Hello! Hope your Fall is off to a great start! Can you believe October is almost over!? We are in the middle of Fall here in Georgia and finally the leaves have begun changing! This time of the year marks the beginning of the holiday season and when our lives tend to get so busy and stressful. I know for us we have had weddings, parties, and many social gatherings to go to and while they are fun, often times I feel guilty for leaving our son. Since I work part-time, I do get to be with him more than if I was working full-time, however, when we do extra things like go to events etc. I feel guilty for leaving him for what I call “optional” things.
By definition, “Mom Guilt” is the feeling of guilt, doubt, anxiousness or uncertainty experienced by mothers when they worry they’re failing or falling short of expectations in some way.
Does this ring true for you?
I know this is a feeling new moms, working moms and really all moms (at some point often) have felt about leaving their child. In June, my husband and I went to Bermuda on a trip that my husband won through work and it was for 7 days. Needless to say I was extremely excited, but I also felt so anxious about leaving my then 15 month old son that my husband asked me if I could handle going. I felt like Hudson would forget who I was and I would miss so much! Obviously this did not happen and I managed to get over myself, and you know what…I HAD ONE OF THE BEST TRIPS EVER! My husband and I got some needed alone time and were able to enjoy being around other adults and have fun!
It’s hard to not feel guilty for leaving your child and wanting/having to do something besides caring for them at all times of the day. There could be so many reasons that moms feel guilty. For example, a mother could really want to be a stay at home mom, but financially it isn’t possible. Or a mother could really want to work, but get guilt trips from others who do not understand their passion. Some mothers feel guilty for feeding their kids chicken nuggets and fries, while others are gutted for being too strict with an organic diet. The mom guilt trips never end! Whatever the case may be we have all been there at some point.
Here are 10 ways to ease the mom guilt…
1-Trinkets for days you are away.
I mentioned that we went to Bermuda for 7 days so I decided to get Hudson a trinket for each day I was gone for my parents (who wee keeping him) to give him each morning. These can be small items. I went to the Dollar Tree and got a golf club set, bubbles, some books, a T-ball set, a water shooter and a few other things with the day of the week to give it to him. He wasn’t old enough to really understand why he was getting all of these items or really who they are from, BUT it made me feel better about leaving.
2-Decide if you did something wrong.
Did you yell at your child to get off the table, but dad lets them get on it? You may look like the bad guy and feel guilty, but your comfort level matter too. Dad may feel more comfortable with little daredevils and you may not. That’s ok. Don’t feel guilty for keeping them safe.
3-Quit with the comparisons.
Every child and every parent and every grandparent is different. Everyone will have their own way of ding things and you cannot keep up with the Joneses as it relates to your children. There will always be a cooler mom, a stricter mom, a more lenient mom, a richer mom, a sportier mom, a trendier mom, a prettier mom than you. Stop comparing to what other have and do with their kids! Stay in your lane-you and your kids will be much better off.
4-Stay away from people who guilt trip you.
This one sometimes is often easier said then don, especially if they are relatives. This one can be very tricky. One way to manage this is to just listen, but remember you do not need to do something because someone else thinks you should. These are YOUR children and regardless of what anyone else says YOU have the final say so. If you think it is ok for your child to have 5 fruit snack, but your mother-in-law frowns upon it, just let it roll off your back and do what you want to do. You could even leave the room to prevent yourself from exploding 😉 Remember-YOUR KID!
5-If you are a working mom-take a personal day to spend it with your child.
You will be able to give them your full attention and reconnect. Make a plan for some activities you could do together whether it is going to a movie, out to lunch, or just spending the day snuggling and coloring.
6-If you are a stay-at-home mom, plan a day away from your kids.
Hire a nanny, babysitter, or let your mother or mother-in-law keeps the kids if possible and go take a day for yourself. Get a manicure, get a massage or even go shopping. You are with those babies all day everyday and you deserve to take some time to spend alone. This will rejuvenate you and make you feel better.
7-Remember that we all have challenges
There are days it seems like a struggle to get out of the door in the mornings because your child is crying and doesn’t want to leave. I’ve been there and it is hard! No family is without their own struggles, they just may be different from yours. If you are a working mom commuting to work, relish in the fact you can have a solo ride to work once you have dropped your kids off. If you are a stay at home mom, relish in the fact you are able to stay home with your children while many other mothers would do anything to be able to stay at home with their babies. The grass is not always greener on the other side.
8-You must be willing to let some things go.
You will not have the perfect meal ready for your family everyday. Get over it. You will not have an instagram worthy house everyday. Get over it. You will not be able to go to the bathroom alone. Get over it. Do you see where I am going with this? You need to pick and choose your battles and not make everything a battle. There have been days I was trying to do so much that I felt like I would going to have mental breakdown. You can’t do everything and be everything for everyone. Decide what you can handle and let the rest go!
9-Pause before you react.
Some of the most “guilt-worthy” moments are when you yell at your kids and then you feel bad about it. Sometimes those knee-jerk reactions make us and our kids feel the lowest. (Like when you have dealt with crap all day long and you get home and are fed up). Practice pausing before yelling in order to collect your thoughts first, unless it’s a safety hazard. This can help you become less stressed as a parent and give a more meaningful response to your children.
10-Use a calendar!
Does your daughter have a dance recital that she would be devastated if you missed it? Write it on your calendar! Is it your turn to provide after-game snacks for your son’s baseball team? Write it on your calendar! Do your twins have a theme day at preschool/ Write it on your calendar! One of the easiest ways to prevent meltdowns and “mom-guilt” is to keep track of things that are important to your kids. There are so many ways to keep a calendar. Use google (you can set a reminder), use your phone (you can also set a reminder), heck use a printable calendar and put it on your fridge! (I have on right here for you). Stay on top of events and you will be your child’s supermom!
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