‘I never lost sleep over the type of diapers my kids wore, or the kind of milk they drank, or that they spent extra time with Elmo when I needed to get work done.’

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“I’ve been feeling a lot of guilt lately.

To be honest, I’ve largely escaped the whole ‘mom guilt’ phenomenon thus far. I never lost sleep about the type of diapers my kids wore, or the type of milk they drank, or that they spent extra time with Elmo on days when I needed to get work done.

But lately, things have changed. Some days, I feel like my ‘yes’ is broken.

You know the one— it’s the word your kids long for when they ask to go outside and play in the mud.

Or to help cook dinner.

Or to ride their scooters down the block to watch the high school band practice.

Or to sit and color in your lap, even though you have a mountain of laundry to tackle.

When questions like this come my way, I’ve mostly pulled a ‘no’ out of my back pocket. Sometimes, sadly, just out of habit.

And the guilt I feel is real.

What’s wrong with my kids playing in the mud? They have rain boots, and old clothes to wear.

Why can’t they help cook dinner?

Eat dinner outside?

Spend time in my lap as I fawn over their crayoned masterpieces?

I decided that enough was enough.

Today, I began to polish off my ‘yes.’ The light in my kids’ eyes was half-amazing and half-heartbreaking.

They put on their boots and they played in the mud.

They helped me with yard work.

They cut mushrooms (with a dull knife) and stirred them in the pan and ate their WHOLE DINNER— partly, I’m sure, because they were so proud to have helped make it.

We rode their scooters around the block.

They stood on my old record player and drew on the chalkboard in our den that they’ve been begging to have a go at.

And you know what?

It was wonderful.

They felt heard. I had help in the yard and the kitchen. And now — they’re sleeping like rocks in their beds after a long day of free and easy fun.

When life moves fast and things get overwhelming, it’s easy to let the ‘no’s take over. (And, sometimes, the ‘no’s are necessary.) But for me, I’m working on finding my yes.

And today was a day I’m so glad I did.”

Mother smiles in selfie with young twin boys

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Eliza Morrill of Momstrosity. It originally appeared on their blogSubmit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

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