As moms, we have so much pressure on us to get it all right. There’s a huge amount of pressure from peers, the media and family of what parenting is all about- and many of us have an unrealistic expectation of child- rearing placed upon us. Of course, no one is perfect and ever will be- but while we understand that, it can be difficult to accept and deal with the idea that we’re not getting it completely right. There’s no handbook when it comes to having kids and we all have to work it out as we go, and getting it wrong at times is just part of that process. But that can lead to ‘mom guilt’- sometimes we can feel it even when we’ve done nothing wrong at all! Here are a few things to bear in mind if you’ve been feeling like this.
Have your own goals, but be flexible
Once you have a child and bring that little life into the world, everything is suddenly about them. No longer are you the most important person in your story- they are- and you’d do anything for them. However, this isn’t to say that you need to forget about yourself and your own needs. If you had goals and ambitions before getting pregnant, chances are they still exist now, even though your priorities would have shifted. You can still have your own goals and work on yourself, but to fit everything in you’ll need to do this in a flexible way. For example, if you want to achieve a certain career goal in your lifetime then you could study from home while your children are small. It could be your first step into higher education, or you could be continuing on from qualifications you already have. For example, if you’re already a qualified nurse you could study an online rn to bsn program. While your kids will always come first, you should still spend time and energy achieving your own goals too without feeling mom guilt.
Spend a personal day with your child
Most of us, at some time or another, will feel like we’re failing our kids. Perhaps you’re struggling cracking toilet training, or maybe they’re going through a fussy phase with food. They might be acting out and you can’t get to the bottom of their behaviour and it leaves you feeling helpless. In these situations, what can help is if you spend a personal day with your child. Something fun and enjoyable, just you and them, working on building your bond. You can rest easy knowing that these problems and issues you’re having now will more than likely be a thing of the past. When they’re all grown up you’ll look back and wish you could have one more day of them being small, throwing a tantrum at the supermarket! But right now, it can feel incredibly difficult and so taking the time to reconnect with your child could be just what you need.
Accept that it means that you’re trying hard
At the end of the day, the reason you feel guilty is because you care. This within itself means that you’re doing a good job as a mom, so embrace the guilt. It’s something that most of us will experience, because we all want to be perfect for our kids, but perfect doesn’t exist. Mom guilt helps us want to do better.