An Uncomplicated Life Blog: Why Are Moms So Guilt Ridden Over Leaving Their Kids?

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Why Are Moms So Guilt Ridden Over Leaving Their Kids?

It's en vogue to complain about motherhood and finish it with, "but I wouldn't have it any other way!" and when a mom gets a night away, she makes a point of expressing her guilt at leaving. Well, I call bulls**t. 


There's an old saying that goes something like 'when you do or buy something, you notice everyone else doing/buying the same thing too.' Obviously that's paraphrased because the original quote is far more clever, but you get the idea. Two weekends ago, I went to Nashville for a girlfriend's bachelorette, this weekend I'm headed to Boston to host my sister's baby shower and the weekend after that, we're headed to Richmond for a wedding. Lots of kid free weekends for me this spring! Which got me noticing... Moms sure do like to spew a lot of BS about guilt and their kids when they get a chance to get away. Let me explain.

I know I'm missing boccie ball backyard shenanigans when I leave my kids for a long weekend

Have you ever noticed how some moms go out of their way to tell the world on social media how hard it is to leave their kids when they actually get a weekend away. It always goes something like this: "Just got dropped off at the airport for my girls trip in Miami. Sobbed like crazy leaving these two little ones but thankfully it's only for a weekend! I feel so guilty leaving them. Mommy loves you!" Oooooooook. Let me tell you the f what. Buckle up kids, because I'm about to call out the fake mom guilt feelers.

First, you're not sobbing. You're dancing a jig. You're RUNNING into that airport and you're going to get a mimosa before your flight. Hell, you're probably getting two. You're immediately texting your girlfriends "I'M FREE B**CHES, HERE I COME!" You're not wallowing in a corner of the airport, sulking over the fact that you're finally getting a weekend away from your kids. And you're dang sure wishing it was longer than a weekend.

Throughout the weekend, you'll update social media with beautiful pictures of all the things you're up to - great food shots of amazing restaurants (that you'd never get to go to with your kids in tow), beach shots (where you're actually resting and sunbathing, something that never happens with your kids are along), and night out photos of you dressed up, makeup on, and feet strapped in heels (which you had to dust off because heels with kids is a death wish). All your friends are happy to see you getting some "me time." But they're also insanely annoyed by the fact that you qualify each photo with how much you're missing your family, which in reality, you haven't thought about all day. Or you did briefly, but you FaceTime'd them and got the scoop of what they're up to and what you're doing is dramatically more awesome. So why are you blasting social media with your made-up guilt?

I know I'm missing priceless faces when I leave for a weekend. That's ok. There's no shortage of personality in this family

Here's why: Because your guilt is REAL. But it's not guilt over missing your kids. It's guilt over showing the world that you miss who you were before you had kids and are THRILLED at the prospect of getting a weekend to be the non-mom version of yourself. The woman you knew before kids entered the picture and began dominating not only your life, but your very identity.

Once women become moms, they're just expected to give up everything for their kids. They're defined by being a mom. When you meet someone new, one of the first polite questions asked is, "Oh, do you have kids?" I'm always (yes, always!) asked if I have kids before I'm asked what I do for a living. My husband is always (yes, always!) asked what he does for a living before he's asked if he has kids. This issue is something that distinctly affects MOMS and rarely, if ever, affects dads. Which is why women are so annoying with displaying their "guilt" over leaving their families, something that's absent from any posts about guys' trips. When was the last time you saw a group of guys posing for a pic at hole 8 with a couple of beers in hand with a caption that reads, "Golfing with the boys! Perfect day for 18 holes, great beers, but man I wish the wife and kids were here! I miss them so much and can't wait to get home to them. I hope they're doing ok and know that daddy misses them!"

Yeah, never. You've never seen that because it's totally ok for men to get away, to not be defined by their role as a father. They can go on trips (work or personal) and tell everyone what an awesome time they're having with zero qualifiers regarding their family life. Women, on the other hand, feel the need to tell everyone that they're currently away but absolutely can't wait to get back to their life with kids. And I call BS on that.

I'm missing sweet moments they play well together but that's ok too, because there will be more sweet times and memories made

Women want and need to get away just as much as men do, and no - we don't always miss our kids. We don't think about them nonstop. We miss who we were before we had kids, an identity society made us ditch the moment a child entered our life. It's ok to get away and not have disclaimers or caveats about your family, moms! It's ok to say heck yes I got away, I ate great food and drank great coffee and slept through the night for once, and it was amazing. You should be able to say this without the fear of judgement!

Why are moms so guilt ridden over leaving their kids? It's not because they're actually guilt ridden over leaving their kids (and if they are, I hope they're working with an excellent therapist on their codependency!) It's because society judges a mom harshly when she escapes her mom role and focuses on herself. How about we all work together to change this judgement and let moms get out, get away and for the love of all that's holy, STOP the "oh I can't live without my kids" qualifiers on social media posts!

11 comments:

  1. God I love you. And this. When I get away from her, I am all lets let loose. No mom guilt here.

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  2. Kellen’s last boss didn’t even know he had kids until the last month he was in role. I couldn’t believe it when he told me.

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  3. I loooove me some "adult" weekends! I, we all, deserve it!! Cheers!!

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  4. i love this post. i'm only pregnant but i'm already planning my first kid-free getaway!

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  5. I could not agree more - and I feel the same way when I go to work every day! If I'm being perfectly honest, I don't really think about my girls when I'm at work!

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  6. I definitely think that people shouldn't claim to feel things that they don't actually feel--that doesn't seem to make sense. I think feelings change a lot based on how old your kids are. I have a small infant and I have left him with my mom several times already...but no, I'm not nearly at a stage where I can be out without thinking about him. I know that stage will come, but it takes time.

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  7. This is so great!! Mom guilt is the worse, but 3 kids in I definitely feel total freedom when I get some time away! It truly makes me a better mom when I get me time so no guilt here. :)

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  8. You are so on-point with this. It's society, not my personal guilt!

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  9. Mom guilt is really, really difficult. I'm glad you are putting it out in the open for moms to talk about!

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  10. Love this! It is so true it is a different type of guilt. But I will say my first trip away from my daughter, Vegas bachelorette getaway, I annoyed all the other girls by calling my daughter every hour, until my husband didn't answer the phone and texted "Go have fun she is fine, it is okay to have fun." LOL

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