuck that.

One of my best friends, who gave up what would have been a very lucrative career as a tax attorney to be a stay at home mom, confided in me one day that she needed new clothes but she felt guilty about buying clothes for herself and not her kids. I’m not at all judging her for giving up her career, but after sacrificing that, she didn’t even feel like she deserved to buy herself clothes without buying some for her children?

Another best friend really wanted to go away to celebrate her 40th birthday. The last time she had done anything big for her birthday was when she turned 21 and it had been close to a decade since she had the chance to hang out with her closest friends. But one of her four kids had a basketball game that weekend and she felt guilty about missing it. This kid will play hundreds of games over the next 6 years (she’s in middle school), and you feel guilty about missing just one of those games which happens to land on a milestone birthday for you?

Fuck all of that.

let’s define motherhood for ourselves

Bo-kaap neighborhood in Cape Town, South Africa

I honestly believe that most mom guilt comes from weighing ourselves, our actions, and our inactions to our interpretation of someone else’s definitions of motherhood. As I said earlier, everyone has an opinion of how moms should be mothering. We get sucked into it and we come up short. We always will fall short because someone else’s expectations of how you should handle your specific situation as a mother will NEVER fit you.

Try taking stock of what YOU think makes a good mother. What do you truly value as a person and as a mom. Are you instilling those values in your children? Are you living those values in front of your children?

One thing I’d encourage adding to the values you’re intentionally teaching our children is how to care for themselves. Defining their “titles” for themselves, bucking tradition and stereotypes, pursuing their dreams, investing in their happiness and well being are also invaluable lessons for your children, lessons they’ll learn by your example.

what to give away and what to keep

I remember one day asking one of my friends from high school to join a fitness challenge I was doing. She had been complaining about her weight for a while and I figured this would be a great way to help her. This fitness challenge was a virtual online support and accountability group. We would work out on our own schedules, but check in regularly and encourage one another. She declined because she felt she needed to devote too much time to her two kids to make time for this.

Now, I don’t know enough about anyone’s life to judge what they choose to do with their time but taking this solely from the surface, it saddened me. It made me sad that this woman who was unhappy in her body and unhealthy (by her own admission) didn’t feel like she could carve out time for herself and needed to give it all to her children.

Your time is yours, you don’t have to give it all away. Not to your job, not to your spouse, not to your friends, and not to your kids. Not all of it.

So I’m going to give you permission right now:

  • Take a trip without your kids because you actually want to relax on vacay
  • Go to Target and only buy something for yourself, because you never do
  • Miss a soccer match just because you don’t feel like going
  • Ask to skip out on Mother’s Day brunch and have an entire day alone instead for once

You NEED to keep some of your time for yourself. Simply because you are more than your job title, more than a spouse, more than a friend, more than a mom. You are also <insert your name> and <insert your name> needs you just as much as your job, your spouse, your family, your friends, and your children needs you.

your kids are assholes

You either laughed or frowned at that statement…or likely both. Either way, I stand behind it, because it’s true.

Children inherently mostly care about themselves. It’s not until we grow into adults and develop a sense of connectedness, empathy, and social norms do we really [hopefully] become individuals willing to sacrifice for others. But as children, we get to be blatant in our selfishness and it’s forgiven, and even more, catered to.

Don’t believe me? Think back to the last time you were really sick? Sure your toddler may have said “aww mommy’s sick, I’m going to hug you and make it better” in her adorable toddler voice, but she still wanted you to make her cereal in her favorite bowl. What did you do? You took the hug which was sweet but did nothing for your fever and aches, you got your sick self up, and you made that toddler her cereal in her fave bowl because that adorable little asshole wanted you to.

She’s cute but still an asshole, especially right before this photo shoot in Cape Town! LOL

Kids have this self-preservation thing down. They ask for the things that will make them happy. They are often firm about those desires. They make it known what will make them happy and they pursue it with vigor (in this case vigor means tears, tantrums, talking back, and any other tactics babies, toddlers, adolescents, and teens use to get what they want). We should take a page out of their books and every once in a while, be the asshole and put ourselves first.

Think about the instructions on an airline “if the cabin loses air pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling, apply your own oxygen mask before assisting others”. Sounds like an asshole thing to do – save yourself first. That’s not what the heros in our favorite movies do, they sacrifice themselves for others and that’s what moms are trained (read: brainwashed) to do in almost every aspect of our lives as moms.

Here’s the thing, there absolutely are cases where we have to and should make sacrifices for our children. My point is that we don’t always need to do so. Sometimes, we NEED to apply our own masks first in both big and small ways.

I always say “happy women make great moms”. Sometimes, your happiness needs to come first. Ever notice how much more patient and attentive you are with your kids when you’re happy? I know when I’m happy with myself, I’m so much better with my daughter. That said, your happiness is just as important for your kids as it is for you.

The kids are fine, just ask them

When my daughter was about 3 morning drop offs at daycare were PAINFUL. I would take her into her classroom and set her down, look her in the face to say goodbye and she’d look at me with tears welling in her eyes with this look that said “how could you just abandon me like this!?!?” I would start to leave and she would start WAILING and grabbing my leg.

