Am I doing enough? Am I making the right decision? These are questions you’ve probably asked yourself before more than once. Trying to raise humans to be good, productive, valuable members of society is the most stressful job and there is not just one way to succeed at it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, a single mom or a married mom- mom guilt gets the best of us all.
*This is a post in my series “Be A Happier Mom In 31 Days.“*
What Is Mom Guilt?
Simply put, mom guilt is a big fat liar. It tells us we’re not good enough, we’re not making the right decisions, we’re being selfish. It makes us second guess ourselves and our abilities. It makes us feel bad for every move we make. In turn, we end up sacrificing our mental and emotional health, convinced that as long as our kids are happy that’s all that matters.
How To Say Goodbye To Mom Guilt
Assess the situation– The truth is that while some guilt is unproductive, some is also good to have. It just depends on the situation. Ask yourself if you are going to regret what you’re feeling guilty about down the road. If not, let it go.
Find a solution– If you feel guilty for not being able to be with your kids because you work, set aside special time on your day off to give them your undivided attention. If you feel guilty for losing your patience, apologize and find other ways to channel your frustrations. Whatever you are feeling guilty for, there is a solution for it. You just have to figure out what works best for you and your family.
Stop saying “should/shouldn’t have”– This phrase and guilt go hand in hand. I should have bought organic, I shouldn’t have let them have so much screen time today, I should have breastfed longer, I shouldn’t have went to girls night out, etc. What use is saying should have, except to create mom guilt? It doesn’t change anything, it just makes you feel like crap. Make it a habit to accept the situation as is and not second guess yourself.
Get it out– Reach out to someone in your tribe who can relate to your struggles. They can provide reassurance that you will get through the situation and everyone will be okay. Since they’ve been there before they can also offer solutions you haven’t thought to try yet. It’s good to get a fresh new perspective, especially when your brain is occupied with worry and guilt.
The very fact that you worry about even the smallest things just shows that you are a good mom and you care. So the next time you feel mom guilt coming, on, make the choice to let go and remember that you are doing the best you can. Know that moms are not robots and are allowed to make mistakes. Holding onto those mistakes doesn’t serve you. As long your babies are safe and loved, mom guilt shouldn’t have a place in your life.
What’s something you’ve felt guilty about since becoming a mom? How did you handle it? Share in the comments!