efore dads all over the world go into panic mode and start having anxiety attacks, let me say, the chances that a MOMS shut down will happen are very slim.
That’s because MOMS will feel GUILTY that their dependents will suffer and NOT do it , unlike (rhymes with bump).
Last week I had a job training for which I had to leave home at 6 am even before the kids were waking up for school.
My first thought was “Yikes! That’s too early!’
My second thought was “How will I pack their school lunches in time?”
I started the prep the night before. I got up early the next day and had everything in lunch bags ready before I left. I was giving myself a pat on my back and feeling proud of myself when a thought hit me-
Why didn’t I even think of the other fully capable LIVING adult in the house who could pack lunches, like I had done for the past 6 years for 3 kids?
In short ‘Why Don’t DADS Pack School Lunches?’
Now there are many reasons for this at my home. I have only myself to blame for most of the reasons.
- Mother’s guilt -I think it’s so ingrained in the DNA of a woman that mothers are the ones primarily responsible for taking care of the kids.
In my mind, if I didn’t pack my kid’s school lunch and instead put a job training ahead, I was being a bad mother.
2. Not asking for help– I could have asked my husband for help the previous day. He would have surely helped. But I felt even asking or taking help was a sign of weakness.
“No, I got this!” I told him super confidently even when he asked me if I needed any help.
I had to be Super Mom and show him that I could do it ALL by myself.
Note To Self-
Tina, you don’t have to do it ALL to be a GOOD mom.
You JUST have to LOVE them to be a GOOD mom.
3. Not trusting my husband to get it done – My husband is perfectly capable, even a better parent than I. But let’s just say he is a little relaxed.
Maybe it’s a DAD thing. He doesn’t fret over the things, I would. I guess he understands what’s important and what’s not.
He might pack them cereal for lunch and not give it a thought.
He might SEE that they are wearing home clothes or haven’t combed their hair and still not give it a thought.
He might NEVER know the exact time their school gets over and not give it a thought!
Deep down, I know it will not be the end of the world.
The kids will even be happier getting a break from their crazy helicopter mom.
But my brain will be going-
Hah ….cereal? What is he thinking? All empty calories!
He SO doesn’t have my HIGH level skills ……like spreading butter on bread or being a NAG to the kids about dressing up neatly!
So, maybe I have enabled my husband’s laziness by not relinquishing control and assuming that ONLY I know how to run this ship.
Note To Self-
Tina, this ship will not SINK, if it’s PADDLED in other ways.
4. Scoring bragging rights– By not even letting my husband try, I could complain and brag about how much work I do!
Oops, just realized my impressive gaslighting skills.
You, of course, know what I did that day. I took every opportunity to brag to anyone who had ears, about waking up in the middle of the night to pack lunches, JUST like I am doing now.
So let’s just say, I have only myself to thank for making my life harder.
Note To Self-
Tina, why don’t you take off your Super Mom cape and just be a normal human mom?
Just do what you CAN and stop feeling guilty for what you CAN’T.
It made me wonder, WHY DO I BEHAVE LIKE THIS?
I guess it’s because there is always a lot of pressure on women to do it all, to go to work and still manage the household. If you do just either one, you are not considered good enough.
We must bring home the bacon and make an award winning casserole with it as well.
I was a stay at home mom for 10 years, so I have been on both sides of the fence.
If you are a stay at home mom, you are considered lazy and a Netflix junkie. You are judged for not being ambitious and setting a bad example for your kids.
If you are a working mother, then you are considered a career junkie who doesn’t even remember her kid’s face. You are judged for having a nanny or for feeding your kids fast food instead of healthy home-cooked meals.
Moms cannot win EVER.
That’s because sometimes women are the worst enemies of other women. I have been guilty of judging as well.
On the flip side, if a dad just pushes his kid on the swing, he will be praised for being such a ‘hands–on dad’!
Whether we are working outside the home or inside the home, all moms are working hard to make a better life for their kids.
So, let’s instead acknowledge and applaud one another.
No one ever asks dads how they balance work and home because they DON’T have to.
Surely there are dads who really help out. But still, a major chunk of all that invisible labor falls on moms.
So, maybe there NEEDS to be a MOMS shut down like a weekly or monthly holiday.
Things might not be up to my HIGH standards. The house might be messier, the laundry might be overflowing, the kid’s meals might be cereal 3 times a day, they might look like zombies walking around with unbrushed hair and unwashed faces.
Worst of all, I will lose my bragging and whining rights.
But the benefits of good mental health outweigh the costs of a messy house and kids any day.
The kids will still be fed, have a roof over their head and will hopefully learn about a thing called ‘GRATITUDE’.
They will realize that moms are HUMANS with needs and not robotic maids at their service.
Feeling GUILT is NOT a bad thing. It means we have a conscience and want to do better. But at the same time, we shouldn’t let it take over us to the point where we neglect our own sanity and wellness.
So moms don’t feel GUILTY for taking that break. It will make you a better mom.
We DESERVE extended TIME OUTS for all we do!