My wise friend M said that being a mom means feeling guilty about everything you do. My equally wise friend T said, “Mom guilt! Mom guilt! Where the pickle is Dad guilt???” (Only she didn’t say “pickle.”) Since guilt and worry seem to naturally pervade the lives of mothers, I’ve come up with a list of things you can stop feeling guilty about, starting now:
- It’s okay if your kids sometimes bore you. Playing “put our fire gear on and get in the fire truck and put out the fire” 80,000 times a day is boring.
- It’s okay to let your kids wear pajamas all day, not because you are so open-minded about their self expression, but because you are too darn tired to change them.
- It’s okay if you only buy your kids toys that you want to play with.
- It’s okay to want time away from your kids. Are you kidding me? Imagine spending that much time with your spouse.
- It’s okay if your neighbor’s kids eat sushi, curried carrot soup and vegetarian goulash, but all yours will eat is bagels.
- It’s okay to occasionally be astounded by just how absurdly stupid your kids can be (my two-year-old gets angry every time he sees a picture of himself holding his special blanket), while secretly believing they are smarter than everyone else’s kids.
- It’s okay to buy and not bake your contribution to any gathering, and to forget to point this out when you get compliments on it.
- It’s okay if you don’t know what pre-school, kindergarten, middle school, high school, college and post-graduate institution your neighborhood is zoned for.
- It’s okay to tell your children elaborate white lies in order to make the day a little easier: “Yes, these are the kind of socks superheroes wear. I looked it up on the internet.”
- It’s okay if every other kid has suddenly learned to tie their shoes (or write their name, or recite the days of the week in Latin) and it hadn’t yet occurred to you to teach yours.
Go ahead, add your guilty secret to the list. Let that mom-guilt go, one Safeway cupcake at a time.