Mom Guilt…It’s real! How to deal…
Mom guilt is something that EVERY mom will deal with.
Literally. Every. Mom.
Let’s start with what mom guilt actually is. Mom guilt in my eyes, is any time you, as a mom, are feeling guilty for doing something without your kids. Mom guilt is especially bad when you do something for YOURSELF without your kids! Examples: Pedicures, manicures, going out with friends, going somewhere alone, going to the gym, you get where I am going with this. Mom guilt can even show up when you go to work, or do something for anyone other than your kids.
News flash mommies! You were a person before your kids! You had friends, you had a life, you had a partner, you had goals! Why should having kids change any of that? It is so easy to fall into the trap of what is expected of you as mom, especially in this day and age. All your friends are posting on instagram and facebook every. single. day., how cute their kids are, how nice it is to be a stay at home mom, how well behaved their new baby is, taking pictures in their home that is spotless! Ha! I’m sorry to tell but that is all fake! They found the cleanest spot in the house to take their adorable picture, and just wiped their equally adorable baby down with wet wipes, because the mom with the messy bun behind the camera didn’t have time to give her baby a bath the night before. The best thing about pictures? You can take 100 before you get the perfect one and the people looking at the picture can’t smell your stinky baby who actually just pooped herself and that’s why she is smiling…oh yeah…I said it! 🙂 I can say it because I am that mom! I have done that so many times! I am literally laughing while I am posting this because I can remember how long it took me to get those shots! You will never know which ones those are by the way! I’ll be leaving you in suspense. 🙂
So, back to the mom guilt. Seriously, after my third child, my beloved Aiden, I stopped caring what other people thought of me. As a mom and as a person. I don’t know what happened but something just clicked after I had Aiden. That has helped tremendously with my mom guilt. Once you stop worrying about what other people think, you are free. You can do what you feel is right for your kids and for yourself. I can go out with my friends and not worry, yes I will still miss my kiddos, but I don’t feel guilty leaving them. After all, they are with my 100% capable husband. Or my mother who will be spoiling them rotten, or the babysitter that gets paid to like my kids, and the list goes on and on. If you are like me, your kids well being is first and foremost on your mind. So why are you feeling guilty? Let’s go through some different types of mom guilt.
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Dating your spouse
If you have a partner, please do NOT feel guilty about having a date with them kid free! You both need time away from the kids to be with each other! If you aren’t doing that now, I challenge you to do that at least once a month. Again, guilt free! You were with this person before you had kids! You will be with them after the kids are gone! If you aren’t still “dating” each other than you will lose the romance, and become roommates. What happens when the kids are gone? I completely am the biggest advocate for dating your spouse. Do it. Do it again, and do it some more. It will make you stronger parents, better communicators, and what is better than watching your significant other with your kids? Why should you feel guilty about any of that?
Stay at Home Moms
On to stay at home mommies. I currently work. I have confessed so many times, that I could not be a stay a home mom. I would never be the mom who wants to bring the kids to the zoo and make cupcakes for everyone. I bow down to my stay at home mom’s. They get a lot of slack and they probably have the worst mom guilt of all. You moms feel guilty when the house is not clean, when the dinner is not made, or when the kids didn’t do enough activities throughout the day. But in truth, no matter how career minded moms like me are…we all envy you! We wish we would feel the joy you do staying home every day with your kids! We wish we could last more than hour without pulling our hair out from our kids whining for a fruit snack, but you guys have it pulled together and are so brave taking your kids a million places every day! I barely want to take my kids to the grocery store and I dread play dates! But you embrace them! Those are things to proud of! Focus on the amazing job you are doing raising your little’s and worry less about the clean house. My kids aren’t even home 8 hours out of the day and my house is a constant disaster! Your kids are home ALL day. The last thing you should be worried about is a clean house or feeling guilty that they ate a non-organic snack today.
Working mom’s. I feel you! Mom guilt is hardcore with us! We drop our kids off for 8+ hours a day in hopes to make a better life for them. We live in constant struggle if the time we spend away from them is really worth the “life” we are creating? The answer? YES! You are out there setting an amazing example for your kids that you can do anything you set your mind to. You can be more than one dimensional. You are a super mom! You get up, get three kids ready, lunches made, everyone eats breakfast and out the door before 7:45am! That is a skill in itself! You make it in time to pick up the kids, help them with homework and give them snacks before they head to their after school sport. After, you make an awesome dinner, or maybe even not an awesome dinner. Maybe you pick up take out, but the kids are fed! Woo hoo! And they are happy that you spent the time you did helping them, and taking them to see their friends at their sport, and watching them hone their craft. I could go on and on. Don’t feel guilty for not making dinner every night, or for not spending the whole day with your kids, or for doing something with your life that you LOVE!
Caring for yourself!
How about when you do something for yourself? Ohhhh man!! The guilt is fierce when you are doing something for yourself! Am I right? I used to get so anxious when I would leave the house without at least one kid strapped to my side. No matter how happy I was to get out, if I was without one of my sidekicks I felt lost. I felt like I was being judged for not having my kids with me. When I was deciding on whether or not I should put my two youngest in daycare for 5 days a week, even though I had two days off during the week, I thought I would be judged so hard for not spending all my free time with the kids. I may have been, BUT my sanity was saved. With the kids in school, making friends and learning, I had time to spend cleaning my house, running errands, writing my blog, or even meeting with friends I hadn’t seen in months or years. Time to get a pedicure, go to the doctor, go to the gym. With me being able to do these things without my kids, I was able to spend real quality time with my kiddos. When they are home, I am present, I can pay attention to them and their needs without the constant nagging in the back of my head that the dishes need to get done. Do not feel guilty for taking time for yourself!
My point is, that no matter what you do, we live in a society that will constantly make you feel like you aren’t doing enough. We as mom’s will question whether what we are doing is the right thing, or the best thing for our kids. We will finally figure out what the “best” way to feed our kids is, then all of a sudden that will change. We need to stop trying to keep up with the Jones’s and just do us. Be the crazy, fun, awesome mom that you are. Make your kids laugh, help them when they ask for it, help build their confidence, so that when it comes time for them to go out in the world they are ready. Find yourself and radiate that confidence so your kids can copy that. Do your best and stop worrying about what that fabulous mom at parent teacher night is doing so right with her kids. Focus on you and what you are doing. That is what our kids need now more than ever. Our attention.
What are some ways you deal with mom guilt?