Studies show that pretty much ALL Mother’s experience Mom guilt at least once in their lifetime. Or you could be extra level shit like me and have never really stopped experiencing it. I dive into the topic, learning what it is, is it real and what you can do to beat it.
Mom guilt IS real. I’m not asking ANYONE to confirm it for me either. It’s 100% real! I’ve experienced it in so many ways, on so many different occasions. I bet you have too and I bet your Mom and her Mom did as well! It’s perfectly normal and quite common of a parent (more so Mother’s) to experience guilt from time to time. The more we talk about this sort of thing, the more “normal” it becomes. Thus battling half of the problem! Always remember that you are allowed to feel, you are allowed to have emotions.Yeah it sucks at the time, but the good news is that that feeling doesn’t last forever.
What is Mom guilt?
Like regular guilt, but worse. Mom guilt is the feeling of doing so much for the beautiful, tiny, human being that you have been blessed with, but getting an overwhelming feeling of guilt, doubt, anxiousness and uncertainty when you do something for yourself and it can rear its ugly head in a number of Mom situations. Let me share some occasions where I have experienced it myself.
Being a Stay At Home Mom. I feel guilty everyday that I am lucky enough to work from home. So much so that I push myself every single day to do more. I do everything. All of the cooking, cleaning, ironing, shopping, prepping, school run, homework… EVERYTHING. I don’t let anyone lift a finger and it often causes me to burn out or snap like some hungry, wild bear that’s been poked and prodded for hours.
When my daughter is off school and I still need to work on my business. I have to try and squeeze it in to all the tiny nooks and crannies of my day. On a particularly busy day I do schedule an hour or two to tick off some tasks and I let Miss Netflix do the babysitting. But like clock work, comes the guilt! I then felt like I’ve dumped her in front of the TV (which actually doesn’t happen much in our house), or like I’m not giving her enough attention.
Even celeb Moms get it guys!! And for similar or different reasons. Just take a look at these 2 that I found over on the gram (because it’s not always super models on beaches with pigs and hotties in Coachella).
View this post on Instagram
Last week was not easy for me. Not only was I accepting some tough personal stuff, but I just was in a funk. Mostly, I felt like I was not a good mom. I read several articles that said postpartum emotions can last up to 3 years if not dealt with. I like communication best. Talking things through with my mom, my sisters, my friends let me know that my feelings are totally normal. It’s totally normal to feel like I’m not doing enough for my baby. We have all been there. I work a lot, I train, and I’m trying to be the best athlete I can be. However, that means although I have been with her every day of her life, I’m not around as much as I would like to be. Most of you moms deal with the same thing. Whether stay-at-home or working, finding that balance with kids is a true art. You are the true heroes. I’m here to say: if you are having a rough day or week–it’s ok–I am, too!!! There’s always tomm!
View this post on Instagram
For 19 months, I came up with excuse after excuse as to why I shouldn’t get my hair done. “Hazel will want to nurse…The girls will cry…Zoey has never been away from me for so many hours…it’s too expensive…I don’t really NEED a haircut…I have stuff to do in the house…” and dozens more, when the truth was, I just didn’t think I was worth the time, the money, or even the effort. I let myself believe that leaving my kids to do something for myself was neglecting them. I had become invisible to myself, and that is a very dangerous hole to fall into. The whole thing was about much more than just my hair, it was about my confidence and self-worth. I didn’t feel deserving of having a 4-hour break to take care of myself. My husband noticed how self conscious I was about my hair and continued to insist, so much so that I finally gave in. As soon as I walked out of the house and closed the door, I was flooded with anxiety, regret and I became so stressed that I could not keep myself from crying. He disconnected the nanny cam so that I wouldn’t check in and worry. 2 hours in and I fell asleep in the washing chair. I read an entire magazine. I pinned DIY projects I’ll likely never do. I had warm coffee. When I finally saw the end result and how lively and strong my hair was, and then heard how well my kids were doing with my husband, I understood why self-care is so important. I was able to recharge for just a few hours and I finally felt somewhat worthy again, that I was seen and important to MYSELF. Valuing myself will be a daily battle for sure, but I made a promise to myself to at least try to do the things that bring me joy. Play my guitar more often, go out with my girlfriends every once in a while, and to not feel guilty for paying attention to myself. I encourage you to do the same. We will be much better moms when we find our worth and value ourselves. Know that you matter as a person more than you can possibly imagine. 💛 #YouMatterMost #MyHairWasLikeALionsMane #TakeAShotEveryTimeISayMyself #ButMostImportantlyKnowYoureWorthIt
But if we all feel Mom guilt – and research shows that we pretty much all do – then there’s no “better” Mother to compare ourselves to.
A lot of it stems from the compare game. I talked about this a bit more in detail in last week’s blog post. We have this uncontrollable need to be perfect at absolutely everything and not let a living soul see us in any other light. You might want to sit down for this… Truth is, no ones perfect! Nope, not even the ones that constantly say or show off how perfect they or their lives are. So throw away the idea of “perfect”. For years we’ve listened to people tell us,
“Being a stay at home Mom is best”.
“You should go back to work to be a good example to your kids”.
“Breast is best”.
“You need to formula”.
Blah, blah, blah! Don’t believe everything that you read.. Except for this blog, because this is pretty much the bomb. But seriously though, there isn’t one proven, specific way that will work for everyone. Every child, Mother, parent and situation is completely different from the next. What may work for one family may not work for you and yours. So don’t sweat it Momma. The only things that we all have in common is that we live on this planet and we want to be happy. Except, we can’t be happy if we are living someone else’s life, by someone else’s expectations. We are only happy by doing what we our souls truly want to do!
Never feel guilty for being a stay at home Mom. Never feel guilty for being a working Mom. Never feel guilty for treating yourself. Never feel guilty for taking out a little time for you. At the end of the day, we are no use to our children or our family, if we don’t take the time to look after ourselves first.
So in conclusion. Mom guilt usually comes from the feeling of not being good enough, which typically comes from fearing what others will think or what others have said, which realistically comes from giving a fuck. Yeah, I said it! It’s okay to have these feelings of guilt, it is totally normal. But you have to knock it out of your system ASAP. Tell that bitch to pack her bags because she’s not living here rent free and just start doing what’s best for you and your family. Each family will require a different level of love, understanding and patience and no-one can teach you that. There have been Mother’s since the day time has existed and there still isn’t one person that knows what the fuck they are doing! Chill Momma, you are doing the best that you can for you and yours. That’s all that is ever asked of you and you are doing a great job at that!!
If it gets a little too much, give yourself a day off! Mental health days are so much more important than sick days. You really have to start making time for yourself so that you can be the best possible version for not only you, but your family too. Most importantly, stay away from people that bring out the Mom guilt in you!! Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
I would love to know what you think! If you have ever felt Mom Guilt before, write in the comments what it was for and how you got through it. When we share our stories, we inspire others and make them feel like they are not alone. Don’t forget to share this with your other Mom friends!