Right now, the outside world is a lil crazy and unreliable. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, balancing virtual schooling and working from home, on top of the motherly duties we already had on our hands. No doubt, there’s a lot on our plates! No that we have tackled learning how to let go (10 Tips For Moms Learning To Let Go), it is time to tackle the mom guilt that is definitely more present now more than ever.
What is Mom Guilt?
Mom guilt is the feeling that you’re not doing the absolute best you can for your children. This feeling can also manifest as worries that you’re not making the right decisions for your children, or that there’s more that you should be doing. In reality, we’re living through stressful historical times at the moment! It’s easy to compare ourselves to the #momgoals of Instagram and television, who are seemingly able to keep a sparkling clean house, have abundant playtime with their kids, work a successful high demand job, keep their nails and hair on point in the middle of a pandemic and cook homemade meals every single day. Kudos to them, cause….
In reality, these are unrealistic expectations. Mom guilt stems from comparison by other fellow moms, societal expectations, and familial expectations. These comparisons and expectations distort our perceptions of our own parenting, leading us to believe that we’re being mediocre mothers.
Mom guilt can easily become internalized and hurt our identity as mothers and caretakers. This guilt can consume us and prevent us from seeing the truth of our great parenting. So what steps can we take to reduce our mom guilt and reclaim our power?
1. Identify The Sources of Your Mom Guilt
You should take notes on your phone or mentally when situations trigger your mom guilt.. For instance, maybe mom guilt is activated when your kids talk about the awesome vacations their friends or classmates have. You may be feeling mom guilt when it comes to not being able to afford the same luxuries as other families. Once you identify this trigger, you can take active steps towards redirecting your energy towards small solutions, rather than being controlled by the mom guilt. This doesn’t mean completely rehaul your lifestyle, but maybe take extra time during the day to have an a fun simple picnic at the park. Awareness of your sources of mom guilt is the most important step as it identifies exactly what areas of your life may need some extra TLC.
2.Know Your Truth
Parenting is a unique journey and one mother’s experience is never the same as another. Understand your truth and embrace it. You know more than anyone what your children need or don’t need, and your parenting reflects that to the best of your ability. List the top values you have as a parent for your children (wellness, fun, engagement, curiosity, education, etc) and use that as a mental check list when comparing whether your parenting upholds those values or not.
3. Protect Your Truth & Be Easy On Yourself
Everyone has their own opinion as to how parenting should be done, but the only opinion that matters is yours and your childrens’. Block out naysayers or fellow mom friends who constantly criticize and judge others. These are negative energies that do not take into account how individually unique and difficult parenting is from family to family. There is not one solution that works for all, so be easy on yourself when it seems like certain practices just don’t vibe with your family.
All in all, being a mother is always difficult, but during a worldwide pandemic even more so. Mom guilt is a real and valid thing! Once you take steps to identify their sources and understand your authentic truth, outside influences will have little effect on your confidence as an amazing mother. Every family is different, the only reliable source of criticism is your own intuition. Go easy on yourself and strive for progress, not perfection. Love and raise your kids on your own terms, doing what you’ve always done best.
Mom, YOU GOT THIS!