Oh my God! Mom guilt! Will it ever go away? So the biggest surprise you will get after you become a mother is the amount of guilt you feel for the things you do… or don’t do! When you see all moms around you happily going about their daily chores and their kids turning up to be better behaved than yours- the guilt increases ten folds. No matter how much you might have promised yourself while you were pregnant, that you will be a relaxed mom- no mother can hide from the creepy ‘mom guilt’ that gnaws itself.
Guilt is good, if you have done something horribly wrong. But feeling guilty as a mom should not be done. This is how guilt works- Guilt reinforces the idea within you that you are not correct. Guilt makes you feel undeserving and it holds you back from being the person who you should have been. It stresses you and puts you in a bad mood. This vicious cycle of feeling guilty as a mother must be stopped. I was a mother who used to feel guilty about so many things. People looked at me differently when I started going to work leaving my daughter at home and it made me feel guilty. Many said that my daughter is too thin and I don’t give more attention to her diet even though my daughter loved eating her meals but is a very active child. These friends and family will have opinions but they will make you feel guilty about your actions. So much so that you will start doubting yourself.
Mom guilt is such a common thread between all mothers regardless of anything- be it your personal situation, work life or financial situation. Moms feel guilt and doubt about everything they do ranging from what food they put on the table to how many kids they want to have! Here is my curated list of things every mother must stop feeling guilty about.
My house is always messy. At first I used to be paranoid about cleaning everything and putting everything back in its place. Though it is a good habit and I have taught my child to keep things in their places, sometimes you just do not have time to have a spic and span house. So stop cribbing about how messy your kitchen is becoming or how messy the living room has become with all the toys spread here and there. Find peace in chaos as well. I plan a day during the weekend where I do some cleaning along with my child. That is a stress buster and it also helps impart some skills in the child.
Dropping your child off at a daycare or keeping them at home with their grandparents, you do tend to miss certain milestones and that does make your heart cry. But stop feeling guilty about being a working mom and not giving enough time to your children. Take out time for them from your busy schedule and once you are back home to spend time with them. Remember, it was your personal choice to work and if you feel guilty about it, your kids will sense that negative vibe and that will have a negative effect on them.
Yes, you a mother but a human being. Moms might think they can do it all but the truth is that they have missed one or two things in their child’s life. And that is okay! You do your best and learn to say no to things that you are not able to do. You don’t have to feel guilty if you promised something and you forgot to fulfil it. You cannot make everyone in your life happy- so you need to keep that sanity in you.
It is obviously not okay to yell at anyone, especially at your kids. But no matter how hard you try, sometimes it does get out of your hands and control and you burst out. You are a human being and mistakes happen. If you are yelling, slow down. Sit and calm yourself and take deep breaths. If you are constantly yelling then there is a deeper issue but sometimes when things get out of control, try to calm yourself by moving to another room.
You are not being selfish if you are spending some time with yourself. The moment a mother gets some time for herself and goes out to pamper herself, she starts thinking of her baby and feeling guilty of how she has left her little thing with someone and gone out to enjoy her life! Come on, you gave birth, you are raising a child- you need some time off for yourself. You do not need to feel guilty of having some alone time because you need some peace and calmness in life. So grab all the ‘me’ time that you get and make the most of it.
Sometimes you are just not in the mood to cook. It is not that everyday you are giving junk food to your children. Occasionally a bowl of instant noodles or macaroni and cheese or fried chicken nuggets wont hurt them. Most of the time you are struggling to get those veggies and pulses in their tummy. So sometimes if you are giving them something easy, that should not make you feel guilty.
Yes, the television has been a saviour for most of us when we want something to be done and the child is not letting us do it. If you do switch on the television for sometime and your child is happily enjoying it, it is okay. You do not have to feel guilty about giving some screen time to children, as long as they are doing it within limits. You should of course not overdo it as that will have bad effects on your child’s health; but an hour of television viewing is just correct for children.
Every mother a different priority. You cannot be perfect at everything and you cannot judge others for taking a different priority in life. Stop feeling guilty about the things that you cannot do and embrace yourself as the lovely mother you are to your child.
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