Hey, CEO Moms! Do you suffer from mom guilt? If you do, you are not alone, almost every mom I know has expressed some form of mom guilt.
ARE YOU GUILTY OF MOM GUILT?
Mom guilt is a topic most can relate to because many of us have a specific idea of what kind of mom we want to be. Let's face it, being a mom is one of the toughest jobs you will have and sometimes it seems as if no one understands what you are going through. Many mothers, regardless of their age or economic background find themselves having some form of mom guilt. Speaking to other moms can sometimes make you feel better or worse depending on where you are on your motherhood journey.
No matter how good you are as a mom, there will be times when you may experience that uncomfortable and disturbing feeling of guilt. These feelings not only affect mothers who work outside the home but stay at home moms as well.These feelings of guilt can rob you of your joy and peace. Identifying the reasons for these feelings are important to figure out.
IS IT REALLY MOM GUILT OR MOM INADEQUACY?
Guilt is one of those feelings that are not easily seen when you look at someone. I found two definitions, the first comes from Dictionary.com, which defines guilt as, "a feeling or responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined". Webster's version defines guilt as, "feelings of deserve blame especially for imagined offenses...". So mom guilt is essentially when we feel remorse or we blame ourselves for not being the moms we think we should be to our children.
YOU ARE YOUR CHILDS FIRST LOVE
Moms, please don't forget your children love you, you are their first love. You are the first sound, smell, and hug, that they will have. Many moms have a primal instinct to protect their children. You want to be present for any and every special moment they experience. You want to be everything to your children.The fact of the matter is as much as you love your children, there is no way you will be present for every single event that takes place in their young lives.
WHY DO YOU HAVE MOM GUILT?
Moms will find any reason to justify guilt. Here are some common reasons:
You have to work outside the home
You work long hours
You are too exhausted to play or read with your children
You were not able to cook a certain meal or get the laundry done
You are in school or have to study
You are suffering from mental illness or an addiction
You believe you don't make enough money
You forgot to sign a permission slip or bake them something for school
You were late getting to a special event
Their dad is not in the child's life.
You have to send your children to daycare
Are any of these reasons plaguing you on a daily basis? Moms you do not have to be perfect. As moms, we all have expectations that we put on ourselves that are sometimes to impossible to accomplish and it just adds additional weight on us. There are so many things that are out of your control. If you have to work outside the home, that is okay...listen to me YOU. ARE. A. GREAT. MOTHER.
You know what would not be good, having the opportunity to earn an income and not doing it all the while your children are suffering in poverty. Most mothers and fathers have to work for a living in order to provide your children with a roof, heat, water, and clothing. That is more important than making cookies from scratch and eating organic every night (if those are some of your mom goals), focus on the necessities first. And remember to give yourself some grace and stop being your harshest critic.
ARE YOU CAUSING MOM GUILT?
We all have felt judgment from other mothers, sometimes even those in our own families. They think their way is the best way. They may give you those "judgy eyes" or question every little decision you make. But only you know the best way to raise your children.
Now sometimes you may also be guilty of "judging" other moms. Everyone has different life experiences, upbringings, relationships that mold them into who they are as women and mothers. There is no one size fits all approach to motherhood. The most important factor to one mother may not even be an option to another mother. For example, if you are a mom who decides to raise your children as vegans that does not mean you are any better a mother than one who gives her child processed food. I know that may seem a little harsh to say but mothers have the choice to do what they feel is best for their families and do not deserve to be shamed for their choices. Moms do what's best for their child.
5 WAYS TO GET OVER MOM GUILT
1.Take Care of Yourself First
This will be SO HARD for some of you but the most necessary. You have to be emotionally & physically in a good place to fully take care of your children to the best of your ability. Children do not like to see their moms sad or frustrated.
Identify what it is that makes you happy within yourself and that will rub off on your children. Do something relaxing, exercise, yoga, maybe even plan a much-needed nap session to get caught up on sleep.
Seriously, you have to get yourself together. Try and take one day a week to rejuvenate and organize your thoughts, goals, and desires for yourself and family. Utilizing planners and making weekly lists will help minimize that overwhelming feeling you may have during the week. Otherwise, feeling scattered will leave you feeling unaccomplished, stressed, and guilty when you can't get everything done you planned.
2. Create special time with your children.
If you have to be away from your children for any length of time due to illness, work, military etc. Plan a special date with your children, let them stay up late one night a month and do something fun or plan a picnic at their favorite park. Make it exciting and very special. If they are not used to seeing you be silly, plan something silly and fun that they would not expect from you. Play dress up or pick them up early from school for a special date.
3. Involve the Children in Your Planning
Children love to hear about what your working on so why not let them help you sometimes. If you have papers to copy, staple, or organize. Give them a special title, "assistant office manager of papers". If they are younger, have them write or draw you a picture to hang in your office (home or outside home office). Maybe give them a clipboard with a checklist of things you have to do around the house and have them help where appropriate. Let them help you in the kitchen with meal prep or organizing.
One reason for guilt can sometimes be directly related to being unorganized. I am so guilty of this. Feeling overwhelmed as a result of too much "to do" can lead to guilt. As CEO Moms, we have to schedule or organize everything that is important to us. So, start out by writing out what absolutely has to get done and include a date and time. Next, determine which items that you would like to accomplish this week but will not be detrimental to your life if you don't. Next, get a calendar and write down each item on the date that it is due. If there is too much to do, try delegating some responsibilities to someone you trust. Once that is done, check out your availability and schedule "me time", "family time", etc. on the calendar in the boxes.
Also, try and write down your family meals you are planning for the week and any ingredients you may need. Sometimes getting all of these "to do's" written down feels like a huge accomplishment in and of itself.
5. Give Yourself a Break and RELEASE
If the feeling of mom guilt is affecting your life, do not just brush it aside but release it with emotional healing. Although, you may be feeling guilty for one reason or another you have to take the time to really determine why you feel so guilty. Let yourself work through your emotions. Meditation, prayer, and journal writing are some cathartic ways to release those feelings.
Moms, you must stop feeling like you are committing a crime because you have to work outside the home or that you can't see your children everyday or that you aren't doing exactly what you think you should be doing as a stay at home mom. Prioritize what's most important. Ask yourself, are my kids happy to see me? Are they happy, healthy, safe? Sometimes we need a reminder that it is okay if we are not perfect in most adults eyes because in our kid's eyes we may be the best mom or parent to them. Give yourself some credit for the things you've done right and good, and don't be too hard on yourself when you feel like you've made a mistake.
So moms, what do you feel guilty about? How do you overcome it? Comment Below