I’ve contemplated writing this post for a long time. I was always hesitant because it’s really tough to get my thoughts out when it comes to the subject of “mom guilt”. Mom guilt is that moment that every mom (and dad) has had where we have criticized ourselves on our performance as parents. I witness it whenever I’m in a room full of mothers. We basically talk about how terrible we are as parents. And we compare our own child(ren) to the other children in the room. We ask each other questions about one another’s child to see how advanced their child is, compared to our’s. Such as, “How is potty training going with Elijah?”
And if it is determined, that someone else’s child may be more advanced than yours, automatically there is a feeling of guilt and failure as a parent. That’s just one of the many times that I’ve felt like a “bad parent”.
I think I first experienced “mom guilt” a couple days after Elijah was born. I had to make the very tough decision of whether or not to have him circumcised now or later. Y’all, I literally cried for almost an hour because I found out that he would definitely feel the “snip, snip” that was about to take place. And I had to be the one to give the doctors the okay to perform the surgery. It was the worst feeling ever and until this day, I still feel horrible that I played a part in that pain that he felt. And believe me, I tell this story to whomever will listen.
Another time that I can remember feeling “mom guilt” is during the break up between myself and my son’s father. It’s crazy because, people are always giving advice stating that if a couple is unhappy, they should never stay together just for the sake of the children. Yet, Elijah was one of the main reason’s that I really wanted that relationship to work.
So, when we made the decision to end our relationship, the constant thought in my mind was that my baby would no longer share a home with both of his parents. I thought about all of the back and forth that we would have to do from house to house. I thought about all of the Christmases and other holidays that he would have to split between the two of us. And I thought about him feeling that he would have to choose between the two of us.
Elijah’s distant future kept popping into my mind. All of these thoughts made me feel terrible y’all. I couldn’t believe that I had brought all of this pain to my baby. Now, I know this is a bit dramatic. But, that’s what mom guilt will do to you!
Then, during the beginning of the breakup when I would drop Elijah off with his dad, he would cry (like a baby) when I left him. I swear I wanted to turn back multiple times and take my baby back home with me. I’ve experienced this same feeling when dropping him off at daycare. He would cry and attempt to follow me out of the room, yet I knew that I had to leave him there so that I could get to work. But a few times I wanted to go back and get him from there as well.
It’s been about three years since our breakup, and Elijah is just now getting to the point where he doesn’t cry when I drop him off with his dad. He’s also better with his drop offs at daycare as well. However, the guilt really never ends. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another. Whether it’s disciplining your child, getting shots at the doctors office, going back to work and leaving your baby with strangers, etc., I think moms will feel some sort of guilt for the majority of their child’s life.
Yet, we have to find a way to deal with the guilt, so that we can provide our children with everything they need to be excellent, upstanding human beings. I also spoke with other parents to see how they handle those moments when they feel “mom guilt” or when they just feel like a bad parent. Here are 5 tips that I came up with.
- Give yourself credit for doing the best that you know how. Remember why you made that decision that you’re feeling guilty about. You’re trying to raise a decent human being.
- There’s nothing wrong with crying. Cry it out, then move on. This moment won’t last forever.
- Take a break. Sometimes you need to take a little “me time” so that you can recharge and feel good about being a mom again.
- Talk to your child about what you’re feeling whether or not they’re old enough to understand. Eventually, they will.
- Talk to other moms. I’ve learned that “mom guilt” is universal. You won’t meet one mom who hasn’t felt it.
- Get some space from people who cause you guilt. I’ve literally had to unfollow and unfriend some people on social media because observing them everyday made me feel like a bad mom.
- Take a personal day and spend time with your child.
I hope you found this post helpful, and relatable. It’s hard out here for us moms. We have to stick together. So, if you have any tips on how you’ve dealt with mom guilt, please leave them below.
Thank you for stopping by and letting me vent to you for a little bit! Speak to you soon!
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