Wondering if you’d make the cut for “mother of the year” award?
Are you a guilt-ridden mom? Do you feel like you’re falling flat in some aspects of the parent department? These worries are so relatable and you are definitely not alone! -Cue personal anecdote:
At the end of every week, the dreaded weekend rolls around (most people’s favorite part of the week). My husband goes to work and is basically not around for the full two days. I’m left with full responsibility of the tiny human, and it can be a bit much after having help all week. We eat a lot of mac & cheeses or grilled cheeses for lunch, and cereal for dinner! I’ve never been much of a “homemaker” and my hubby Scott is definitely better suited as “house husband,” but at this point, we still need his weekend job to pay the bills (we are also self employed and working towards being fully self sufficient!).
On top of my lack of adulting skills, I’ve had a chronic pain in my foot (metatarsalgia) for the past 3 years that makes doing much of anything on my feet a literal huge pain. As you may be able to imagine, my son is often asking me to run with him or pick him up, things I can’t always do right now, and it’s pretty rough.
For these and so many more reasons, I am constantly feeling the mom guilt- it’s like a voice in my head: I’m not fun enough for my son; I don’t teach him enough; he’s not eating freaking quinoa and avocados every day, I’M A HORRIBLE MOTHER!
Do you relate to that at all, or is it just me!? (Let me know in the comments below!) At any rate, there are so many expectations on us, and there can be so much judgement among parents about the right way to raise your kid that it’s no wonder we’re so stressed and guilt ridden sometimes!
With that being said, I want to prove to you that you’re definitely already an amazing mother with these little factoids and nuggets of inspiration:
This cute fuzzball is sure to make you feel like the best mom in the world: in the face of danger, a mommy quokka will throw its baby at a predator so that she can get away! Now, I’m sure some of us sneakily eat treats without sharing with our littles, but there’s no way we’d ever use our kids as a human shield in the face of danger!
Ok, so maybe that’s a little bit of a stretch, but I hope it made you giggle! Here is some advice from human moms on what they do when struggling with mom guilt:
[Kids] do need to learn to play independently. Being bored is good for your children, it creates that creativity.. The way I get rid of the mom guilt is when I do spend time with my kids, it’s intentional, and I’m really not distracted so I try not to look at my phone, and really concentrate on them. But then, when I’ve filled up their love cups, then I say ‘OK, I need to step away, and I need to take care of me.’ (Watch the video)
McKinsey from Pretty Crafty and Wanderful suggests journaling these instances when you feel guilty, then let them go.
If you write down the reasons you’re feeling guilty, you’ll eventually be able to self-reflect on what your deal is which will help you fix the situation.
How this helps: There’s no need to think about it anymore because you have it written down in your journal and you can always go back to reflect on those feelings later down the road… (Read More)
What else can I do when I start feeling mommy guilt?
Let’s talk about taking action. Mommy guilt may start out small, but it can become all-consuming self doubt and depression if not addressed right away. If you can’t shake that down in the dumps feeling, think about seeing your doctor or a counsellor. Here are some things you can do on your own:
Talk It Out
Never feel too embarrassed to seek help by talking to your significant other, parent, or a friend that you trust. Often just talking it out and sharing stories can debunk those feelings that you’re failing at motherhood!
Dedicate Some Family Time
Plan a weekly family game night, or something similar! Saturday fun time at the pool, Wednesday craft night, whatever the whole family can get into. For couples, plan at least once a month to get a sitter and have a date night! Dedicating time by putting it into the calendar gives you all something to look forward to and guarantees time where you are focused on your family without distraction. Everybody feels fulfilled, and not guilty when it’s time to focus on other things.
Get Off Social Media
If your confidence is wavering, hopping on social media is probably not going to make you feel better. You know you’re going to see that “perfect mom” that you can’t help but compare yourself to. Or you’ll see a news story that makes you mad or sad. Or, maybe it’s the opposite and you watch funny video after funny video, until suddenly hours have passed. You’ll be focusing so much energy into social media land that you’ll be drained after, when what you probably need is to unplug and focus on you, or having some screen-free family time.
For my own wellbeing, I decided to turn off all the notifications for apps on my phone and now I recommend it to everyone. Turning off notifications has put me back in control, as I decide when I check it, rather than being drawn in by the little “ding” sound of a new (and probably not important) notification.
Take A Day Off
Take a step back from your life and do a self assessment. This may even mean cancelling any plans for one whole day, and spending that day with yourself, breaking your normal routine. Slow down and you may be able to pin-point why you feel guilty- maybe you’ve got too many commitments and some need to make the cut so that you can feel less stressed and more focused on your top priorities? Maybe there’s a commitment you need to make that you’ve been putting off? I find these thoughts come more easily when I’m not doing my normal daily grind.
Do A Little Self Pampering
What relaxes you? What makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside when you’re doing it? It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy, but treating yourself to special me-time is so great for stress! Read your book, soak your feet, take a bubble bath, listen to music, paint, take a nap-just for some ideas. Whether you set out one hour a week or five minutes a day, commit to taking some you-time! You could even make it extra special by decorating the space you’ll be using, like adding candles, or surrounding yourself in pillows and hanging pretty scarves on the walls! Whatever you like- you do you! How will this help with mom guilt? Remember how Suzi said she filled her kids’ “love cups” up? Well, you also have to remember to refill your own love cup, too!
At the end of the day, the #1 reason…
…That I know you’ve got no reason to worry if you’re doing a good job as a mommy is (drumroll): because you FEEL GUILTY in the first place!! I know it’s not a great feeling, but guilt is a sure sign that you are a caring, conscious mommy! Guilt is that self awareness that keeps us in check. It makes us relive moments when we feel it could’ve gone better. The important part is not getting stuck in the guilt, but instead allowing yourself to say, “next time it will be better/easier.”
At the end of the day, momma, if we asked our kids right now if we would win Mommy of the Year award, they would say, “YES!”
Go ahead and give it a try!
I want to hear from you!
Did this article help put your mind at ease? I truly hope so! Let me know how you feel about mom guilt in the comments below!
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