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Mom Guilt: It is a real thing. 

Unfortunately, mom shaming is also a real thing. As I shared on my Instagram Stories this week, I have seen a weird combination of the two on social media with moms "bragging" how they have no "help" when they have countless hands helping with their children. Listen, mom life is awesome, but it takes a village. I quit my dream job to do this full time and still need extra help. 

I thought things would be a little different when we had our first child, but we kind of hit a wall and the first time she was out of my sight {seriously!} was when she was 6 months and I finally relented and hired a nanny. Before I became pregnant, I always said that I wanted to be a working mom, doing it all. As I was a nurse working at a hospital before becoming a mom, I thought that this would be 100% doable. And then I met her. My daughter, the child that I was worried that I would never be able to have and something that I've known that I have wanted my entire life. {We had a little difficulty getting pregnant, but I will share that another time.} Within the first week, I thought "Oh, no..." the thought of leaving her with my husband so that I could take a nap was something I struggled with, so I would instantaneously start crying {hello post partum hormones!} thinking about leaving her for 13+ hours. Originally, I thought that with nursing, I could find a good balance between the two worlds that I loved. Many, many moms do it, and I applaud them. But the thought of this in those early days, petrified me, scared me to death and made me nauseous. 

I took my calling as a nurse extremely seriously: I wouldn't do anything too tiring the 24 hours before, including having a glass of wine and I would get to bed early in hopes that I would and could be the best nurse that I could be the next day. If you are lucky enough to know a nurse in your life, then you are familiar with the idea that for a 12 hour shift, your time is not your own. I would go hours without eating, peeing or having a break, even when I was 8 month pregnant. In my early months, I would {somehow} balance morning sickness, intense nausea and getting sick between passing meds, holding hands and being a patient advocate. Even before becoming pregnant, this would lend itself to me being extremely tired on my days off. I would often stay in my pjs until 9am and then workout and get our life running for the next time I would be out of the house from 5:30 am to 8pm. The heart wrenching feeling of being concerned that I wouldn't be able to do my career with 100% effort and I would be away from Madrid for half the week, made me come to the realization that I had to take an extended leave. 

This is what we decided was best for our family and it was feasible. 

This is not to say that you cannot be a working mom and do it all. This is not to say that you can't be a nurse and a mom. This is to say that I give you a million percent respect for finding the balance. I just didn't see it feasible for what I wanted. 

{Disclaimer: as Madrid became older, her naps more consistent and myself more confident, I was able to find a new balance and that is when the blog became more of a career. }

Because of all of this, I thought, "I don't need help. I got this!" Then I hit a wall. 

I wasn't able to have any moment to myself, I wasn't able to get to the gym and I lost my sense of independence. Not to mention, I was 8 months + over due for the dentist and I would have loved to get a pedicure. {call me vain, if you must.}

Enter our amazing nanny. She was amazing with Madrid and totally understood my mom technique, my obsession with a nap schedule and my desire to feed an organic, sugar free diet. The first time I got in the car, leaving them at home together, I was panicked but relieved. I was gone for 3 hours and felt a little like myself again. I went to the gym and the supermarket and returned with more energy, calm, patience and 100% felt like I was a better mom with a little time away. We were able to get a date night every so often and then I didn't have to miss out on family things that happened after bedtime. I remember one of our first nights out was to celebrate my parents' wedding anniversary with my parents and brother. 

So, this is turning into a super long story, but yes, we have help with childcare. My in-laws and my parents both live close by, but they have lives of their own and aren't always available to babysit. Plus, sometimes we need a babysitter so we can go to dinner with them! I have been mom-shamed more than once, with moms saying, "well, you have a nanny," or "I don't have childcare, like you do." These comments have normally come from people that have different situations than I do, with their moms helping around the clock, husbands that don't have work demands like mine does, or other kinds of childcare. 

I have seen similar kinds of mom shamming on social media. Moms letting it be believed that they don't have any childcare help, going so far to be prideful and judging to other moms that are honest about their childcare, their moms helping or having a nanny. 

We should all be uplifting to each other, supportive, even when having a difference in opinion about this issue. Honest to what each of us is doing to make our home life and mom life happy. By being honest as to all the hands that you have that help and letting other moms know that it does indeed take a village, will give everyone confidence to make the best decisions for them and their families, instead of feeling guilty that their life might not look likes your edited down version that social media provides.

So yes, I have a nanny. Sometimes, when she is with the kids, I am working, running errands or going to the market. And sometimes, I am getting a pedicure, a haircut or a solo outdoor run in. 

SO.... the point of this post: I don't want any mom, reader or not, to feel guilty or compare themselves to others. Unfortunately both are inevitable, so I want this post to give you confidence and to tell you something that you already know: what you see on social media is not the whole truth. Do not feel inadequate because you don't "measure up" to other moms that you see. I guarantee that they have countless moments where they are comparing themselves to other moms too, wondering how they do it all. Just because you see a gorgeous, edited photo with happy, smiling children with a mom that looks like she just put in 100 hours at the gym and woke up with the perfect blow out, doesn't mean that she doesn't have full, live in childcare, daily stress or subject to those "bad days."

Social media is a blessing but a curse. With it, I have found friends, countless inspiration and a way to make an income while still being an at home mom.  With it, I have also felt insecure, inadequate, fat, and like a bad mom.  I have had many of you send me direct messages on Instagram that you like how "real" I am, so I wanted to share that the truth about how I make our household happy, healthy and efficient. I hope to never make anyone feel inadequate or compare themselves to my life. I share because I hope that it inspires and never discourages. 


1 comment:

  1. You are amazing and a mom-hero! Love you and your intense love for your family. ~gageamina


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