Last month I hosted a self-care for busy moms webinar, and I covered the topic of mom guilt. I got the mothers who attended the webinar to share their mom guilts, and it was not surprising that all of them had mom guilts, and some shared similar ones. Whether you are a new mom or a seasoned mom, let's acknowledge that we all experience various degrees of mom guilts, and the types of mom guilt we experience changes over time as our kids get older.
Here are some of the mom guilts that the mothers shared:
Not spending enough time with their family
Not capturing memories, e.g. photos, journal, scrapbook
Feeling like it's their fault when their kids behave a certain way
Not patient enough, yelling at kids
Not consistent with actions/rules
Not as good as other moms
Not able to solve problems for their child
Wanting to keep children safe and not let them feel "rough edges."
Putting kids in front of iPad or TV so they can get things done
Do you identify with any of them?
As you can see, you are not alone. As mothers, we take on the bulk of the nurturing responsibilities of our family. We blame ourselves for not doing enough for our family. We blame ourselves when our kids are not doing well. This mental load can cripple us from being the loving, kind and present mother we want to be.
Find out the reasons why you feel mom guilt
Before we deal with our mom guilts, it's helpful to know where your mom guilts come from. Perhaps you are comparing yourself to other mothers, and you feel you are not doing enough. Maybe you compare yourself to your own mother and feel like you need to meet her standards or you feel like you could do better than her. You may also feel societal pressures to be a certain mother- the "perfect" mother that has it all. Take a moment to think about it. Why do you have mom guilt?
Once you realize where your mom guilt comes from, what can you do about it?
Here are three tips that I hope can help you lessen your mom guilt:
1.Evaluate where your imbalances are
Mom guilt also happens when you don't feel happy about the current life situation that you are in. You might not be the patient or calm parent you want to be because you don't have time for yourself, and you feel guilty for shouting at your kids.
If you are working too much, and you don't have time to prepare a healthy meal for your kids- you feel guilty for feeding them something quick like pasta again. It's essential to address any imbalances in our lives if we want to move forward.
Now that you have identified where your imbalances are, it's time to take action! Write down what you want to change and create specific goals. Say you want to be calmer and more patient; your goals might be to schedule some alone time during the day or meditate for 5 mins before your kids wake up.
Or if you want to work less so you can spend time with your kids. Your goal could be to speak to your boss about flexible working hours or taking on less work by delegating it to others.
If you feel guilt for making unhealthy meals, your goal could be meal prepping on Sundays so you don't feel stress about the mealtime during the week.
3. Change your mindset
Sometimes life circumstances might not be easy to change. For example, you want to work less, but your family depends on your paycheck. So the best way is to change your mindset. Instead of focusing on what you don't do enough, remember your strengths and remind yourself that you are doing your best given the circumstances and resources you have right now.
When you think you are not spending enough time with your kids, focus on quality time, not quantity. If you feel guilty for working, remember that you are setting an example to your kids that women can contribute to the household and society.
I hope these three tips are useful for you and it will help you manage your mom guilt.
Do you struggle with mom guilt?
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or book a free 30 mins call to see how I can support you.