Mom Guilt: Part 1 (Stories)
In the span of the last 24 hours I received news that a friend is pregnant and news that another friend miscarried. Two women who I admire a great deal experiencing two very different, but equally powerful emotions. Meanwhile I have single friends, and mothers of multiples all experiencing a wide variety of emotions and challenges each day.
I've always been an advocate of sharing stories---both for the deeper understanding it can bring about things I have never experienced and the community that forms around shared experiences. Yet, while I love reading honest and emotional stories, I also worry that those stories and my own will bring painful reminders to some. I feel guilty for complaining about a challenging aspect of parenting when I have friends our there who would trade just about anything to be in my shoes.
Try as I might to not let it become my whole identity, I find myself writing about marriage and parenting more than anything else. Sometimes I feel like a fraud---some silly girl pretending she knows what she's doing. Trust me when I say that I don't have anything figured out. The reason I write is the fact that writing has always helped me process challenges and find a sense of normalcy and community with others experiencing similar things. More than anything though, I write about marriage and parenting (and other things I care about) because it helps me to remember why I value those things in the first place (especially when I start to feel weary).
This is a preface of sorts. When I vent about being a parent I do so out of a desire to regain my sanity and perspective. To remind myself it's all worth it. I do not regret becoming a mother and I would be devastated if I lost my son. If anything, most of my mom guilt stems from feeling like I'm not doing a good enough job, that I owe it to my son and to other women who can't have children to be better at this. So no matter what I say or write, please know---I wouldn't trade it.