The life of a Mom can sometimes be filled with guilt and anxiety over being the perfect Mom. There are times when, instead of sleeping at night, even though you are tired, you are awoken by your thoughts that are filled with things you have not done…because you forgot, or were too busy to attend to them.
Every Mom knows about the mental to-do list that we wake up with every morning. Apart from the usual routine of the day; like school runs, meal planning, checking homework, and a host of other things you have to do as a Mom, on a daily basis, there are still the one-offs, like running errands for both the kids, DH, family members and friends.
And if you are a career Mom, then you get to do all those things in addition to your official assignments. If you are a stay-at-home Mom, then you do all these things and barely have any time left for yourself, but at the end of the day, you are still filled with guilt and feelings of failure for not completing all these chores. A little guilt can spur you on to do more, but too much of it can actually sap your energy and leave you with no joy in what you are doing.
I was one of those Moms, who used to feel guilty a lot about things that I did not do in a day. I actually described myself above. That was how I would be staring at the ceiling, even when my brain told me to sleep, deep in my thoughts, about the day and how it went; the homework that I did not supervise, the school shirts I did not iron, the meals I didn’t quite get right, whether or not I locked the door securely (the last one would actually make me jump out of the bed to go check).
It did not matter that I always found the door locked, I would still checked, turn the key and turn it back again. I guess you could call it OCD, if it qualifies. While at it, I would check on the kids, unfold folded hands, put wrists back the way they should be, and then go back to bed, to continue scanning through my mental to-do list.
But nowadays, I have freed myself from the clutches of that guilt. I have come to recognize that I’m only human, and I do exactly as much as I can. I’m no super Mom and have no such aspiration. I just want to be the best Mom I can be to my kids. Besides, my to-do list has shrunk as the children have grown older. They do some parts of the list now. And no, it’s not child labour…lol! I found a list of chores children of different ages can do around the house and I assure you, there is nothing strenuous or harmful. But Moms would understand the need to delegate as quickly as possible!
As you can imagine, I’m not alone in this business! Nwakaego, who is mom to four children, two boys and two girls, often worries about that mental to-do list too. Hers starts in the morning, when she is second guessing everything she did the previous day, with her usually running around her house, or checking her car as the case may be, for anything she may have left undone.
Week day mornings, which are for the school commute, before stepping out of the house with her kids for school, she would check if all the power outlets have been put off. Mind you, she would have done it beforehand already, yet she would go round again, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, children’s bedrooms, to confirm, and her older children, knowing their mom, would also double check, whilst still tapping their feet and reminding their Mom how late they would be for school. It didn’t matter if she would be home in a matter of minutes, after the school drop. She would check anyway!
Upon getting back home, she would be running around again, switching on lights and the television, and at the same time preparing the baby’s bath, which of course, she would double check. Then she would feed him, and put him down for a nap. His naptime was when she was supposed to actually rest but no; she would remember a chore she had been putting off, and tackle it. That would be one item off her to-do list for the day.
Before sitting down, her baby would be awake, and the afternoon school run would be upon her. So, off she would go on the return trip to bring her children home from school. Lunch time would lead to the homework period, and about three hours after the return from school, everyone would be resting again, or still involved with homework, and the day would be gone.
But that would be the right time to start dinner! And there she would be, in the kitchen; keeping an eye on the baby, monitoring what the children are watching, making sure her older kids were actually doing their homework and not watching TV.
And that’s how her day would go, until her children’s bedtime. Yet at night, she would do a recap; add some more items to the list, in addition to the permanent residents of the list. However, she doesn’t appreciate being told to slow down. No Sireee! She does not want it any other way. Her day is a full one, and she loves every single minute of it.
While at it, ask her if she did everything on her list that day, she would tell you she got almost 90% done…that’s always her best score…she never gives herself top marks of a 100 percent. And I don’t blame her. No matter how much I try, I can’t finish everything on my to-do list, even on the weekends, when my schedule is lighter…but I try.
With all the work that needs to be done on the daily, someone would now consider women the weaker sex?! Puuhleezzzz, spare me!
Moms, you are a rare breed and I salute you!
Join the conversation with any of our TTC and Pregnancy Groups here