Mom Guilt is Just An Emotion
Guilt is connected to judgement. You feel a sense of guilt when you think people are judging you. It is expect that, if you are guilty, you are doing something wrong. But when it comes to parenting, what constitute what is wrong vs what is right?
Every mother parents differently. Some mommies work fulltime and have to pay for childcare, while others quit their jobs and become stay at home mommies and save on childcare expense. But which decision is the right decision? Are you a horrible mother because you chose to work and in return barely see your children during the week? Or does, quitting your job and putting yourself second to your children make you a horrible person?
In parenting, there are no right or wrong answers. There are no judgements. Every mother does whatever works for her family and there is no reason to feel guilty about your decision. Let’s keep in mind that guilt is merely an emotion. Just like every other emotion. It will come and it will go. However it does not validate anything. We are all human, therefore we all have emotions. I think what is important is how you handle those emotions.
Remind Yourself that You Are Doing Your Best
You are doing your best. Period. That is all we can do. Give yourself a little compassion, forgive and move on. I used to be so hard on myself.
Do I let them watch too much TV?
Am I too strict? Am I not strict enough?
Do I yell too much?
Do I work too much?
It was driving me insane. I kept feeling like everything I did or tried to do was just not good enough. Like I can do better.
Mom Guilt is an Unproductive Guilt
Unproductive guilt do not provide you with anything that you can apply for your future behavior. There is absolutely no need to feel guilty when it comes to parenting. It is unhealthy and unproductive since it is not really serving a purpose. If you feel guilty about having to work for 8 hours while your child is off to daycare, this is an example of unproductive guilt. Who else is going to pay the bills or make ends meet? If financially, you are unable to afford to be a stay at home mommy, there is no reason to feel bad about it. Instead be grateful that you have a job and the means to provide for your family. It is important to identify why you are feeling guilt so that you are able to talk yourself through the feeling, that is the only way you will overcome this emotion.
Perception is Everything
When overcoming these emotions, perception is your best friend. The way you perceive situations that involve this guilty emotions will help you talk yourself through them. The next time you start to feel bad or guilty about having a life outside your child, think about it this way; if you did not feel guilty about it, you must be perfect or if you do not feel guilt, then you must not care. And I am sure both are far from the truth. So be thankful for these emotions, it means you care and just want the best for your little ones.
So the next time you are feeling a sense of mom guilt, turn that into gratification. Instead of thinking, “I feel so bad for having to go to work and leave my babies at a daycare”, think, “I am thankful to have to means to be able to provide for my family and be able to give my children everything they need”.