For every mom who has experienced this (and we pretty much all have, right?), the thoughts swirling in our heads are a combination of “damn this kid is strong” and “aww my baby loves me so much” and “what THE HELL are they doing to my kid here, should I be worried!?!” and inevitably “gosh, I’m a bad person for leaving my baby here like this”. But we do it because we have to. We walk away feeling like horrible people and reminding ourselves that we don’t have much choice.

One morning after the standard abandonment routine, I got to my car and remembered I forgot to give something to my daughter’s teacher. I turned back to go to the room, a bit scared I’d have to perform this whole routine all over again. Before I walked back into the classroom, I caught a glimpse of my daughter who, despite being an emotional wreck just minutes earlier, was laughing and playing with two other children. She looked so happy. This child who not 3 minutes ago was clinging onto me for dear life, begging me not to leave her. I stood and watched her for a few minutes, it was like none of the events from that morning had even happened. She wasn’t even thinking about me.

I share this story to say, your kid will be fine.

Ever asked your child what they think of you as a mom? What they think makes you a good mom? I’d bet $20 today that they won’t say you’re a great mom because:

  • You never abandoned me at daycare
  • You never buy anything for yourself but always buy things for me
  • You never go on trips without me
  • You show up at 100% of my games, events, recitals, etc.
  • You don’t ever take time for yourself or do things for yourself

Do me a favor, go ask your kid what makes you a great mom. If I’m wrong and they do say one of the things above, come back and let me know in the comments and I’ll mail your $20 to you!

It’s likely that thing you want to do for yourself that has you feeling guilty is not something your kid will hold against you. They love you for all the things you are doing for them and the intangible ways you show them every day that you love them.

Don’t forget that you are on a quest to be the very best version of YOU, not just you as a mother, but you as <insert your name>. Your efforts in this quest will absolutely trickle down to your children and everyone will win.

Now say it with me – FUCK MOM GUILT.

libryia

All posts

2 Comments

  • LaChante May 5, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    Awesome read and revelation. Now being a single parent, and finding my true self that I’ve definitely established I’ve always had “Mom, Wife, Employee guilt”. Making sure everything and everyone else was ok, and neglecting my own needs.

    I’m glad you posted this blog, it has reinforced my thoughts of saying “F*ck Mom Guilt”. It’s hard when you’re a single parent without anyone to help you, but God has it all worked out for my good. The excitement of getting yourself new a piece of lingerie or a decent pair of shoes, is amazing every once in a while.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • EmaratForex June 25, 2019 at 4:12 am

    And, if it helps, remember the election result. “I woke up this morning and the first thing I thought, right after remembering Donald Trump is going to be our president, was, F*ck mom guilt,” a working mom friend emailed me last week. “We re going to have to be out there doing battle for our girls. Staying home certainly isn’t going to help them. I want my daughters to know me as someone who is out there making the world a better place, not someone who is at home cutting the crusts off their sandwiches. If I ever feel guilty again, I’ll remember that’s how they keep us in our places.”

  • Leave a Reply

    Instagram

    • "I love you all of the time, I like you most of the time" - the real mantra of moms everywhere 🤣 🤷🏾‍♀️
.
.
📸 : @theqovphotos
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

#mommiehood #motherhood #mommingateen #wanderingmom
    • It's another Work From Anywhere Wednesday! **body rolls**
.
I'm chatting with you from my home office today about positions that are not 100% remote.

They do exist and A LOT of people don't even bother looking at them because they are so focused on finding a fully remote job.

I want to encourage you to apply for these jobs even if they aren't fully remote.

Why?

Well, for one you need to get into the habit of applying for jobs and going through the hiring process. I believe in achievement motivation. Once you start applying for the jobs you "kinda" want, it will be that much easier to apply for the ones you really want.

Secondly, if you get the job, you will now have remote experience and that will make you more appealing to the companies that are hiring a 100% remote workforce.

But the biggest reason I want you to go for it is because partial remote is more remote than you are now!

So get out there and apply.

If you need help finding viable remote jobs, I created a guide with my FAVORITE places to find remote work. Just click the link in my bio and grab your free copy.

Ok, I got work to do! Have a great day!
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#workfromanywhere #workremotely #remotejobs #wfhjobs #wfh #workfromhome #workingmom #workingmommy #quitcommuting #quityourcommute #WFAWednesday #wfa
    • Where there are two or more women gathered together, there is bound to be drama, right?

WRONG!

During my girls trip to Turks and Caicos, several men made mention of the fact that we seemed to be so cool with each other and had no drama during our trip. They seemed shocked and impressed.

Admittedly, we took this as a compliment. We proudly touted that "WE don't do drama!" as if we're special.

I thought about this on my way home and felt I had to say out loud that I think this stereotype should DIE!

We are in the Era of The Sistafriend. Women are supporting one another, cheering one another on, taking trips together, starting businesses together, and just having a damn good time together.

