Now that I’m a mother, I’m realizing that there are a number of emotions that I experience on a much deeper level then I’ve ever imagined. Take love, for example. I mean seriously. I never thought that I could love another human being (let alone 5) as much as I love my children. All the time, we hear people say that they’d give their lives for their child – but to really feel that – in a real way. That’s pretty incredible. Then there’s frustration. Ahh yes, you know, like when you’re shopping in the shoe department at Nordstrom’s and your toddler decides to break out of his stroller and you have to chase him around looking like a crazy woman – wearing only one shoe – as he screams and yells up and down EVERY isle – intentionally knocking down every shoe in his path. Then you literally turn around to find that your daughter has somehow gotten her gum stuck in a huge portion of her hair (true story). But if I had to single out an emotion that’s become most prevalent as the years go by, I’d have to say it was GUILT. Yes I said it – GUILT. These days, I find myself feeling guilty over everything. Anything. I feel guilty for yelling at my kids. For sometimes saying no. For helping too much with homework. For not helping enough with homework. For forgetting school functions. For not signing up to chaperone the 3rd grade trip. Guilty for daydreaming of waking up in a quiet home – where I can enjoy the stillness of the moment – and submerge myself in the simplicity of just existing. I feel guilty for, at times, not wanting to be needed (that’s a tough one to admit). Guilt. Does it just come with being a parent? I’m pretty sure it’s not just me. I’ve spoken to plenty of other mamas out there who, for one reason or another, feel guilty about something on a regular basis. When I think about it, it seems like such a useless emotion. I mean really – what good can come from beating yourself up over not being perfect all the time? We certainly don’t judge other mothers by these standards – so why do we do it to ourselves? I’ve decided that I’m going to try my hardest to kick this useless emotion to the curb. I’m sick of feeling badly over stuff that, in the grand scheme of things, don’t mean all that much. In 10 years, do you REALLY think it will matter to your daughter that she had to bring Dunkin Donuts to her class party because you forgot to bake the cupcakes? I’m ready to give myself a break and replace that dreaded “G” word for another – Grace. I take this motherhood job seriously – in fact, it’s become a huge part of who I am. My family is my number one priority, and every decision I make is driven by what (in my opinion) is best for them. But I also know that there will be times when I’ll forget things (damn school party). Or times when I simply can’t sit next to them to go through their homework line by line because I’m cooking dinner and toting a cranky toddler around. In that moment, what will I gain (aside from more grey hair) through beating myself up? Chances are, no one is being hurt in these situations. In fact, I’ve found that most times, I’m the one making mountains out of molehills – wanting to be everything for everyone all the time. It’s impossible. I don’t expect perfection from my husband, kids, or even friends. So why should I expect it from myself? Why set the bar so high, that it becomes unreachable? How about just accepting that I am human. Flawed. And usually have a terrible memory. I’ll try and do better – but some days, I’ll fail. I accept that being a mommy is a huge job. And even though most days are just fine, I know that there will be some tough ones in there as well. Things will get forgotten. I will get overwhelmed. It’s just part of life. And on those especially difficult days, I’ll simply remind myself that these moments are just that – momentary. Today will turn into tomorrow and in my experience, tomorrow will be much better.