It’s not really a matter of IF mom guilt happens to you, as much as WHEN mom guilt happens to you. As a mom, we have all felt this at some point.
Whether it's because we are second guessing ourselves, or get comparisonitis.
Maybe due to spending time away from the kids for a while, missing a school activity and suddenly we are overcome with this emotion of guilt!
Yup, that’s it, that feeling… the MOM GUILT!
That dreaded feeling that creeps up, sometimes when you least expect it, too, making you feel crappy and doubt yourself.
PTA meetings, soccer practices, home, work, volunteer work, homework, school schedules, it is a lot!
It adds up. The constant pressure from work, family, school, other moms, and especially social media while trying to balance the other aspects of our lives can get pretty intense.
Mom Guilt is that feeling that happens to new moms who feel guilty when they don’t breastfeed and decide to use formula, because it's not what moms are “supposed” to do.
Mon Guilt is also that feeling you get when you go to night school, but feel guilty all the way there because you should be home “helping with homework” or putting the kids to sleep.
It is also there when you have a work thing scheduled for the same time that there is a soccer game, or when you are at the salon thinking you missed making lunch!
Sometimes it is brought on by us and our own thoughts, but it can also be as a result of other people trying to guilt us into not being the perfect mom if we are not with our kids 24/7. Some take it as far as asking questions or making uncalled for comments.
You want to go to your friends' adult get-togethers, but feel like you should be home, tucking the kids into bed. Yes, there are many examples, the list can go on and on and on…
But whatever the reason or trigger for your mom guilt, it is never a positive feeling that we as moms are left with. You can feel like you should be doing something else—guilty, sad, and overwhelmed.
And this is very damaging, we must learn to manage and control mom guilt. It can lead to many negative things in your life. Negative feelings, negative thoughts, which can lead to negative actions.
You start to feel overwhelmed, stressed, and burnt out, and if it happens continuously, mom guilt can lead to depression and even addiction in order to cope and deal with the feelings.
If we keep in this continuous cycle of mom guilt and not learning to deal with it, it can spiral out of control and take over. The results will not be positive since nothing positive can come out of something negative. We are moms and human beings, not perfect.
STOP it RIGHT there! It is NOT a bad thing to not be with your kids. No matter what you do in life there might be some people who are pretty vocal about their opinion on the matter and will be vocal about it. You can not let what other people think to affect you.
No matter what you do you will NOT be able to please everyone every single time, so STOP even trying, it is not worth it. The person you have to be happy with is yourself and what works for you and your family is not always what works with everyone else.
But even if we leave our kids to enjoy some alone time, a night out, dinner with adult friends for some adult conversations, or even take a time out for a bubble bath, there is no reason we need to feel guilty for this as moms!
So, forget what other people think or what you as a mom “should be doing”. Everyone is different, every situation is individual. What works for you and your kids does not have to be what works for anyone else.
And that is okay. It is okay to have different opinions, different methods, different balances in our lives.
We are moms, but just because we are moms, our dreams and needs as women don’t just disappear!
We are not perfect beings and sometimes need a few minutes or hours to decompress, enjoy a dinner out with adult conversation, and even a glass of wine or two after a hard week. Just remember it is okay to need a timeout every once in a while.
So, next time you find yourself starting to feel overwhelmed with mom guilt, STOP. Think, if this had happened to my child, what would I tell them? It’s okay? Better next time? So, why are we not treating ourselves that same way?
Don’t forget, social media only shows the 5 perfect minutes of what could have been a mostly imperfect day. You don’t usually see the fights, or what goes on behind closed doors, so you don't have to assume it's all perfect all the time.