Hello Beautiful! Yes, I am talking about you!
The mom who struggles with the hardships of mom guilt. A mom who never takes time for herself, but when she does feels guilty. The mom who orders out way too much, because she is exhausted or is rushing home from work and then feels guilty. Sound familiar? I know all too much about mom guilt and I am here to help you overcome the hardships associated with it.
Balance & Mom Guilt
First and foremost, if you have followed me and my articles then you already know I have a toddler with Autism. My son is everything to me and the struggles affiliated with Autism are debilitating at times. Then add some sprinkles on top of toddler tantrums and stubbornness and you have our life.
I find myself more often than not, struggling with mom guilt as I work full time and have a nanny. I have to delegate a handful of things during the day and I try my best to catch up in the evening. However, I feel guilty because I am working and I haven’t won the lottery, so I need to work. I cry at night a lot because I wonder if I did enough that day with my son. Not only am I a working mom (No I am not on the TV series), but I am a wife as well.
Balancing it all is very tough and I have learned, I may be Superwoman but I can’t be in ten places at once. I try to find a balance of cooking dinner, playing with my son and I dedicate the weekends to spending time with my family. If I can prep meals ahead I do and I try to find things that make my life easier. Finding some balance, may help you not feel so bad when mom guilt strikes again!
I am a naturally anxious person, so worrying is an all-time unchosen hobby of mine. There are times I have spent countless hours worrying about things I have no control over. I have learned to just be present in the moment. If you are anything like most moms, you already have your mental checklist of things that you are worried about or that are concerning you. If one of those things on your list is ” Am I a good mom”? then you need to check that off. Bad moms usually don’t care whether they are bad or not.
My advice to you is to be present about your feelings and validate them. If you feel guilty, because you didn’t spend enough time with your kids, or you lost your crap yelling today. Hey! It happens and the best thing we can do is to make the next day better. Motherhood is not easy and neither is the hardships of mom guilt. Do your checklist, but don’t be too hard on yourself.
We All Make Mistakes
Did you burn the pancakes again? Forgot to change the diaper an hour ago, because you got pulled in five different directions? Hey girl, it’s okay! Things happen and as long as your children are loved, healthy, safe, and cared for, nothing else matters.
As a first time mom, I was rather focused on not making a mistake (anxiety as I mentioned before). I was afraid one mistake would be a disaster or that I would accidentally do something wrong and my son would die. Yes, this is the life of an anxious person! I also suffered from postpartum depression, which made things worse.
After I was able to come out of the fog with PPD, I started learning that I had to be kinder to myself. I was doing everything right and I made sure that I educated myself or called the Pediatrician when I was worried (They probably wanted to block me from calling). I had mom guilt all the time!
Get Rid of the Fantasy of Perfection
As moms, we have this certain fantasy that we grew up with. It has this pretty picture painted of making cookies with your kids on a warm spring afternoon and everything is clean and tidy. The kids are laughing and smiling and telling you how much they adore you. THROW THAT PAINTING OUT! Your painting will most likely look something like your kids screaming, there is flour all over the place and the smoke alarm is going off because you forgot the previous batch of cookies that are now hockey pucks.
The hardships of mom guilt are for real! Try not to be too hard on yourself and don’t for one minute think that Susan who jogs with her baby stroller has it all together. NO ONE DOES! Some people are just very good at hiding it and others are quick to judge. Don’t compare yourself, just know everyone’s mom journey is different and that is okay! None of us are perfect and I try to remind myself of that daily.
Being everything to everyone is nearly impossible. The hardships of mom guilt, leave us exhausted. So how do we motivate ourselves? Each day think of one thing that is bothering you and give it a realistic solution. Feeling mom guilt, because you didn’t spend a lot of time with the kiddos? Find 30-60 minutes the next day to do something with them that makes you all happy. Going for bike rides, walks, or even having them help you cook dinner are some ideas.
Try to be proactive in your hardships of mom guilt and once you start doing so, the hardships of mom guilt will dissipate. I want you to know that you GOT THIS! If things seem to be too much, then find an outlet to help you. Whether that is calling a family member or a friend or even a therapist. Try using some time to unwind and here are a few ideas on how to do that.
I know these are hard times with COVID19. Try to be kind to yourself and your family. We are all struggling more than usual. Here is a link you can check out on virtual schooling.