The Silent Struggle :: Overcoming Mom Guilt During Post-Surgery Recovery
Being vulnerable is HARD for me. My husband is great and is always there when I need him, but it’s something I’ve always struggled with. That added with mom guilt, with a side of surgery, let’s just say that my world was recently rocked! Not long ago I had a very unexpected surgery, while this wasn’t my first surgery, it has been the most challenging one for me.
My mom graciously took some time off from work to help me and my husband with our children. It was the first week of school, so we needed the extra hands since I’d be on the sideline. My mom and husband were amazing; they were such a great team! She’d help get the kids up and ready for school, and he’d feed them breakfast and get them to and from school. She’d tend to me during the day, as well as cook and clean. They were a well-oiled machine!
One would think that I had it made, but that’s where you’re wrong.
The irrational amount of mom guilt coupled with my struggle to be vulnerable was at an all-time high! I felt so bad that my mom and husband were doing everything, and I couldn’t assist. I felt like I should have been helping them, I felt like I was being ungrateful by being in bed. However, between the pain meds and my inability to move around there was nothing that I really could have done to help. I felt horrible when my kids wanted me, and I was unable to be there for them. I felt bad even though I knew that my mom and husband were there for them when I couldn’t be.
I finally had to ask myself, “What is wrong with you?” Why did I have this ridiculous mom guilt? Why was it so hard for me to be vulnerable? Why was it so hard for me to just rest! I believe it’s because as moms we are the ones who are typically waiting on others, not others waiting on us. Moms are accustomed to wearing many hats, so when there is a break, we feel like we’ve missed something.
Don’t get me wrong, my husband is great, he helps a lot. But he also has his own business so he is usually not available as much as I am. This means that I am usually shuffling the kids around, cooking, and cleaning. Being unable to do anything really knocked the wind out of me.
This recovery has been a reality check for me!
I’ve had to slow my mind and quiet that little voice that makes me feel all that mom guilt and allow myself to be vulnerable. There will be times when you just can’t and that’s ok, because most of the time you are managing the many hats you wear magically like the brilliant magician that you are! There will be times when you must focus on yourself and you aren’t available, and that’s ok because most of the time you’re choosing your family.
And it’s ok to be vulnerable and accept help because you are deserving of receiving and accepting help.
So quiet the that little voice in your head screaming that you should be feeling mom guilt in different situations. Don’t give it endless power! Take time for yourself and don’t feel guilty about it, and if you do feel guilty still do it! Allow yourself to be vulnerable and receive help without feeling guilty or undeserving, because I’m sure you’re there for others in their time of need. And lastly, remember you’re a mom not a machine! Remember that in those moments when you need help or can’t get everything done. Give yourself grace because if anyone deserves it, it’s you.