You love your kids dearly but you also have desperate moments of bewilderment and stress. I persuaded a cross section of Moms to share what they feel guilty about. Not surprisingly, a lot of the answers were similar. I thought I would share these with you; not to try and find answers but just to let you know that you are not alone.
Working. Either you have to work or you love to work or both and that is great. When the guilt gets to you, remind yourself why you are working- to put food on the table, to pay for a good education for your kids, to keep yourself stimulated and add value to your life.
Shouting at your kids and losing patience. They stare at with you wild eyes and think who has swopped their Mom for this crazy woman. We have all shouted at some stage, perhaps just try and tone down the decibels a bit. Kids get to see that their parents aren’t perfect, and that is OK. Remind yourself that shouting is part and parcel of parenting.
Giving your kids junk food. It’s been a long, stressful day and the last thing you feel like doing is cooking. And the kids get such a thrill at the drive through. What’s wrong with that? Just tell your kids it is a special treat and not to expect this on a regular basis.
Using TV as a babysitter. Come one, we all do it. Let them watch a bit of TV while you get dressed in the morning or while getting supper ready.
Can’t afford all the extras. Your kids probably have more than you ever dreamed about growing up. So you can’t afford those extra music lessons or that tablet that everyone else has. Kids just need our love and support.
You didn’t spend as much time with your other children as you did with your first. That is life unfortunately and just remind yourself how resilient the second and third child will be.
Being too tired to play with kids. They don’t need to be entertained every minute of the day. Remind yourself that you do a lot for your kids already and even that moment cuddled up on the couch watching Sponge Bob is a bonding time. So, take a deep breath and repeat after me- “My kids don’t need me to be available all of the time.” Now go hug them and get over your guilt — at least for today.
Wishing you were still single. Ever felt that you could just walk away from the crying, whining and lack of sleep and get some peace? Don’t worry; you are not the only to have ever felt that. Try and take some time and recharge. This also helps put things into perspective for you.
Which leads us too- taking time off for yourself. Go on and do it. Hubby will manage with the kids for the morning. Get some catch up with a friend, go to a movie and order a big buttery popcorn and diet drink.
Try and make YOU a priority. You are a Mom, partner or wife and friend and you deserve to feel good about yourself and be happy and fulfilled. I was asked the question- “So, how can I make the guilt go away?” You probably can’t, it is a bit like PMS, we all get it but in varying degrees.
I enjoyed your post. Everything you have shared is true! Now that my son is grown and on his own, I have found that I have more of those moments when I reflect upon my role as a mom in his youth. I know it doesn’t help to regret and punish myself, but it certainly provides for opportunities of growth.
Hi Julie, thanks for the comment. Whatever we did as parents we did the best we could at that particular time. Our kids grow up regardless and any challenges that they experienced will no doubt make them stronger.
Thank you for taking the time to put this post together. I really needed to hear it all. Ive been struggling with pretty much each point of mommy guilt. Thank you for this encouragement
Hi Ailie, yes, we all feel it. We must just not dwell on it and we need to move on from it. Our kids will be just fine. Life is about support and challenge and is never 100% smooth sailing- as much as we wish it could be,
Mom guilt can be as destructive as all the other ways we have had negative thoughts about ourselves: we are too thin, too fat, not smart enough, not talented enough etc
We just have to learn to love who we are and what we do!
Hi Debby, yes agree. Why do we do that, why do we have all that self doubt? That is why I wrote this- just to remind ourselves that we are important and we do matter.
In order to mother our kids and be a good wife, we need to have some recharge and refresh time! I’m so thankful that my hubby understands this and gives me plenty of opportunities to do that!
Hi Rebekah, thanks for comment. I am also so grateful for my husband and for his generosity of spirit. He loves the time he gets to spend with the kids.