Give yourself a break: Cat & Nat tackle Mom Guilt

If you guys don’t know who Cat & Nat are, you’re missing out. In this #momtruths video, they tackle mom guilt, and it’s awesome. I was away two nights this week – taking a program on Teaching and Training Adults, as part of my professional/personal development, and I actually felt bad for being excited for alone time!

Since EJ still does not sleep through the night, let alone sleep through the night in his own bed, I was super pumped to stay in a hotel and sleep solo. Then, for a second, I felt guilty about it. Until, I didn’t even sleep through the night on my own and hubby told me the kiddo went to bed WITHOUT A FUSS, and slept through the night in his own bed (on one of the two nights)! What in the actual F…!?! 

I got home last night and, of course, had to make the most of my time with EJ. We played with monster trucks, we did yoga together, we played with blocks, and had a water fight at bath time. We kicked of the usual bedtime routine, with cuddles and stories, brushing teeth and then there was a major kerfuffle when I tried to tuck him in. Of course.

Hubby confidently took over, despite tears and protests, and I felt terrible because I had been away and I should be the one to put him to bed. However, bedtime would have been drawn out for two hours otherwise and we all would have been miserable.

And so, I gave myself a break from the mom guilt. You should too.

Mom guilt takes over

Mom guilt takes over

Tonight ended in tears. EJ’s and mine. After I rushed out of his room in a huff when hubs came to relieve me from another bedtime struggle and the first night of trying the “camping out” method.

Tonight I sat in his rocking chair, while he incessantly screamed, “Mama bed now, mama bed now,” referring to the cot set up beside his crib. The cot is mainly used by me when he wakes in the night and I just can’t do the up and down anymore. Those nights when you’re bone-tired and you’ll  do anything for sleep. All it takes is me being there or touching his hand through the crib for a good night’s sleep.

But it’s gone on too long. I’m sick (quite literally with a cold) and run down and really, truly missing my evenings me time.

Work blends into motherhood which blends into work. Despite having just returned from a week off.

I have only been to Crossfit twice in the past six weeks, because I can’t guarantee either of us will sleep, making it hard to go to the morning class. And since I’m not home until 6:30 and he’s not falling asleep until 8, 9, or 10, I am just too beat to make it to a 7:00 p.m. class. I know, excuses, excuses, but I’m in the trenches here (parenting line, stolen from my coworker). I can’t seem to find five minutes to text my friends, let alone call them, or see them, and other than finishing up dishes and breakfast, lunch and daycare prep once he’s asleep, I barely have time to brush my teeth before I pass out.

And I feel awful about all of it. I feel guilty for rocking him instead of working with him as soon as the sleep regression started, for not spending more time with him to curb the separation anxiety. I feel guilty for having to work and ship him off to grandparents and daycare, I feel guilty for needing Crossfit or a manicure or dinner with friends once in a while to get a break. I feel guilty for venting.

So, I cried as soon as hubs came out (after only five minutes). He let me sob into his shoulder and tell him I can’t do it and that I feel lost and broken. With a tight squeeze, he told me we would get through it. And he’s right, we will.

And, then I felt guilt for letting the mom guilt weigh me down, because I’m lucky. I am so effing lucky. I have a job (and bosses who allow me to have a flexible schedule), a home, and a loving, healthy family.

I know so many moms who can relate to this roller coaster. And I know that this story is nothing compared to what some moms or parents are going through and yet, we all have our own journey and we’re all doing our damnedest to do right by these little people that are the centre of our worlds.

So whether you’re doing it solo, with a strong supportive partner, or with family holding you up, keep going mama.

Don’t forget, you’re superwoman.



Welcome to The Guilty Mama

Welcome to The Guilty Mama

I guess I should introduce myself. I’m Coco.

I’m mom to a rambunctious boy, EJ, wife to a handsome goofball, A, and daughter to a saint of a mother and live-in cook/nanny, “Baba” (it’s Ukrainian for Grandma). That’s us, minus my mom, in Alberta in 2016.

I have been writing posts for this blog since I was pregnant with EJ, who is now 19 months old and I don’t know where the time disappeared to.

When I was on mat leave, despite living in a growing community (north of Toronto), I felt so isolated. I joined mommy groups and went to reading circles, but most of the new moms in my town had friends or colleagues close by or had already made connections with women in the groups. I was exceptionally shy, so only made friends with a handful, none of whom I managed to stay in touch with. Everyone else seemed to have it all together, while I was barely able to make it out of the house before 10 or 11 a.m. I know that’s pretty common for a lot of moms now, but holy hell, did I feel like a failure!

I manage to get some of my shit together when I was off, but I really enjoyed the lax days and seeing where the day took us! Some days were more productive than others, but in between diaper changes, breast feeding and play time, I usually managed to get a few words down here and there.

Long before baby, I went to journalism school, then got into corporate communications and public relations. I still work full-time in corporate communications.

When I went back to work just over six months ago, I missed writing for myself. A lot. I  felt work drain my creativity because I was trying to apply all of it to my professional work. I was holding in a lot of anger and resentment, which sometimes blew up in my hubby’s face (sorry babe!) and I needed an outlet to share the guilt, confusion, and frustration that I was feeling (and still do) for working full time, exercising a few days per week, and wanting time to shower in peace, because it means less time interacting with my little man.

This blog is a mish-mash of my feelings, experiences, and journey, as I navigate my way through mom-guilt, marriage, and finding the best version of myself.

I hope you’ll come along for the ride and share your stories with me in solidarity, for comic relief, or for support.