Some mothers feel awful because they have to work fulltime outside of the house. Other moms wonder if they are giving their firstborn enough attention after the arrival of their second child. Still, others compare themselves with other mothers and families and the guilt about what they’re not doing becomes overwhelming. But the thing is - no parent and no family is perfect. And things probably aren’t really as bad as they seem. So when the Mommy Guilt comes on board – what can you do to get rid of it?
All of my friends have experienced it. I have experienced it. And if you’re a mom, then you’ve probably experienced it too. It’s that thing called Mommy guilt. We love our children so much and just want them to have a perfect life. And if we feel like we missed the mark in some way – then we feel awful. But sometimes that guilt can go a little overboard. So what should you do to get over the Mommy Guilt? Here are a few tips:
- Recognize that you’ll never be perfect - and be okay with that. We are all imperfect human beings which means that at some point or another, we WILL make parenting mistakes. Once you accept that, shaking off the guilt becomes so much easier. The wonderful thing is that children are resilient. Sure they may get bumps and bruises, but they bounce back quickly. So, what you think is a mountain is probably really just a molehill. Relax. Parenting doesn’t come with a rule book. You’re figuring it out as you go along and you’ll get most things right. So when you do make a mistake – learn from it and make adjustments when a similar situation occurs later. Your kids will still be whole, healthy, well-adjusted kids in spite of your mistakes.
- This leads to my second tip. It’s not a bad idea to do regular self-reflections. If you’re feeling guilty about something, do a self-assessment. Figure out what is making you feel guilty and then do a course correction. For example, if you’re feeling guilty because you think that you’re not spending enough time with the kids, then look at your schedule to figure out where you can carve in more family time. And this goes for anything else that might be causing you to feel guilty. Guilt is a sign that something could be done differently - so figure out what adjustments you can make and make them.
- Don’t beat yourself up over things you can’t change right now. If you wish you could be a stay-at-home mother but that’s not an option that's financially practical right now, then obviously it can’t be done in your current reality. Or if you want to send your kids to private school but are unable to do so, then there’s no point in beating yourself up about it. And the list goes on. If you want to do something better for your kids but can’t at the moment, then put it on your list and make it a goal. However, don’t go into guilt mode. As long as you are meeting your kids’ basic physical, emotional, and mental needs – it really will be okay until you are in a position to make those other changes. Do the best that you can with your current circumstances, make goals, and know that kids are super resilient.
Mommy guilt is something that we have all had to deal with at some point. But when it rears its head, use these three tips to nip it in the bud.