mom guilt and vegas

I feel like I have a different kind of mom guilt these days.

My husband and I were in Vegas a couple of weeks ago.  We went back and forth between going Fri-Sat or Sat-Mon.  A lot of things factored into where we ended up (Fri-Sun); a work presentation I had to make on Monday, coordinating with my sister’s flights, and childcare since this was a kid-free getaway. One of the things we considered doing if we stayed through to Monday was the Route 91 festival, since I am a huge country music fan and it would have been a dream come true.

So we ended up coming home Sunday night. And we all know what happened late that night, when hubby and I and most people in the country were tucked safely into bed.

In the midst of this horrific event we are all still processing, I’ve been reading the stories of the helpers. The heroes.  And I’ve been feeling a tremendous amount of what I’ll call “mom guilt” because I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s not the typical feeling I get of sometimes wishing I could do better for my kids (have seen a fall coming) or of wondering if I’m doing the right thing being a working mom. I mean that I think I would have run if I was there so that I could make it home to my kids.

That hit me hard. All of these people, these helpers, that stopped to shield other people or get them to safety…they all have families and many had kids. And who knows, maybe I would have done the same thing. But when I saw those people running, I felt like I would have been one of them. And it makes me feel like I need to do some soul searching and as cheesy as it sounds, become a stronger person. That if I had run instead of stopped to help, it would be selfish.

I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it’s something that I’m constantly thinking about. Some have told me “no, knowing you, you would have stopped immediately if someone needed help.” But the truth is, in the moment, would I have? Or would I have gone into self-preservation mode picturing my kids waiting for me back home?

I hope I never have to make that choice. But watching the story on the news unfold over and over again, and feeling that it hit so close to home for many reasons, has really made me think.

am i enough?

I, like many moms, often question myself. I found myself staring out the window on a work trip to new york and the thoughts were swirling through my mind.

  • Am I doing enough?
  • Did I give them the right nutrition today?
  • Did they get too much screentime?
  • Should I have sent a different coat to preschool with my daughter?
  • Did we do enough reading?
  • Is my baby getting enough opportunities for sensory exploration?

And the list goes on. I’m sure other moms do this every day as well, but it’s hard. It’s hard not knowing if the little beings I’m entrusted to raise into big people are getting everything they need from me.

It’s a huge responsibility, right? Being responsible for raising another human being? My husband and I certainly do what we feel is right. We put them first.  They are the absolute center of our universe, but somehow it still seems like it’s not enough.

These little people that are so completely dependent on me is a huge weight. Sometimes as I watch them sleeping, I wonder if they feel they have everything they need. Or if they know any different. Or if some day, when they are older, they’ll feel that something was missing.

It probably never goes away – the self doubt of whether I am enough for them. But today, I choose to continue giving my little ones 110% of myself, until I crawl into bed at the end of a long day and miss their little heads and bodies until I see them again in the morning.