I wrote a blog post about why I just don't believe this myth is accurate and why it should be killed.

Click the link in my bio to check it out!

Show me some girl love on this post and tag your girlfriends that you rock with on the daily!
.
📸: @specislegend in Turks and Caicos .
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#girlpower #womensempowerment #blackgirlmagic #girlslovetravel #blackgirlstraveltoo #blacktravelslay #blacktravelgram #nomadnesstribe #travelgram blacktravelfeed
    • Yooo! It's Work From Anywhere Wednesday!

Today, I want to challenge you all to expand your remote work opportunities to freelancing.

Freelancing is a great way to work remotely!

You would be surprised to know that there are MANY companies, both big and small that are willing to pay you for the expertise and skills you have.

During my first monthly "Lib Search For My Remote Job" session last night, I spoke to two women about freelancing.

One wanted to be a recruiter. This is a REALLY great field for freelancing but you have to build your network.

The other wanted to help non-profits with fundraising. There are not usually a ton of remote opportunities with non-profits so I suggested that she build out a suite of services from building strategic plans to executing those plans and approach some non-profits who are currently hiring for similar roles and offer to consult with them.

Freelancing is definitely a great way to broaden the range of opportunities for you to go remote

There are a few more spaces in the session tonight and Saturday. Sign up before they run out. Just click the link in my bio and go to "Lib, Search For My Remote Job"

See ya in there!
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#WFAWEDNESDAY #workingmom #workfromanywhere #workfromhome #remotework #quitcommuting #quityourcommute #remotejobs #workfromhomejobs #wfhjobs #wfh
    • Ever give a woman a compliment and the first thing she does is explain why you shouldn't have?

How many times have you done this yourself?

It's such an interesting and automated response and it seems to be something women do almost exclusively.

I imagine if it were men, one man might say **turns on deep voice** "hey man, I like that beard look bro, its dope" and the man would never respond with "for real man? It's so dry and I need a line up!". No, he would say "thanks man, 'preciate that"

Why do we have so much trouble graciously receiving compliments?

Are we trying to portray modesty?

Do we think it makes us seem conceited?

Or do we think we don't deserve the compliment

This happened on two occasions over the weekend.

I told one woman that her lashes looked great and she immediately launched a smear campaign about how they were old and needed to be redone. I placed my hand on her shoulder to stop her and said "oooh girl, just say thank you" 🤣
.
Another woman I was chatting with had such beautiful skin and I told her so. She looked at me concerned like she thought I might be losing my eyesight and said "oh no, I'm so mad at my skin, I'm breaking out and..." I cut her off and said "I think your skin is beautiful, just say thank you" 🤣
.
I absolutely do this too. Most of us do. I don't know why we do it, but I would love for us to stop.

We do not owe modesty to the world. We do owe it to ourselves to be bold in our acceptance of our beauty, our strength, our power.

There is a big difference between being conceited and being confident and accepting compliments does not tip the scales towards conceit. It does, however, exhibit graciousness.

We don't get to decide whether or not we deserve the compliment. The person giving it to us already declared it. Its ours. They weren't asking our permission or asking us to sign off on it. They chose to compliment us because we were deserving. We should accept that. We deserve it.

Take the compliment, sis. Just say "thank you".
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#thingsillteachmydaughter #mondaymotivation #instainspiration #selfdevelopment #womensempowerment #selfimprovement #girlpower
    • Crazy enough, our weekend trip to Memphis was the first "real"  trip Zian and I have taken together since Christmas when we went to Colombia 😯😯
.
She and I have made road trips back to my hometown, we went to Chicago to drop her at summer camp, and we went to Detroit to say goodbye to our Jadyn, but this is the first trip of the year where we got to kick it together.

Yesterday, I moderated a panel for @audacityfest discussing traveling with children alongside @tanaibenardturner, @themomtrotter, @thetravelingchild, and @@gabbok17. One of the things we talked about was how much quality bonding time we get when we travel with our kids.

I love stepping outside of our regular routine of being mom and daughter and just being people exploring a town, getting to know who my daughter is as a person, and letting her learn who I am as Libryia, not as "mom".
.
Although our time in Memphis was brief, I truly enjoyed sharing history with my kiddo at the National Civil Rights Museum, chatting and strolling down Main St., grooving to music at the #BringYourSoul block party,  two-stepping to the jams played by @bigsueshouse at brunch, and mural hunting for dope shots for da gram (thanks @ilovememphisblog for the murals list!)
.
It's true, she and I can bond at home. But there is something so special about discovering a new place and ourselves.

Memphis, thank you for having us! We can't wait to come back and explore more of what you have to offer!
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#ilovememphisblog #ilovememphis #memphistravel #travelblogger #influencer #travelinfluencer #AudacityFest #visitmemphis #wanderingmom #wanderingmoms #wanderwoman #blackkidstravel #blackgirlstraveltoo

    Follow Me!

    Latest Posts

    Subscribe to our mailing list

    Get the news right in your inbox!

    Categories

    ×