The biggest surprise of motherhood so far? The amount of guilt I feel over everything I do (or don't do). It's easy to say you're going to be a relaxed parent, but when you see moms all around you seemingly getting everything done, it's hard not to beat yourself up. I've spent the past nine years doing so, but I'm determined to make it stop now and just let it go (you know I had to get a Frozen reference in there somewhere). Here, 11 things that I (and other parents) shouldn't beat myself up about ever again.
Source: Disney ; Front Page Image Source: The Weinstein Company 
Not Being Able to Do it All
I'm pretty much the poster child for the working mom who thinks she can do it all. But the truth is, you can't. I've missed a class party or two, shown up late for work events, and have had to say no to more things than I care to mention. I do my best to be everything to everyone, and that's the best they're going to get out of me.
Not Having Their Favorite Babysitter Booked
I know there are good and bad babysitters. I've seen them all. But when I forget to book one early enough, sometimes I have to go further down the list than I imagined, and their favorite sitter isn't available. But I know they're safe. And I know she knows what she's doing, so if she isn't number one on their list, they'll be OK.
Source: Giphy 
Scheduling Playdates at Other People's Homes
I love my kids' friends, I really do (well, most of them). But I still have one child who's not 100 percent drop-off playdate ready, which means parents and caregivers come along on playdates. And I don't always have my home in "visitor-ready" condition. So yes, I push for playdates at other people's homes.
Choosing the Slightly More Expensive Birthday Party Option to Save Time
We get very into birthday parties around here, seeing as I spend a good portion of my week looking at the spectacular soirees you all throw your kids. And I've spent plenty of time on Etsy ordering, printing, and cutting out card stock to make banners, thank you tags, and water bottle labels. But this year, I'm going the easy route. I signed up for the next package up at the party place, so I won't be up at 2 a.m. putting it all together, like I did last time, even if it means it won't have my personal touch on it.
Not Scheduling Playdates Because I Don't Want to Deal With the Mama Drama
Like I said, I really love most of my kids' friends, and they all play really well together. However, there are some whose mothers I just can't stand. They're not my friends, and I'm not their friend, so sometimes being together just drives me crazy. I avoid those playdates at all costs. The kids can play at school. That's enough for me.
Source: Bravo 
Not Making Every Meal a Homemade Meal
Yes, I can make mac and cheese. And yes, it tastes good, but the kids prefer it from the box. And at $1.29 a box, you can't beat the price!
Source: Giphy 
Not Being a Class Mom This Year
I've been the class mom for my older son for three straight years. I've organized more publishing parties than I care to remember and collected more money for class gifts than I care to recount. I even joined the PTA board this year. But there are only so many hours in a day, so I will not be his class's mom this year. And if the class auction project isn't what I would have done, I'll be OK with that!
Source: Bravo 
I made all of my kids' baby food. I steamed, pureed, mashed, and filled the freezer with interesting concoctions. And when they moved on to plated meals, I still made them (even the boxed one) . . . for a while. But when I get home from work, there are two hungry and cranky kids who want nothing other than a hot meal on the table in front of them, and waiting for me to make it only makes things worse. So I've delegated the meal-making to our caregiver and now, when I come home, I drop my bag and sit right down at the table with them, hear about their days, and encourage them to eat their veggies. Are they getting my secret ingredients in their dinners? Probably not. Are they getting my attention while they eat? Most definitely.
Story Time Is a Bust
When my kids were newborns and toddlers, not a single night went by that didn't include a few books before bed. With a kindergartener and a third grader, I must admit that nightly story time is more like two-to-three times a week story time, and I feel guilty about it. Long homework assignments, cranky kids, and even a family viewing of Jessie can thwart our plans. I mean, maybe it isn't supposed to last forever, but I have a feeling it should be more of a priority.
Rushing the Kids to Bed
Bedtime is truly one of my favorite times of the day — and not just because there's some quiet time after the kids are asleep. I love how they are willing to spill all of the details of their day just before they drift off and are always willing to give you one extra good night hug. But there are many nights that I just wish they would fall asleep as soon as their heads hit their pillows because there's a show I want to watch, a glass of wine I want to drink (in peace!), or a book I want to pick up!
Not Understanding Common Core Math
I spent the better part of the past year trying to understand my son's math homework. I was very good at math myself, earning all A's and B's. But try as I might, I just don't understand how they word these questions. So this year I'm not going to fight it. I'm just going to let him do it — his way.