A salute to Solo Moms
“Mommy Guilt” sucks. First off, it’s far too easy to trigger. Forget to pack a lunch one day or snap at your child at the fifth bedtime curtain call, and the guilt pours in. Second, it’s totally pointless. Like, more pointless than shaving your legs in the wintertime.
So, just say no to Mommy Guilt. Because, seriously, you’re amazing! Even on your worst day, look at all the incredible, exhausting, totally crucial ways you kick mama butt without even trying:
- You feed your kids. And not just once or twice, but at least three times daily, and usually even more often than that! Frequently these meals are hot, and sometimes these hot meals are even prepared without the use of a microwave oven.
- You clothe them. Not only do you make sure your kids wear clothes, but you usually dress them in stuff that’s vaguely seasonally appropriate and possibly even clean—no small feat, considering how fast they grow, how dirty they get, and how many seasons there are in a year.
- You provide shelter. No matter how cramped or messy your home may be, it is infinitely better than a cardboard box—not just because boxes are cold and uncomfortable, but because they lack Wi-Fi.
- You clean them. Letting them play in the sprinklers counts. Washing their hair too often will dry it out, anyway. Isn’t that what your mom used to say?
- You give them exercise. Running for the bus, carrying bags of groceries, walking up the stairs to retrieve the homework they forgot: people pay a lot for this kind of workout. You’re a bona fide personal trainer.
- You teach them math. All those times you count to three? You’re building good number sense and laying down the foundations of numerics. They’ll thank you someday.
- You teach them language. Naturally, some of it is “colorful,” but most of your swear words are PG-13, not rated R. And they’re all perfectly viable vocabulary options, should your child choose to become a shock radio DJ.
- You foster independence. Who cares if it happens by accident, like the time they learned to self-soothe because you forgot to turn on the monitor, or when they taught themselves to pour milk because you were on an important phone call. Resourcefulness is invaluable.
- You lead by example. Cautionary tales are golden learning opportunities for children. Lucky them, you are constantly nearby to provide them, like when you kick the vending machine after it steals your dollar or use your sleeve to wipe your nose.
- You make them sleep. Sleep is a crucial ingredient in the recipe for children’s good health, and you make sure they get it, night after night, even when they are dead-set against it. The fact that your sanity depends on their bedtime? Well, that’s just a very convenient incentive.
Photo Credits: Shutterstock.com
Nicole C. Kear, is the author of Now I See You: A Memoir, recently published by St. Martin’s Press. Kear, who lives in New York City, is also an editor, speaker, and mother of three.
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