Mom guilt. *Sigh.*
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There is so much love, excitement, anticipation, and joy before your first baby is even out of the womb… and yes, it’s served with a side order of mom guilt.
What is Mom Guilt?
Mom guilt is the feeling of overwhelming fear and concern that mothers have about how they are raising their little humans.
Guilt to motherhood is like grapes to wine. -Fay Weldon
As a natural instinct, moms feel the need to always put their kids first and make daily sacrifices for their children.
When a mom makes a mistake or does something for herself, she feels like she’s doing something wrong This is an everyday occurrence, trust me.
Pack your bags, we’re going on a mom guilt trip
It starts from Day One of being a mom. While pregnant, we worry if we’re eating healthy enough, or remembering how many glasses of wine we had before we found out about the pregnancy. Then we stress about:
- nursing v. bottle feeding
- cloth diapers v. disposable diapers
- co-sleeping v. sleep training
The very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already are one.
When they’re older, busy moms feel guilt about simple, everyday things like:
- forget their jackets at home
- overdue library books
- no clean pajamas for pajama day
- organic food v. McDonald’s
- too much screen time v. not enough reading time
- spoiling your kids v. not giving them enough
There’s literally no end to it. Unfortunately, we can never get rid of it because it’s in our DNA.
Why We Are So Hard on Ourselves?
We have very high expectations of what a mother is supposed to be. Mothers have the hardest and most rewarding job ever.
If you had a great mom, you probably want to be just like her. You want to make sure you raise your kids the way she raised you. She may have been messing up left and right, but she probably never let you see it, or you never allowed yourself to notice because she was so friggin’ awesome in your eyes. I’d like to think that’s what my kids will think of me.
What you need to know about mom guilt
You are normal to feel mom guilt. Actually, it means you are a caring and loving mother. Here’s a few things to keep in mind to help you cope when you feel overwhelmed.
Is it worth the guilt?
Will your child remember or care in a few weeks, or even days, that you forgot to wash their purple shirt for purple shirt day? Put things into perspective to help you let go of some of the guilt.
Apologize if you need to
Sometimes moms say or do things that are hurtful. It happens. I’ve done it many, many times. Once I’ve calmed down, I apologize, which lets them know I make mistakes too. It releases some guilt and helps us both feel better.
If you need to work to pay the bills, then that’s something you can’t change. If you feel mom guilt about it, then find balance in other areas by spending quality time with them on your days off.
We’re not always in control
Remember that we can’t control everything that happens. We can do our best, but some things are out of our hands. Accept the things you cannot change.
Your kids will always see you as supermom
No matter how much you mess up, they know what’s in your heart. They know you tried, and they also know you’ll hit it out of the park on the next one. You’ll always be a perfect mom in their eyes.
Do your best in your situation
You gotta do what you gotta do. Those are your kids and no one else knows your situation. Take a deep breath, twist up your messy bun, and get the damn thing done. Don’t listen to people trying to judge you and your parenting choices.
Mom guilt is always gonna be there, because we will always want the best for our kids. We can’t escape it, but we can learn to live with it and learn to let some of it go.
How do you keep mom guilt from dragging you down?