There’s a meme making its way through all of my mom groups on Facebook called “Mom Guilt Bingo.” Have you seen it? It’s a bingo card with 25 squares. Instead of numbers and letters, each square contains universally agreed upon not-so-stellar parenting moves, from forgetting about class picture day to eating pizza for dinner. By the way, that whole pizza-for-dinner thing? We refer to that as “Friday” at my house.
If I’ve seen “Mom Guilt Bingo” once, I’ve seen it a dozen times. I’ve chuckled. I’ve probably hit “share.” But the thing is, I’ve done most of those things that whoever makes up memes thinks I should feel guilty for — and guess what? I feel absolutely no guilt. Zero. Zip.
Maybe it’s because I’m a seasoned parent. Maybe it’s because I’m really tired all the time and my threshold of parenting success is really, really low. But, I don’t feel mom guilt.
Because I’m a damn good mom.
My kindergartener doesn’t know all of his sight words, but he knows a few four-letter words. And by a few, I mean pretty much all the ones I know.
I tell my kids “go watch TV, Mommy will be done working in just a minute” and by working, you know I mean Facebook. My kids are still glazed out in front of the tube 10 minutes later when I remember they wanted something… and by 10 minutes I really mean 45. And by remember they wanted something, I mean I remembered I have children.
But I don't feel guilty.
I’m a damn good mom. Not perfect and not trying to be.
I yell more than I should. I refuse to get a puppy or make birthday party goodie bags. I have three kids and not one of them possesses a baby book, including my 23-year-old daughter… who is, by the way, a relatively well-adjusted adult.
I refuse to feel guilty.
I take the corner piece of all birthday cakes, lie to my kids about those annoying quarter-sucking musical ride thingies outside Walmart, and I don’t — gasp — insist on an all-organic diet for my little snowflakes.
I play Candy Crush at the playground. I’ve subbed “five more minutes of screen time” for bedtime stories more times than, well, more times than I’m willing to count. I don’t “cherish each moment” because some moments really just suck and I’m not afraid to admit that.
And, I’m a good mom.
I refuse to feel this thing called “mom guilt” just because the Internet wants to tell me what I’m doing wrong. I’m not buying it.
I dial the pizza delivery place on Fridays because I’m just so freaking over the week. So what? I fed my children dinner. Odds are, I even talked to them while we were eating and I’m much less stressed and stabby because we’re eating something I didn’t have to cook.
I refuse to feel guilty about forgetting picture day. My kid went to school with bedhead and the two sizes too small “Visit San Francisco” T-shirt that I didn’t have the energy to argue with him about. It would make an awesome memory but I forgot to send the envelope with the bargain price of $17.95 for a 5x7 of my shabby-looking kid standing amongst his classmates whose moms probably made an effort. Eventually, my kids will be able to use Twitter and Instagram or whatever thing the Internet will invent for their generation.
Mom guilt isn’t “a thing” for me because I don’t let it be. Life isn't perfect. I'm sure as hell not. I don’t pretend to be perfect nor do I shoot for perfection. I refuse to waste my brain cells worrying about trivial stuff that I could be doing better. You shouldn’t either. Unless you're engaged in CPS-worthy conduct or you're not showing your child love on a consistent basis, not being on top of their school folders or a few processed chicken nuggets are not worth your angst.
Dump the mom guilt, moms — and don’t let me catch you feeling guilty about it, either.
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