It can be all-consuming. That feeling that you let your child down or didn’t do the right thing. It may be something silly, like forgetting to pack an extra juice for snack time, or something serious, like letting your child ride a bike without a helmet and then ending up in the ER. Regardless, mom guilt can eat away at you, making it hard to focus on the here and now. But giving in to those inferior feelings caused by mom guilt doesn’t do your family any favors. It’s time to pull up those big girl panties and deal with it once and for all. Here are a few tips to help.
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5 Simple Tips for Dealing with Mom Guilt
Focus on the Good
Think about everything you do for your kids. For example, if you feel guilty for not having extra money because you’re a stay-at-home-mom, think about what being a stay-at-home-mom does for your kids. You’re there for everything they need. You may not be able to buy them expensive clothes, but you’re able to go to every recital and important event. You do so much for your family. Any time you feel the mom guilt coming on, think about everything you did that day that benefited your children.
Ask Yourself If It’s Really That Bad
You forgot to pick your child up after practice, so another mom or the coach brought her home. You feel horrible and are beating yourself up over it. Did your child make it home safely? Was she in any real danger? No? Then stop beating yourself up over it. It happens.
And if you’re worried that other moms will judge you for your momentary memory lapse, those moms are not who you want in your tribe, anyway. Find the supportive moms… the helpers… rather than the sanctimommies.
Let The Mom Guilt Go
No amount of guilt can change what has happened. Even if you did do something that led to your child being injured, that doesn’t mean you are a horrible person. Accidents happen. Sitting and worrying about what you could have done differently or feeling bad that you caused something won’t change it. All you can do is focus on the here and now. Focus on taking care of your child and doing what’s best for her.
Remember That We All Think Others Have It Better
Moms also sometimes feel guilty because they compare themselves to other moms. You know how it goes… Sally tells you about the educational camp her kids just finished while she’s preparing an organic, vegan snack for her kids. Her child is probably playing classical piano in the background just for good measure.
Here’s the thing. Those women are probably experiencing mom guilt because they think you are the better mom. That’s often the reason one mom brags to another. The grass always seems greener on the other side. Don’t get caught up in what is better for another family. It may not be better for your family.
Think Before You Act
You may have an immediate reaction to think that you are a horrible mother. Stop. What just happened? Was it an accident? Is it even important? Think before you start feeling guilty. In many cases, there’s no reason to have any guilt. More times than not, mom guilt is completely uncalled for.
As a mom, you’re definitely going to feel mother guilt from time to time. If you didn’t, then you’d have a real reason to worry. No one is perfect. Even if another mom appears to have everything together, there’s more than meets the eye. Chances are she’s struggling with mom guilt just as much as you are. Learn to let it go and focus on the good. You ARE a good mother. Even if you burn dinner every single night, you still try your hardest and that’s all anyone can do.
If you found these tips on curing mom guilt helpful, you’ll love my friend Joyce’s post on Stay-At-Home Mom Bad Habits.