As moms, we deal with the inevitable. We birth children. We take care of them. We most times are their primary caregivers. And to top it all, we worry, worry, worry. Did we pack their lunch on time? Did we give them the right snacks? The breastfeeding mom is wondering if she weaned her little one too early and begins to feel guilty. The stay-at-home mom wants to sleep and thinks she’s being selfish for not wanting to bond with her son at that very moment. The working mom feels she abandoned her twins to pursue her career goals. The list goes on.
Here are a few ways to say “NO” to mom guilt.
- Distracting yourself by engaging in things you enjoy doing can help curb the mom guilt. For example, you are interested in watching a movie that you have had in queue for a while but never got to it. Engage in a short session of exercise. This could be as simple as stretching for 10 mins. Use this distraction to tell yourself, I am practicing self-care. From stretching, you transition to watch your movie. It’s a nice way to ease into what you want to do without feeling as though you abandoned your child just to watch a movie. It lightens the burden.
- Think positive thoughts. Mom guilt can overwhelm you with negative thoughts. “You’re a bad mother,” “how could you go for a massage and leave your child with the nanny?” and so on. Instead of thinking of these thoughts, replace them with “I am a better mother for doing this for my children,” “I love my child(ren) so much and I am a great mom.
- Build resilience to not feel guilty unnecessarily. There are things we feel guilty for in life that are understandable depending on the circumstance. However, if whatever you are engaged in does not hurt or affect any party involved, please don’t sweat it.
- Yes, like exercise. Workout to help release those happy endorphins. Practice more self-care habits and make it a routine. When it becomes a ritual and a part of who you are, there is no room for guilt for doing what makes you happy. More importantly, doing what you must do. It’s like taking a shower daily. Should you feel guilty for wanting to keep a clean hygiene?
- Talk to your child(ren): One interesting thing about kids is that they don’t care as much as we think they do. They just want to live happily, play with friends and just be kids. Tell them, mom needs to step out to take care of somethings first before she returns home. Example, you must step out to get groceries to cook for the family. Grocery shopping is an escape for moms if you didn’t already know haha.
I hope these tips can help you curb this mom guilt thing. Always remember, you are the best mom your child(ren) can ever have. You are enough and that is all that matters.