Today after a dentist appointment, I decided to stop at Target for a rare moment of shopping alone. As a work-at-home single mama, my daughter is pretty much attached to my hip, so getting out and about alone is pretty hard to manage.
For whatever reason, I had these dreams of shopping at Target and treating myself. I mean, hey, Mother's Day is coming up and my kid is 5. I might as well treat myself, right?
Some of you moms know exactly what happened.
I went to Target, alright. But I came home with a ton of shit for my daughter.
Wait, no. If I'm going to be honest, I got myself a bag of chips, a pack of cookies, and some cotton pads for my face.
But for my kid? Oh you know, I got her a pretty dress to wear for our Mother's Day tea, an L.O.L. Surprise doll (and thank God she got Splatters), some bath bombs. Some hair accessories.
Meanwhile, I looked at a skincare product for myself and put it back on the shelf because $20 seemed too expensive.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Let me be clear, nobody makes us moms do this. No one is twisting our arm to fill our carts with stuff for our kids. They're not telling us that moms don't deserve nice things.
Yet somehow it's become this universal thing for moms to ponder, debate, or even worry about buying anything exclusively for us.
My former editor has two girls each a year older or younger than my daughter, and she goes through the same struggle as me.
Haven't bought a new bra in 3 years? Better research the best price and then wait another 6 months because it still feels too indulgent. Meanwhile, she marvels how her husband can just buy what he needs right when he needs it.
If he needs new shoes, he goes and gets them. No worry or debate.
And certainly no guilt.
The truth is that I have no good answer for any bit of mom guilt.
Sometimes, shopping online helps a little bit. I still debate over my choices, but I'm a little more likely to indulge myself if it's not so impulsive. It's so damn easy to impulsively treat my child.
But I'm not quite there yet when it comes to indulging myself.
I’m taking it one day at a time, but maybe one of these days I will finally drop this guilt.
And remember I'm still so much more than a mom.
Women have needs.
People deserve self-love.
And I thought you might relate to the struggle.