Let’s face it, being a mom can feel like the hardest job on the planet most days. We have to maintain a clean house, cook a healthy and nutritious dinner our kids will actually eat every night, run our kids to 20 different after school activities, go to work ourselves, have a social life, work out, and still get 8 hours of sleep. Anyone else falling short of these expectations? Moms we have a problem. And its name is mom guilt.
We’ve all heard of it, and we’ve definitely all experienced it at one time or another. It’s the feeling you get when your child starts screaming in public, and you just can’t shut them up. It’s the judgment looks you get from other mothers when you tell them you pack Cheetos in your kid’s lunches. And it’s the feeling we experience on the days that we are tired and worn out and we snap at our kids when they are just asking a simple question. But, ladies, it’s time to free ourselves of this guilt placed on us by society, other moms, and ourselves. Today we are discussing ways that you can start to make 2018 a year of being guilt-free.
Stop and Take a Deep Breath
As soon as we do something we regret; we snap at our children, at our spouses, or forget about our child’s something or other, it can be easy to make a snap decision. We need to take a deep breath and remember that everything is going to be all right. Ten days from now we will not even remember that this happened. When we feel guilty, or just generally that our lives are spinning out of control faster than helicopter wings, it can be easy to try to self-correct right away. To jump into another hasty decision to correct the seemingly wrong decision we just made. It can be easy to try to appease our kids with candy or some treat so they can forget that mommy just had a meltdown. But, before you do any of those things take a deep breath. Try your best to stay calm. And go to your happy place.
Share Your Burdens With Someone
If you are a mom who is struggling with guilt and just general unhappiness in how you are parenting, don’t keep it inside. Find a trusted friend, or better yet your spouse, and share your concerns and feelings of inadequacy with them. You may feel much better knowing that other moms, your own mom, and your husband feel the same way.
Be Honest With Yourself
Yes, there are times that we should feel guilty, but there are also times we are too hard on ourselves. Every time that you feel the mom guilt monster creeping back into your thoughts, think about if what you are stressing about is really something you should feel guilty for. Is it really worth disrupting your life with worry? Is it not something you have seen people do millions of times before? Before you let your emotions get the better of you, take time to evaluate if this situation or dilemma truly deserves your feelings of guilt and regret. If you need help figuring that out, once again, talk to someone you trust.
Learn To Laugh and Let Go
This is by far one of the hardest things to do as a parent. But, if you don’t want to drive yourself insane, you need to start doing it every day. Realize that no one cares if your child’s clothes are not matching and in tip-top shape every day. That your kids most likely won’t notice that you screwed up the banana bread a little bit. When life happens, and things go wrong, chores get left undone, and your child refuses to wear anything expect their princess outfit to preschool, let it go. Embrace these times and laugh at absurd situations. Know that you can’t be perfect and that your kids never ask you to be.
It can be so easy to compare yourself to the other moms around you every day. If you are a working mom, you envy a stay at home mom. And if you are a stay at home mom, you envy the working mom. The truth is that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Every family is going through their fair share of challenges and trials, that may not be apparent on the surface. Think of comparison like running a race. It’s really hard to finish a race and to run your best race if you are constantly looking behind you to see where your competition is at. So today, instead of craning your neck looking back at all the other moms around you, focus on running your race and running it well.
Give Yourself Breaks
Everyone needs breaks. Even moms need time-outs sometimes. Set aside small nuggets of time throughout the week for you and you alone. It’s ok that you need ten minutes to pretend you are pooping when you are just checking your Instagram. You shouldn’t feel guilty for hiding some of your kid’s candy for when you watch your one TV show a week. Work with your husband to allow you both to have times where you can relax and recharge. You’ve earned it.
I know that you may think that you are the only mom that ever feels like a terrible person, but I hope that this article has assured you differently. I hope that this is the year that you are finally able to shake those feelings of mom guilt once and for all!