Mom Guilt didn't come as a surprise to me. My children came along after the internet, and blogging, and Facebook were widespread and I watched many close friends struggle with Mom Guilt.
Mom Guilt is special; it isn't so much about actually being guilty as feeling guilty.
According to Merriam-Webster:
\'gilt\ is a bad feeling caused by knowing, or thinking that you have done something bad or wrong.
Obviously Mom Guilt is specific to motherhood. Mom Guilt is how you feel when you delay a diaper change only to discover your baby has bitting sitting in poo. Mom Guilt is how you feel when you wonder why your toddler's mood is so rotten only to find a new molar in the back of her mouth.
It's that sinking feeling when you say or do something, or fail to say or do something, only to find out there was a very good reason behind the undesirable behavior or situation.
It sneaks into the pantry with you as you hide and snack when you've missed a meal (because you were too busy playing waitress/bus girl/entertainer to the children during their meal). It crawls under the bathroom door with tiny fingers as you try to steal a moment of privacy for necessary business ... or just to take a breath.
So while Mom Guilt didn't surprise me, sometimes it catches me in the strangest places. This weekend I finally got around to trying the zero turn mower while Grandma watched the girls. At first I was scared ... what if it gets out of control? I'm sitting on top of whirling blades of death and dismemberment!
Then it hit me. I'm sitting on top of whirling blades! Watch me knock down this grass! Take that, eyesore! Nowhere to hide, snakes! It was amazingly satisfying. Who knew. Besides that, it is a form of driving and I do so love to drive.
Between the roar of the motor and the helicopter rush of the blade, I couldn't hear a darn thing. Just me and God. It was like taking a break yet getting something accomplished. And no one was asking me for anything. No one was telling on anyone. No one was crying.
Enter Mom Guilt. As I enjoyed the rush of clearing the yard on a pivot point ... Mom Guilt interrupted my enjoyment. How DARE I enjoy not being able to hear my children!
It wasn't like I had abandoned them somewhere. They were with their Grandma for crying aloud!
So next time a mom close to you is suffering from Mom Guilt ... just know that it almost never makes sense. It can strike anytime, anywhere. It has nothing to do with actual guilt. And honestly - I think that kind of feeling - feeling guilty for enjoying something like a moment without responsibility - is from the father or lies and is best ignored.