Is it possible to get rid off Mom Guilt?
As I write this article, my twins are enjoying their screentime probably watching the sixth episode of Masha and the Bear, while eating chips and popcorns.
The second wave of Coronavirus has hit in our city and we are all quarantined. Now last year, my kids spent these quarantined days in some constructive games and activities like reading, etc. This time, however, screentime is excessive. And I, for once, am not too strict about it too considering I have lots of pending work to finish.
Here comes my MOM GUILT, making me feel bad for not being able to spend enough time with my kids or keeping them engaged in fun ways. Honestly, this mom guilt strikes quite often – sometimes strongly, sometimes not. It comes and goes, and a lot of times it makes me feel I am the worse mother ever.
Mom Guilt is this pervasive feeling of not doing enough as a mother or not doing things right or taking the right decisions.
I personally feel Mom Guilt is a part and parcel of motherhood. I don’t know a single mom who hasn’t faced this. If you are a working mom, you feel guilty for not spending enough time with kids, if you are a stay at home mom you feel guilty for ignoring your career or self for your kids. If you are balancing both your career and kids well, still you sometimes feel guilty for probably not doing enough. At some point we tend to question almost all the choices we make as a mother – be it this decision to bottlefeed our kids or use a walker to make them walk or cosleeping or not cosleeping, etc etc. We always find someone probably doing it better than us.
Add to that, a quick scroll through social media builds up on this comparison. When we see other moms seem to be doing so much – be it educational activities, DIY, well-groomed kids, etc, the comparison lead to this feeling inadequacy for not giving our best. Happens very often, right?
In my five years of parenting so far, I have realised that there is no escape from mom guilt. It will continue to strike us even when we grow old as parents. But there are ways through which we can overcome it and not let it take its toll on us.
Ways to overcome mom guilt
Everytime I feel pangs of mom guilt, here’s what I do –
1 Identify the triggers
I try to dive deel into the reasons why I am feel guilty. For example, most of my guilt stems from the fact that am not an enthusiastic cook and rarely make a new dish for my kids. And when I see other moms spending hours in the kitchen, I feel super guilty. This way I have a few triggers. I often try to identify my triggers and do my best either to rectify them or stay away from them.
2. Surround myself with like-minded people
This really helps. I have narrowed down my circle and engage with only a group of friends who are like-minded and judgement-free, who donot give unsolicited advice and make me feel unsure of my own decisions.
3. Listen to my children
Our children are our mirror and often they show us in their own simple ways of our decisions are working or not. They also tell us what areas we shouldn’t feel guilty about. If my kids complain about spending a day out without them, then I dont need to feel guilty about going out alone with my friends. But may be plan another outing that’s solely dedicated to them.
4. Lower my expectations
Most of our mom guilt stems from the fact that we want to be this ‘perfect mom’ that everyone expects us to be. We feel this pressure of doing everything right and then one mistake makes us feel super guilty and miserable. For one, I have accepted there is nothing called as perfect parenting and two, instead of cribbing over my mistakes better learn from them and move on.
5. Follow my intuition
A mother’s intuition isn’t a myth. It is real. Often times when I feel unsure, compare or doubt myself or my decisions as a mother, I stick to my intuition and see where it’s leading me. If others question my decisions, related to kids and try to make me feel guilty, I simple move away from arguing or defending and convince myself that sometimes it’s ok to disagree and not everyone can be convinced by my choices all the time.
6. Focus on my accomplishments
Instead of feeling guilty of my parenting mistakes, I try to focus on my accomplishments and things that I have done right. That moment when I gently handled my kid’s meltdown in the super market or when I solo parented twins (& stayed sane) while my husband was on a work trip. A little self-praise does no harm, rather is enough to pull us out of that moment of inferiority.
If mommy guilt turns all-consuming and starts to paralyze us, it’s a problem. Best is to let it go and learn how to overcome it. We cannot spend the sweet moments of our life worrying about what we aren’t doing right. Instead of regrets, let’s focus on building our relation with our kids in our own imperfect way and enjoy this beautiful phase of our life.
This post is part of the #BlogchatterA2Z challenge run by Blogchatter
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