Am I Breaking My Kids? Dealing With Mom Guilt

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It’s really hard to keep up with today’s Pinterest mom. It’s like if you don’t make personal charcuterie boards for lunch or create the most incredible birthday party decor from scratch, are you even a good mom? If your kid’s room isn’t a perfect Montessori backsplash, will your kid actually function in life? Girl, please!

Mom Guilt

We are so hard on ourselves. So many things fill us with mom guilt. Last week I forgot to sign onto my daughter’s honor roll ceremony on Zoom. I completely forgot to put it on my calendar since I got the email the day before and remembered 5 hours after it was over. When I congratulated my daughter after school, she said she cried when she didn’t see me cheering her on. And that even her teacher was looking for me.

Image: A woman crying (Am I Breaking My Kids? Dealing With Mom Guilt Janeris Marte Contributor Miami Mom Collective)

I felt absolutely horrible. It didn’t matter that she’s been straight honor roll since pre-k and that I’ve been the only parent at each ceremony. Or that I’ve chaperoned field trips or done drop-off/pick-up every single day of her life. At that moment, it hurt to hear that she looked for me on Zoom and didn’t find me. I’ve done this a lot on many occasions. I mean, how on Earth do we remember all the things we do anyway?

So many days we beat ourselves up for spending too much time at work or for wanting a lot of alone time. Is focusing on something other than our kids really going to ruin them as humans? Hear me out. I give props to the moms who can spend the day running after 4 kids, homeschooling them, and making them a lunch that is also a learning activity. Child, more power to you. I’ve always thought that was so cool. And before I had kids, I thought I would be her too. 

But after fostering many kids, I realized that I DO NOT ENJOY THAT LIFE! And still, I’m a darn good mom. My kids are independent, kind, grateful little humans that are a product of the crazy, chaotic life that I’ve created for them. 

You are amazing!

You are doing such a great job. Sit down and write down all the things your kids do incredibly well. I’m sure the list will be really long. And guess who had a major part in that. You. Whether you were working or at home. Whether you were on your phone too much, needed alone time, forgot school activities, took them in the wrong outfit on spirit day, or whatever thing you’ve felt guilt over.

Image: A woman working (Am I Breaking My Kids? Dealing With Mom Guilt Janeris Marte Contributor Miami Mom Collective)

Everything they are is because of things they’ve learned from these experiences. Pat yourself on the back for all the good and bad things you’ve done. You’re learning and so are they. 

When I was a kid, my mom refused to cook, do laundry, and clean for us. As a child, I felt I had a lot of responsibility. I didn’t fully understand what that meant. I just knew I did a lot. It shaped me to be the mom I am today. While you could always look at things with a negative lens, you can ALWAYS look at them with a positive one too.

In case you needed to hear it. You are not breaking your kids. You absolutely fabulous rockstar of a mom, you. 

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Janeris Marte is a mom, wife, professional photographer, Christian, and foster care/adoption advocate. She was born in New York to Dominican parents and transplanted in Miami in 1989. Janeris is empowered by being a strong Afro-Latina. She's a foster mom and adopted 2 of her girls. Their adoption sparked the passion to photograph adoption families along with traditional families and branding for small businesses. She has been a photographer for over 20 years and is a master in her craft. She's won several awards and has been published in numerous publications. Her true passion is caring for children and is commonly seen advocating for children in the system. She founded a non-profit that celebrates Sweet 16s of teens in foster care and involves the community in her efforts. You can find her on Instagram, telling stories of amazing families she photographs @janerisstudios or on her website JANERIS.COM

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