Hi friends, today, we have Roxanne from “For Another Time,” and she will be sharing an article about The Feeling of Motherhood: Mommy Guilt. Ok, I will give the floor to her now. Enjoy![separator type=”thin”]
The Feeling of Motherhood: Mommy Guilt
Hi everyone! First, let me say thank you to Ophalyn for the chance to connect with you here on her amazing blog! I can’t tell you how excited I am to get to share with you!
Today I wanted to talk to you about something near and dear to my heart: Mommy guilt.
What is Mommy Guilt?
Its the nagging little voice in the back of your head that reminds you when you make mistakes, or tells you that you didn’t do a good enough job. It’s the nagging feeling like you could have, should have done better, but didn’t.
It’s taken me almost 3 years to learn this, and I want to save you that time and heartache, so listen close and I’ll cut to the chase: YOU ARE A GREAT MOM. You ARE doing things right. You ARE absolutely THE BEST mommy your kids could have.
These are things that we should be saying to ourselves in the mirror every morning as we start our days. It doesn’t matter if you’re a stay at home mom, a work at home mom, or a work away from home mom. What does matter is that you ARE “Mom,” in whatever capacity your family needs you to be?
How do I know? Because I know how much it hurts to think you aren’t doing a good enough job raising your kids. Because I know how much it hurts to think “I can’t do this” and feel utterly lost as to how to keep moving forward some days. And because I know what it feels like to be on the other side of those thoughts – the positive side.
Have you ever asked your partner this question?
“Am I doing a good job? What should I being a mom look like, in your opinion?” Have you ever asked your kids? Try it; I bet you’ll be surprised by their answers.
The other day, in a moment of feeling failure, I asked my husband that. His answer was something like “you’re already doing everything I think a good mom should do and then some. And, I honestly can’t think of anything you could change – you’re a GREAT mom to our kids.”
I was honestly really taken aback by that answer. I was so sure he was going to say something like “well, you could find more time to read to them,” or “you probably don’t do enough silly playtime with them.”
And then I realized: while I was expecting those answers from him, the only person I was ever actually going to hear those answers from was myself.
The only person who could make me think I was doing things wrong, or failing as a mother, was me. It really caused a pretty immediate shock and change in my thinking. Was it the case that I wasn’t reading enough to my kids? Was it the case that I didn’t play with them enough?
I mean, probably, because to kids there’s almost no such thing as too many stories or too much playing. But looking at the bigger picture, I do read to my kids. I do play with my kids. I do try to teach them new skills, teach them manners, and show them what it means to love another person.
Do you find that you, too, occasionally suffer from mommy guilt?
Maybe it’s feeling bad that your child has a store-bought cake for a birthday instead of a homemade one, or maybe feeling like you shouldn’t have scolded them for something they did because “was that really as bad or naughty as I first thought?” You have to take a step back and realize that as long as you tried hard and gave it your best, then you ARE being a great mom and no one would ever fault you for it.
So how do we get away from having mommy guilt crop up in our lives?
Well, the very first thing you can do is to stop comparing yourself to other moms.
No one lives the same life that you do, which means that no one could possibly do things exactly the same way that you do, or vice versa.
Sure, you can read great articles or blog posts on parenting to give yourself some benchmarking points, something to help guide what you want to do/be like as a parent, but you can’t assume that if you do exactly the same things as another mom, you’ll end up with the exact same results.
The next thing you need to do is stop grading yourself so critically against what you hoped being a mom would be like and what it really is like. Have you met any other moms in your life, who seem to always have it together? Or read parenting articles, and been on social media lately? Then the bad news is that it’s pretty much automatic for us to put all of that input together into the picture of what a “perfect mom” looks like, and I guarantee we can’t ever live up to that, if for no other reason than we are human and humans make mistakes.
And that’s ok.
The last thing you can do to keep mommy guilt from happening is to admit that you are human and only one person and acknowledge your need for breaks or just give yourself some grace.
Maybe that means you need to get creative with housework to balance it with all the rest of the things on your list; find some hacks/shortcuts, have your spouse/partner help if possible (especially if you both work full-time jobs or the equivalent!), or maybe even hire an occasional maid if your budget allows (I can dream, right?)!
Maybe that means you need to literally add it to your to-do list every day to find even 15 minutes entirely for yourself. Read a book, take a bath, go for a run, whatever you feel would help you de-stress and re-center at that moment.
Finding grace is the hardest one, in my opinion, but it’s definitely THE most crucial one. Because if you can give yourself some slack and admit “I can’t do [blank] because I don’t have the time/funds/energy/knowledge” (or whatever the reason may be), then you will find that you don’t put so much stock into what other moms do.
You’ll also stop comparing your actions with your dream vision of yourself, realizing that dreams are just that, dreams. Sure, with a lot of hard work you can make them a reality, and be holding on to who your dream self should be is helpful for making the changes in your life that will end up in you being happier.
But you cannot possibly realize your dream without that work, which means that today vs that dream is an impossible comparison.
Here’s something I want you to try every morning. Wake up, look in the mirror, and repeat the following:
“I am a great mom. And, I take good care of my family. I CAN get through whatever today throws at me. And, I will NOT worry about what tomorrow holds because my family and today are more important. I AM the best mommy to my kids that there could possibly be. I WILL feel good today.”
Little by little, day by day, you’ll see the change you want. And it will be amazing, just like you.
Roxanne, the creator of Foranothertime.com. A wife, and a mom who knows all too well what it’s like to not have it all together. She’s experienced depression from the harsh reality of not meeting her own expectations for herself, and anxiety from the earthquake of a cancer diagnosis for her husband.
She’s also felt the unparalleled joy found in seeing her kids grow and learn. Through time, effort, and a lot of soul-searching, she’s found herself on the right path to be who she’s always dreamed to be. Her passion is finding ways to make the changes necessary to get there and stay there, and helping others do the same.
Her blog, For Another Time, is aimed at stopping the cycle of dwelling on your “better days,” whether they are in the past, present, or future. Focusing on living for today, and making today count to realize and stay in those better days again.
HERE’S FROM LET MOMMY BE
Lastly, I hope you guys enjoyed the article and got something out of Roxanne’s article “Mommy Guilt: The Feeling of Motherhood”
The feeling of Motherhood: Mommy Guilt
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