We will discuss the practical 9 Ways to Overcome Mom Guilt in this blog post.
As soon as I had my son, my happiness was shadowed by new mom guilt that 87% of the new moms experience.
The burden of increased duties and responsibilities to provide the best for your child and people reminding you time and again about them is the main cause for mothers experiencing mom guilt.
From reaching out to others for help to babysit my son to choose from fruits and vegetables to feed him in his mealtime, I never felt content about my mothering style.
Now when I see my son who is school-going and though I have doubts about my parenting techniques, he is still an active, happy, healthy, and kind-hearted child with a cheerful attitude.
This makes me wonder, “I did a better job than at least what I was thinking I did”.
Coming out of this phase and letting go of mom guilt took a long time, primarily because I couldn’t comprehend what I am going through being a new mom.
Once I rooted out the causes of me feeling guilty as a new mother, I was able to overcome mom guilt and shift my focus entirely to working on myself to become the best mother to my son.
Why do we mothers feel guilty at all?
There can be numerous reasons for this.
Having high expectations
Our love for our children knows no bounds.
Sometimes, in the course of loving them deeply, we tend to do everything in the best possible way and provide them with the best of everything within our capacity which puts us under pressure.
It leads to being in a place where we feel we aren’t doing enough. We blame ourselves for their struggles in reaching their milestones or for not providing them with sufficient quality from our time or efforts.
Social Media Portraying Perfect Moms
Most of us who are into social media and networking have joined a number of parenting groups and read their content on a daily basis.
Mom shaming, questioning others parenting choices, bragging about parenting styles in the name of fancy investments, depicting one’s own self as the epitome of perfection is what puts undue pressure on new moms who are struggling emotionally or financially.
Sometimes the posts don’t tend to do any of these but we still feel that we are lagging behind.
We start comparing ourselves with the ‘better moms’ and it makes it even harder for us to overcome mom guilt.
Family Traditions Or Motherly Instincts
When I wanted to introduce solids to my son, I was bombarded with advice to start with rice cereals first but I didn’t want him to digest starch when there are plenty of other healthier options available.
So I didn’t.
But not everyone can stand against family traditions.
The elderly of the family believe in their parenting methods because they worked for their children and want to impose the same on the next generation. But with times changing and the continuous shift in parenting techniques, the new moms find it confusing to either follow their instincts or go with the family traditions.
The outcome of this?
Being over-protective as parents and parenting with anxiety.
It is natural for a mother to put her child’s needs before her every time. But sometimes, when we do take some time out for ourselves, we feel selfish.
I remember, once I desperately wanted to have a cup of steaming hot coffee in peace. I handed over my phone to my son so that he can engage himself in YouTube videos while I can enjoy my coffee.
After I finished drinking, I had pangs of guilt strike me all over. I could have attended to him first and indulge him in some healthy activity rather than giving him screen time which wasn’t needed.
Having Another Baby
Mom’s guilt after the second baby is common.
Not being able to provide enough time to the older one and catering to his needs is a thought that occurs to every mother having a second or a third baby.
When I had my second one, I wanted to keep it well-balanced between both my children.
It may take some time to adjust as a mother so that you can balance it between your children while not neglecting the either one and also developing the bond of love, affection and connection equally between your children.
How To Get Rid Of Mom Guilt?
Here are some tips that will help us with mom guilt.
1. Don’t Focus On Perfection
When you look for perfectionism in everything that you do, you are inviting disappointments and failures.
You cannot be all sophisticated and decent while raising your kids.
I have my good days and bad days. Days when I prefer making my son understand things politely and days when I scold or even yell at him followed by mom guilt for yelling.
The guilt will not fade away because you will always want to be the perfect version of yourself.
Try to lower the bar and let being “good enough” do the work rather than being perfect.
Don’t have a sparkling house?
Let it just be clean and tidy.
As long as you feel accomplished, it is all good to go.
2. Filter Out Your Social Media
As said before, social media and its excessive usage can make it harder to overcome mom guilt.
Put in efforts to find the right content for you. Unfollow all that makes you feel guilty, worthless, and unsuccessful.
While everything is portrayed as rainbows and cupcakes over the internet, you make your choices and be on those platforms that showcase the realities of life and talk about all things real and natural.
Respect everyone’s choices and points of view. Being a social media warrior will do you no good and arguing about your choices and defending them will only lead you to stress, mom guilt, and anxiety.
3. Enjoy Your Career
‘Working Mom Guilt’ is common among mothers who leave their kids behind and step outside to work.
The feeling of not being there for your kids 24/7 can be daunting but rest assured that they can do well without you too.
They will learn to be independent and their decision-making powers will nurture being without you for some time.
Loving your career won’t label you as selfish. You just need to believe in yourself and overcome mom guilt for working full time.
After all, a happy mom has the potential to raise happy kids.
4. Come Out of Stay At Home Mom Guilt
If you are a stay at home mom like me, there must be times when you might have felt useless in terms of contributing towards society or sharing the burden of your husband.
Looking at my friends who are working mothers, I felt guilty of staying indoors and just looking after my home and kids.
But then, what more to ask for when I can stay at home with my children, look them grow, listen to their problems and make them assured that I am then and there for them.
5. Distinguish Between ‘Failing’ And ‘Failure’
A ‘mom-fail’ moment must have happened to us at least once. If it did, it had us believe that we are a complete failure.
Don’t let the failing moments drive you towards disappointment in yourself.
Learn from your mistakes. They all get better with time.
6. Don’t Compare Yourself With Others
You don’t know what happens behind closed windows and doors.
Stop comparing your journey with other moms because you aren’t aware of the challenges and struggles everyone hides behind their smiles.
I was at a wedding when I saw a mother feeding salad to her daughter. My son doesn’t eat vegetables at all. For once, I did envy her but then she had a whole bottle of soda and I thought, I have a healthy child. He might not eat fruits and vegetables but he doesn’t drink sodas either.
7. Fill Your Cup First
An empty cup cannot pour anything. In order to provide for others, you need to first have your fill.
Learn to prioritize yourself so that you can be at the top of your game throughout your journey.
8. Learn to say ‘NO’
Initially, I was afraid to do so.
I was afraid of the guilt that would encompass me if I refused my son about anything. I was scared that he will consider me as not being supportive.
When it got to my nerves one day, I stepped back. I set boundaries.
An unwilling Yes will do you no good except burning you out and making you feel overwhelmed.
9. You Are The Best For Your Child, Always Keep This In Mind
Children don’t know anyone else doing better than their own mother. They love you for everything that you do and for those things which you don’t, they will still love you.
Once you realize this, you are going to ace it all without any tinge of feeling guilty at any phase during your journey. Every mother is different and so is her parenting style.
Just believe in yourself, Mama!
Your kids love you and will continue doing so no matter what.
So these were the 9 ways to overcome mom guilt that you may feel one time or another. We hope you like reading them.
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