One of the worst and most intense feelings you can experience after you become a mom may just be mom guilt. Whether it’s feeling guilty about doing certain activities for yourself or questioning your action’s impact on your kids, it can lead to anxiety that throws you off balance. It can eat you alive if you don’t keep it in check and one way of doing that is remembering the following 18 Things To Remind Yourself Of When Mom Guilt Sets In.
18. It’s Negative Energy
We all know that misery loves company and perpetuating the belief that there is something wrong with you as a mother will keep a dark cloud over your head more than anything. Even if we think it’s just self-talk that our children aren’t prone to hearing out loud, our emotions always translate to our body language.
Kids are wonderfully receptive of the energy in the air and are much more attuned to something being wrong than we think they are. Being conscious of this may keep mom guilt at bay.
17. It Shows Your Kids It’s Not OK To Fill Their Own Cup
When you don’t care about yourself, first and foremost, your entire clan suffers. If you don’t take the time for basics like nutritious food and sleep, your body will protest and that’ll cause you behavioural ups and downs in addition to physical unsteadiness.
Making time for yourself is a necessity so you can actually be the best mom your kids deserve to have. By being a role model for self-care, your children also learn that they have to take care of themselves before others – mentally, physically, spiritually – and only then will life flow more smoothly.
16. Nobody is Perfect
We’ve all been raised to believe certain things are proper, depending on our parents’ or caretakers’ beliefs and values. Even if we don’t agree with all of the ideas that circulated our childhood, we still end up living them out once we become parents.
Deep down we know nobody is perfect, but it’s still hard to shake off the expectations imposed on us as kids. If we want to save our own kids from unrealistic ones, we have to begin with believing they’re not attainable ourselves.
15. There is No Such Thing As Balanced Motherhood
There’s a big myth circulating in the parenting community that life is about balance. From food balance, to work/life balance, to everything else balance.
This is the part where I tell you it does not exist. Life with children will be incredibly challenging, and suck the life out of you for maybe months at a time, and low and behold, there will come a few weeks where you are contemplating even adding more kids to your family. You don’t need to have a good balance in place to be a good mother – the End.
14. A Schedule Will Save You A Lot Of Headache and Heartache
One of the best things I did when becoming a mom and needing to juggle several people’s lives and going-ons at once, was to download an app that I could keep track of these things through. It also served as a reminder and sent me notifications of any changes to plans.
You can enable access to scheduling apps to anyone you desire and this ultimately leads to less disappointment or double-booked nights away when you finally bite the bullet and actually decide to do you.
13. The More Mom Guilt You Feel, The More Time You Need To Yourself
I truly believe mom guilt is a result of not giving yourself the opportunity to initially heal from pregnancy, birth, the initial postpartum period and the insane learning curve you’re thrown into.
Since mom guilt often goes hand in hand with overthinking and analyzing a situation more than we should, it’s time to realize that relentless worries can throw us into the midst of anxiety. If you feel more mom guilt than you think is normal, it might be time to take a breather.
12. Maybe It’s Time To Outsource
An area mom guilt rears its ugly head in the most is that of household chores. You always feel like you need to keep up with the Jones’ and it’s probably the most exhausting part of motherhood – since cleaning surfaces, making food, keeping clothes relatively clean and buying groceries still need to be completed even though you’re still learning how to take care of a little human.
Although it may take some convincing of your spouse to get there, I have never heard that hiring a maid or cleaner, or even a postpartum doula, has been a decision regretted by any mom I know. Some have even expressed treating themselves like this was the best investment they made.
11. Distance Yourself From Those Who Make You Feel Guilty
Unsolicited advice is a mom’s favorite thing, right? Let’s all take a moment to put forward the biggest eye roll we can muster for all those pieces of advice we’ve have to take in before our kid was even born. Some is well-intended but let’s be honest – there is nothing like another person’s comments to make us question our proficiency at motherhood.
How do we solve this? It’s as simple as filtering these people out of our lives. Sometimes those closest to us are the hardest on us and it will take a lot of confidence and boundary constructing to follow through – but it’ll be worth it.
10. Surround Yourself With Other Moms With Positive Vibes
If you’ve read the previous point, you probably already guessed that when we filter out negative contributions to our life, we would also like to attract into it some good vibrations.
