Guest post by Maria Lianos-Carbone
If you’ve never experienced feelings of guilt before becoming a mother, you will soon learn what guilt feels like! It’s probably one of the crummiest feelings you could inflict on yourself.
If you allow yourself to feel soul-crushing mom guilt for every choice you make as a parent, it will take a toll. Whether you’re not able to calm your baby down or you’ve had to stop breastfeeding, there will be a myriad of reasons you may feel inadequate and guilty.
5 REASONS MOMS FEEL MOM GUILT
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GOING BACK TO WORK
I’d have to say the one thing that causes women the most guilt is returning to work. Making the decision to pass your child over into the care of another person is the toughest, most heartbreaking choice to make as a woman.
Your instincts are screaming at you to stay with your child, but financially you know you have to provide for that child.
Working moms feel incredible guilt for needing or wanting to work. Women may have the desire to further their careers at a job they love while taking care of their family. Mom will feel guilty for leaving her child at daycare and then feel guilty for loving her job.
We must make the conscious choice to not succumb to those feelings of guilt, and accept and embrace our decisions.
NOT REALIZING BABY IS SICK
It’s day two of your child being home from school, sick with what appears to be a bad cough. On day three, you realize you should probably take him to the pediatrician. Your face turns beet red when you discover your child has a double ear infection.
How did I miss this?!
You feel horrible for not bringing your child to the doctor sooner, not reading his cues, not seeing the signs that it was more than the common cold.
Don’t beat yourself up. Often symptoms of secondary infections don’t always seem obvious. Plus, you’re not a doctor! If your mama instincts are nagging you, listen to them the next time.
NOT BEING ABLE TO DO IT ALL
You didn’t have time to cook a healthy meal for your family, so you bought a roasted chicken from the grocery store and whipped together a salad. So what?
You may feel guilty about taking the kids through the drive-thru for dinner on the way to soccer practice, but it’s all you had time for after a long day at work.
You didn’t have time to create hand-written invitations for your kid’s birthday party, instead sending out a mass email.
You sent your kid to school with a wrinkled pair of pants because you didn’t have time to iron them. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be that Pinterest-perfect mom, let alone fed, bathed and clothed!
Remember, we’re raising human beings; the squeaky-clean house and Instagram-filtered image is not reality.
WANTING SOME TIME ALONE
We have to stop thinking that to be a good mom, you must sacrifice everything you desire in order to take care of your children. This way of thinking is not only self-damaging but also detrimental to your child in the long term. You need to enjoy a meaningful, fulfilling life as well.
Yes, we are responsible for caring for our children’s needs. We also have a responsibility to care for ourselves as well. Wanting some time alone to do something for ourselves is not a luxury, it’s a necessity! Whether it’s taking a yoga class, getting our hair done, or soaking in the tub, mom needs to carve out some time for herself each and every day.
COMPARING TO OTHER MOMS
Women also experience feelings of guilt when comparing themselves to other women and their parenting styles. “Oh look, she gets to breastfeed, but I can’t” or “She gets to stay home and do crafts with her kids while I go to work.”
It’s easy to come to conclusions about someone else’s life based on your own perception (or that staged photo in a magazine), but it may not be the truth. The grass isn’t always greener. Try to focus on what works for you and your family.
Maria Lianos-Carbone is the publisher of www.amotherworld.com, a lifestyle blog for women, and author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year: Because Moms Need a Little TLC, Too!” which hits the shelves on March 1, 2018. The book is now available for pre-order on Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.