Lisa explains the constant feeling of guilt every mom struggles with and the tools to fight it.
As mothers, we face judgment DAILY.
Oh, you leave your child every day to go to work?
Oh, you go on a weekly date with your husband?
Oh, you let your child eat McDonald’s!?
And if the verbal comments aren’t enough, we’re perpetually bombarded by all the articles on social media and online parenting magazines telling us we’re using certain baby products incorrectly, burping them too much or not enough, overstimulating, under-socializing and basically just doing it all WRONG.
This, my friends, is the constant feeling of “mom guilt.”
Simply put, it’s feeling like sh*t for any damn thing you do (or don’t do) as a mother.
Because we are all different, and we raise our kids differently, and these differences are now more exposed and pervasive through online mediums and interactions.
Every baby is different, every household is different, and every person’s experiences, outlooks and values are different in some way. And you know what? That’s OK! Differences are why we have such a well-rounded and diverse society.
But for some reason, different = bad in the parenting universe. Differences make us second-guess our own abilities, and that’s normal, but remember: none of us are truly, 100% confident we’re doing this parenting thing right. We’re all just trying our best, and some days, barely surviving.
Yes, you are a total badass because you grew that child and birthed them, but you are still just one person. You have wants and needs, too (go figure!).
Remember, being with them 24/7 doesn’t make you the greatest mother in the world, just as leaving them to go to work or practice self-care doesn’t make you the worst mother in the world.
You are just ONE person with a myriad of responsibilities, so you have to come to terms with the fact that you may not accomplish everything fully or perfectly in a day (or until these little stinkers go off to college), so do your sanity a favor and cut yourself some slack!
If you stepped away for an hour or two to get your nails done, you’d come back far more refreshed and that little bit of self-care makes you more patient and understanding with your children.
Let’s be honest, we love them, but even someone you love, you don’t want to be around 24/7.
My way of self-care is writing in my journal (read my self-care post here), and I MUST get my workout in.
By working out, I am taking care of my health, and in turn, I am able to be a better mother. (Interested in starting a workout routine at home? Email me here for more information on my New Year New Perspective Plan.)
Maybe you and your husband just need to step outside on a walk together, child-free, or maybe you are just needing that bubble bath and a good book? (In a few short weeks, I’ll be releasing an article on how to create the PERFECT self-care space! Subscribe below to find out when.)
Whatever you choose to do for yourself, by yourself or with others, balance makes you BETTER!
I know, I should feel guilty for even typing this one, right?
But our role as mothers is to love our children unconditionally, raise them in a healthy environment, teach and guide them, and then let them go.
Someday, our children will grow up, and if we’ve done a good job, then they will leave to lead their own happy, healthy lives.
It doesn’t mean you are horrible for putting your husband first, spending some time with friends, and even treating yourself to some self-care! If you devote time to all of these areas of your life, you will find improvement in your relationships, including the one with your children.
Guess what, your child loves you. Yes, they do. And you may go to bed at night feeling like “I’ll do better tomorrow,” or “I wish I just had more time with them,” but you are enough.
You love them, and that’s enough.
At their Christmas play, they will look for YOU in the crowd.
When they lose their first tooth, they will look for YOU to express excitement.
When they fall down and scrape their knee, it’s YOU they need to kiss it and make it better.
We will NEVER have enough time, but the moments we are granted with our little ones are perfect moments that both of you will cherish for a lifetime. And that’s something you should never feel guilty about.
We MUST remember, WE HAVE ALL BEEN THERE OURSELVES.
We have ALL had to choose between our children and another obligation.
We have ALL had moments where we feel guilty and had moments where we feel judged.
So, before you judge the mama who has a screaming babe in the middle of aisle 8, remember your children haven’t always been the best behaved either.
Or if you are scrolling through Facebook and see a friend who left her children to go out to drinks with girlfriends, maybe acknowledge that she may have had a hectic week (haven’t we all?) and needs a little time to reconnect with people outside the home or work environment.
Bottom line, try not to judge. We don’t know what others are going through.
If you notice a mom who is struggling, reach out! Sometimes just dropping a line with a sympathetic ear is all we need come back into mothering with a fresh new perspective.
Even if you can’t fully understand a particular situation, we all have the ability for empathy. By letting a fellow mother know she’s not alone and that you understand, you can help her through a difficult situation or tough times.
Sometimes, no words are needed. If you see a mother struggling, give her the nod that you understand or wrap her in a big hug. That little gesture may make all the difference!
Momming (yes, it’s a verb) isn’t easy, and we are all in this together. Tag #AllMomsWork and @thedaughterdiaries on your Instagram of how you fight the mom guilt.
And feel free to share this for another mom today, she may need it.
Be in-the-know on how to be the most unstoppable version of yourself!