Finding myself again in Motherhood…

Am I a bad mother?

This is the question that has given me sleepless nights for the past couple of days…

I’m sitting here staring at my innocent son – who is fast asleep next to me; admiring his beautiful face with tears in my eyes… wondering if the decision that I made was the right one.

In exactly one week, I will be leaving to the United States of America with my husband and 3-year-old daughter on a working holiday but… I’m leaving my son behind with my mom and cousin. He loves them to bits and is already attached to them because they live with me.

Finding yourself in Motherhood

But will he hate me for this?

New York has always been on my bucket list of places to visit. Being an entrepreneur is what I always wanted to do! My dreams are starting to come true, and I have an opportunity to expand my horizons and see the world – but it comes with a price.


Mommy guilt.

I’ve been getting mixed reactions from family and friends – mainly having friends support me while family question me, making me feel extremely guilty for even booking my ticket already.

I keep asking myself: “Is this trip a good idea?”

Should I just take my son too? But then I think about the amount of travel I will be doing during that short space of time; I think about how much better it would be for him to be at home in a cozy environment than in an unknown city overwhelmed with strangers.

How would he cope on a 22-hour flight?

Mommy guilt sucks! I feel like I’m being selfish for chasing after my dreams.

When I became a mother – I lost a part of me. The part that lived for adventure and not a pile of laundry to wash. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t hate being a mother. I love my kids but I need to love myself too.

Finding yourself again in Motherhood…

I need to wake up every day, look into the mirror and see more than just dirty diapers. These past couple months has been difficult for me but I never mentioned it to you because I’m still trying to figure out what is happening myself.

Every book I read gave me advice about teething and sleep training but not one chapter mentioned how to find yourself again in motherhood. How important it is to make me time or rekindle your romance with your husband who you hardly ever see these days.

I don’t want to lose myself in this journey of motherhood.

But Fear is stopping me.

What if he forgets me? Will he hate me for this? I know that I am being crazy – how can a 7-month-old hate? But I am a mom – a mom with real feelings and real pain. A mom who leaves a bit of her heart behind every time I leave him – even if it is just to go to the shops.

I cannot imagine 15 days without him, and yet will he respect my decision… I don’t want to shunt him around.

I want my daughter to feel important – to enjoy Disneyworld, and to realize that although for the last 7 months most things revolved around Kiaan that she is important too…

Finding yourself again in Motherhood…

Am I deserting him? I have already made sacrifices. I have allowed his bond with my cousin and my mom to develop by allowing them to spend more time with him.

In reality – he probably will miss me, but he will be happy and confident with them. He hates to travel. Short trips make him restless, so I know that he would not appreciate a 22-hour flight.

Kitana’s first overseas trip left her with an allergy that took months to treat, and Kiaan is just teething. I know that I am leaving him for his comfort but that pain is one that burdens me right now. 15 days without my boy seems like an eternity …. And yet …

People are judging me for my decision and it is making me feel like I’m failing at motherhood.

“My kids need me to love myself” – I keep reminding myself.

Finding myself in Motherhood

I really am trying to be the best mom I can be but that also means that I can’t push myself to the back again.

This is hard.
Tears keep running down my cheeks.

I always knew motherhood was difficult but today I’ve realized that mommy guilt is the worst… I sit here drowning in a puddle filled with emotions – thinking about every working mom that had to say goodbye to her child after maternity leave, and the mom who has no option but to travel for work frequently.

Today I finally understand you. I respect you and I want you to know that you are BRAVE and STRONG.

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Hi, I’m Shan. I’m an entrepreneur and a sucker for good adventures. I was listed in Forbes Africa 30 under 30 2019 and just recently launched my start-up – MomSays.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook


  1. 2016-05-08 / 20:02

    I don’t always understand why people have “mother guilt” over certain situations. You’re only going away for a short time to spend quality time with your other child. Your youngest won’t be old enough to remember or care about the trip you’re taking. Give yourself a break.

  2. 2016-05-08 / 23:07

    I can totally relate but in a completely different way. I HAD to leave while you have a choice. I was in the military and had to leave my daughter on multiple occasions. She didn’t “hate” me but she did become distant after a while and would cling to my husband more than me and it made me feel bad. This is a decision that only you can make but I would probably have taken him with me if I were you, but as I said, this is ultimately your decision.

  3. 2016-05-09 / 15:14

    I’ve watched my mother make tough decisions over the years and I can only imagine as one who has never had a child herself. I have enough guilt issues when it comes to leaving my pup for a few hours so I cannot imagine leaving a child. My heart goes out to you but I’m sure you will make the right decision.

  4. 2017-02-20 / 19:10

    I’m so stalking your blog right now lol!!!
    We all have those mommy doubt moments creeping up on us and being kind to our selves is imperative during those difficult times. Dont be too hard on yourself. We have to refill our cup mama, we cannot serve from an empty one ❤

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