I want to chat about MOM GUILT. Every mom (or dad) feels this emotion at some point in time as a parent. It’s probably like a right of passage or something.
It hits at the most random times, usually while scrolling through social media when you see all of these ‘perfect moms’. Or when you ‘think’ your kid/s have had too much screen time this week. TRUTH BOMB: NO ONE is perfect, no one is exactly like what they present to the world. AND THAT IS OK!
We need to start normalizing these conversations in order to help ourselves and others overcome this overwhelming emotion.
What is ‘MOM GUILT’?
‘MOM GUILT’ is this feeling you get when you think your decision is going to somehow screw up your kid…for life. It could be because you decided not to breastfeed or you have to put your child in daycare so you can go back to work.
If you’ve ever experienced any of the following emotions or thoughts or have actually done them (shocker I know!), then you’ve experienced ’mom guilt’.
- Finding your child/children ‘annoying’
- Going back to work/staying home
- Extra screentime for your kids
- Reaching out for help
- Having a bad day/feeling ungrateful
- breastfeeding/not breastfeeding
- child/children being bored
Honestly, this list could go on and on but I’m not about to tell you what to feel, these are just a limited example of what I have personally felt or done.
Our society today has so many crazy expectations for mothers and they come from all over the place, the media, social media, family, and friends. Back in the day, women had pretty much two options in life: homemaker or career woman, there was no in-between. Only in the last 20 years or so are women trying to have it all and are finally succeeding to an extent. But, with that success also comes the judging of your decisions from outside sources.
How to Overcome Feelings of ‘MOM GUILT’
At first, these feelings can be super overwhelming, I searched the internet to see how others were dealing with these feelings, and below are some of the things I found that worked for me.
- TAKE A MINUTE – when you start to feel ‘guilty’, just stop and take a minute to regroup yourself. Take time to recognize irrational thoughts, trust yourself & your partner decision making.
- In that minute, ask yourself, is this decision the right one for my family RIGHT NOW. If it is, then honestly, SCREW everyone else, and do you!
- TALK IT OUT – talk to your partner, your mother, friends…and if you don’t have someone to talk it out with, write it down. Start a journal and write it all down.
- CIRCLE – in part with #2 above, if you feel you have no one that you can talk to, re-evaluate your circle of friends. Try and surround yourself with women/people who lift you up and encourage.
- TIME for YOURSELF – take a few minutes at the end of the night to just be by yourself, collect your thoughts, read a book, and recharge for the next day.
- Check out my at-home spa night routine. This is a sure-fire way to help me relax after even the roughest weeks.
- SHARING is CARING – when you’re feeling overwhelmed with the amount of ‘stuff’ you have to do…let others help with that…whether it’s your spouse doing laundry or taking the kids outside so you can clean the house uninterrupted.
I do want to say that in no way am I a professional, these are just my personal experiences and my coping mechanisms. Everyone is different and handles things differently. If these feelings/emotions persist or heaven forbid get worse, please, please, please talk to a professional.
My one piece of advice though is this: Instead of seeing those Instagram moms as competition, use them as a source of inspiration. Look at their lives and what they are doing and see if there is anything that you can take and adapt it to your life and make it work for your family.
You are your best self when you are healthy, physically, and mentally. Make sure to take a moment each day to think about what you are grateful for. Take 5-6 minutes a day & start a gratitude or mindfulness journal
I’m still a complete newbie at this working mom thing and have constant freak outs of if I’m doing things ‘right’. I feel that even if I just do 1 or 2 of the things listed above, I’m feeling better. I’m constantly looking for other ways to help myself and others get through this crazy thing called motherhood!
Let me know in the comments ways that help you overcome the ‘MOM GUILT’.