5 Things You Shouldn’t Feel Ashamed About As A Mom

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This article originally appeared on iMOM.com and reflects their mission and beliefs.

“For the first week after my daughter was born, I kept wondering when her actual mom was going to show up so I could get back to my real life and stop babysitting.” I nodded as my friend described the same feelings of disconnection I’d experienced when I first became a mom. Neither of us had that “instant connection” with our newborns and I know we’re not the only ones who struggled with postpartum issues. It’s great it’s being talked about more openly and not being bottled up as mom shame.

But when are we going to start saying some of the other stuff out loud? And I don’t mean via Instagram posts that use humor and wine to mask actual feelings. I’m talking real vulnerability—the kind that shuts down mom shame. I guess I’ll go first. Here are 5 things I’m not ashamed for occasionally feeling. I hope if they resonate with you, this will give you permission to not feel ashamed either.

1. Sometimes, I wish I could go back to more carefree times.

Yes, I’m talking about pre-kid days when I only had to think about what I was going to eat for lunch or when I last flossed, or what I was going to wear to the movies. I love having young lives to care for, and I know when I’m no longer responsible for them, I’ll wish I had three huge loads of laundry to fold. But sometimes, I feel weighed down by all of it.

2. I often wonder if I’m cut out to be a mom.

Do you ever feel like motherhood comes more easily to other women? I often worry my kids will realize they got cheated in the mom department because I’m not a baker, crafty, or team mom. I know I give good hugs, so I’ve basically got all my money riding on that. Too many moms feel shame when they aren’t everything to everyone. No one is, so let’s shut down this unrealistic expectation here and now.

3. I don’t care about some of the things other moms care about. And I wonder if I should.

For example, my family has never had professional pictures taken. You know, the ones with everyone wearing coordinated outfits, standing on a country road. Sure, I’d love them, but I just don’t have it in me to put it all together. Meanwhile, I have friends who do them annually. Do you have that thing that feels like it should be important, but it just isn’t? Don’t let it be a source of mom shame in you. Leaving out some things from your family’s life makes room for other stuff you value more. In my family, we celebrate our kids’ baptism anniversaries every year by eating blue cake. (No, there’s no reason for the blue.) Pick what’s special to you and make it your thing.

4. Some days, I am grateful for screens.

I love when my kids are home, but their presence doesn’t stop me from wanting to get stuff on my to-do list done. So sometimes, when I give them “five more minutes,” I accidentally lose track of time and let it stretch to 20. I inevitably feel guilty that so much time has gone by and the only part of my kids I’ve seen is the top of each of their heads. If you do the same, try to push the shame away by giving your kids your attention when screens are powered down.

5. Sometimes, I wonder if I made the right choice.

Did I have my kids at the right time? Did I marry the right man? Was that the right way to discipline? Should I have made him study longer? I’m constantly questioning myself, worried I’ve made a mistake. Usually, the doubt gets washed away a moment later. The choices a mom makes are far-reaching, and never 100% correct—but if they’re done with love, we can rest assured our kids will turn out just fine.

Where does mom shame try to creep in on you?

This article originally appeared on iMOM.com and reflects their mission and beliefs.

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