Seek out friends who keep it real and have mercy on all sorts of situations because they just get it. Not only can you feel accepted around these people, but they also make you realize how hard we are on ourselves as women sometimes.
9. Find Regular Time For a 1:1 With Your Child
A sure way to stop beating yourself up about not being present enough for your child is to schedule regular playdates with him or her. This is especially beneficial to do when you have more than one child and feel you’re giving more attention to the smaller one at any given point.
Carving out regular weekly special mommy and son/daughter time is also a fantastic way to ground your relationship throughout the week if you may be working full-time outside of the house.
8. Think Of Your Own Time As Time To Recharge
Instead of thinking how you’re letting your family down by stepping away from the household and tending to your own needs, reposition that logic.
Are you more chilled out after you come home from a dinner with a friend? Are you generally in a better disposition when you take a night to head out of town and indulge in spa amenities for just a short 24 hours? The answering is a resounding yes. Taking your own personal time to get away from around-the-clock childrearing charges your battery enough to head back into battle full force.
7. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
Comparison truly is the thief of joy – because there will always be a variety of personalities out there in the world who may do what we do just slightly differently, worse, and you got it, better.
The key to stop comparing ourselves to others is to recognize a few things. Firstly, the grass is always greener on the other side. Secondly, the people you think have got it all together, probably don’t. If you think you’re the only person who has doubt in themselves now and again, you’re blind to all the humans around you internally struggling with the same thought.
6. Your Children Don’t Care About Half The Things You Do
Mamas, be easy on yourself. To help get a better perspective on how well we’re doing at this wild thing called motherhood, put yourself in the shoes of your daughter or son.
Does your boy care if you’re still not back to your pre-baby body? Nope. Can your daughter not sleep at night because you haven’t gotten to that laundry, yet again, today? Heck no. What your child cares about is your presence and your undivided attention on them when you do have time to spend together. Don’t let your thoughts be what divides you from the child right in front of you that accepts you just as you are.
5. If You Make Mistakes, It’s A Valuable Lesson For Your Kids
Whenever we try to be perfect mothers and want everything to go off without a hitch, we’re painting an unrealistic life for our children. Think about it – by trying to be without a flaw, you may be setting your children up for failure without even realizing it.
Failure (I know it’s hard to say out loud) is not just a normal part of life but a necessary one. It allows your kids to learn what perseverance is and gives you the chance to practice humility and to sharpen your skills for next time.
4. Be Proud You Love Your Family As Much As You Do
At the end of the day, the fact that you can even experience guilt over not being there enough for your children to some extent means you’re a darn good mother.
You’re not naive, you’ve watched the news or have heard horror stories about what happens in some families around the world. So consider yourself above the norm if you’re looking out for your little one and just wanting to be around, at your best, as much as possible.
3. Guilt Is A Choice
One of my favorite lines ever is, “Whether you choose or don’t choose, you’ve still made a choice”. Even if we can’t comprehend how such an instinctual feeling like guilt can be controlled, with the right mindset, it truly can be.
The hard part lies in recognizing it before it’s allowed to become a cyclical thought in your head that won’t stop nagging at you. Capturing it and sitting with it for a moment, to really ask yourself, “Is this worth it?” can makes a world of a difference.
2. Go Ahead And Schedule A Regular Break
Taking a chance to be more than a mom (because if you recall, you were a woman with passions, hobbies and the like for way longer than you were a mom) every week or on whatever schedule is more conducive to your family life will feel so good – trust me!
To make it even more special, head to an event with your significant other and try to re-live the time before your main roles on your resume were diaper changer and breastfeeder extraordinaire.
1. Know The Feeling Won’t Ever Go Away
If you don’t grab the bull by the horn now and face your inclinations about not being “enough” for your kids or not being able to enjoy stepping away to be your own person, you may find yourself living your entire life this way. Life is filled with so many more serious thing like health ailments that your thoughts are really better invested elsewhere.
Our children are ours whether they’re 3 years old or 30. Motherhood isn’t a role we can swipe in and out of. Mom guilt, however, is something you CAN slam shut the door on and your mature self will only thank you for having done just that.