• Lauren Mundell

Mother's Day Guilt

Social media makes me feel terrible about myself in many ways. But, none as severely I judge my motherhood journey.

I see the first day of school pictures and know that my kids hate photos. But, also have hated school. I see the acceptances to college and know that my kids are struggling in high school. And, struggling to grow up.

I see the Mother's Day posts with women thanking their children for "making them a mom," and I feel like I have not done enough, like I don't love my kids enough, like I haven't given them enough opportunities or spent enough time taking them to events, trips, and experiences. Everyone else's kids always seem to have a good time (at least on social media), but mine never wanted to go anywhere or do anything and acted miserable until we were home.

I was a single mom and the primary supporter since my kids were 5 and 1. I look back and all I remember is working and being late for everything. I remember trying to show up for them and feeling like I was failing miserably. I feel guilty for choosing myself in seeking a partner (at the expense of time with my kids) and focusing on my fitness and especially my work with more passion than I did for them. I was exhausted and being a mother felt like extremely unrewarding work. While other areas of my life were much more rewarding. I feel guilty for coming home after they were asleep because I was too tired to listen to them. I feel like I didn't ask enough questions.

I feel guilty for getting divorced, for getting remarried, for trying to co-parent, for not being enough to help them be happier. I feel embarrassed that they struggled in school, I feel shamed that they weren't average. I feel responsible for their lack of interest in things because I didn't expose them to enough. I feel afraid of their depression and powerless to help them understand themselves while I am still trying to figure out myself.

I wish it was all as easy as everyone else makes it look on Mother's Day.

But, I also wish there were other moms talking about the fact that it's not.

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